What the Detroit Lions must do to return to the playoffs

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Improve return game

Dec 28, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Jeremy Ross (12) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

To say the Lions struggled on special teams in 2014 is an understatement. Per Football Outsiders, the Lions finished the season ranked 31st in the  league. A lot of that has to do with the return game. Jeremy Ross was lackluster as best in 2014.

The Lions finished the season ranked 27th in the league at kick return. They did finish 10th in average yards per kickoff with 24.5 yards per return. But that stat  looks pretty ugly when you see that the Lions only had 29 kick returns in 2014, 29th in the league. The Lions return game was mediocre at best.

The Lions have high hopes that new special teams coach Joe Marciano can turn the return game around fast. If he can, it will only help the Lions offense succeed. The return game is everything. It’s the first step to a successful drive. Just ask the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, they ranked 5th.

Next: Continue to stop the run