What to Expect From the Detroit Lions Offense in 2015


We can all agree, the Detroit Lions offense last season, in its first year under the new Joe Lombardi scheme, was a bit shaky.

Last season saw a lot of ups and downs when it comes to the offense. We saw multiple come from behind wins from the offense. We saw losses to teams we never should have lost to. There are a lot of things to consider when evaluating the problems.

The new scheme is one of them. It’s very rare to find a team in the NFL who completely changes the offensive scheme and has success with it in the first season. A record of 11-5 is proof of that success. But there were still some things that could have been cleaned up. The line needed to block better. The routes needed to be run cleaner. The running game needed to be established. The passing decisions needed to be smarter (granted, the amount of time Matthew Stafford had to make that decision due to poor blocking didn’t help much in that situation).

This season, you should see that all turn around in a positive direction. Will they be perfect? I doubt it, even the best teams in the NFL don’t have offensive perfection. During the offseason, the wide receivers including Golden Tate, Calvin Johnson, and Corey Fuller have been working on their routes. They have been working on their catching skills. Tight end Eric Ebron has been working diligently on his catching skills and route running as well. In fact, look for him to have a breakout year this year and turn a lot of heads. I don’t doubt he will silence a lot of his critics this season.

Tim Twentyman from detroitlions.com did a good breakdown of who he feels will have major improvements this season, and I feel he is pretty spot on.

With the offensive line being healthy now, and the addition of Laken Thomlinson and Manny Ramirez, it looks to be the line is in a solid place right now. Add second-year center Travis Swanson into the mix, replacing the released Dominic Raiola, and you have a recipe for a line that could hold together well and be one of the better offensive lines that the Detroit Lions have seen in quite some time.

Also at SLR: Top 5 Detroit Lions Games to Watch in 2015

Matthew Stafford has also been working hard on his footwork and decision making. With the help of Jim Caldwell, the quarterback whisperer, it is starting to show. Stafford showed glimpses of this work last season when he was rushed out of the pocket. His footwork and movement has dramatically increased.

Of course, sometimes when you are rushed and have to make quick decisions, you fall back to your old habits, and that happened on more than one occasion. This season, with the stout line in place, instead of his reads going from 1-2-pass, look for him to have the time to look at 1-2-3-4 receivers, make his decision, and dump it.

Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Lions running back

Joique Bell

(35) carries the ball pat Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker

Anthony Hitchens

(59) and

Orlando Scandrick

(32) during the fourth quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The run game should make a dominant presence as well. With the returning running backs Joique Bell and Theo Riddick, add to them Ameer Abdullah, and you have a dangerous combination out of the backfield. All 3 of them have their own uniqueness to them.

Joique Bell is a power back who can pound the ball in short yardage situation. Theo Riddick is more of a finesse back who, once he bounces to the outside, can turn on the jets and be gone. Then, you have Ameer Abdullah, who is a combination of the two.

If you look at his film from his days at Nebraska, he can do both, pound the ball and bounce to the outside and turn on the wheels and go. To top it all off, every one of them can be a passing threat out of the backfield.

There is no doubt that this offense, on paper, has what it takes to be one of the top 5 performing offenses in the NFL this season. They will be put to the test when they face defenses like Denver and Seattle for sure. But personally, I feel they are up to the challenge.

More from Lions News

It will be a fun and exciting season to watch for Detroit Lions fans. As a fan myself, and knowing the reality of how the team is stacked up, I really don’t see a single game on this schedule that is not winnable. In the past, I could pick out games and easily say they will be a loss. Not this year. With the talent the team has put together, and the youth and strength up front on that offensive line, the possibilities are endless.

I don’t know about you guys, but I for one am extremely excited to get this season started and see what our boys in blue can do this year!

Next: 12 Questions with Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell at NFL International Series Media Day

More from SideLion Report