2015 Detroit Lions: A Slappy’s Guide

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Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Even if Just by Default, the Run Game Will Improve

Yeah, the Detroit Lions are likely to start Joique Bell over the more promising Ameer Abdullah in week 1.  Bell is notorious for his slow starts to the season, but that doesn’t mean we’re destined to see it that way.  Removing the team’s worst run blockers in Dominic Raiola and Rob Sims, and adding a lead blocker in Michael Burton to replace the ineffective Jed Collins sets  the team up for an improved run game.  Statistically speaking, it’s nearly impossible the could replicate their play from 2014 unless they struggled significantly with injuries.

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When Joique Bell was struggling to start 2014, the Detroit Lions were basically screwed.

Reggie Bush

was broken and ineffective,

Theo Riddick

hadn’t developed as a rusher, and

George Winn

wasn’t the answer.  That isn’t a problem in 2015.  If Bell struggles, the team can and will spell him with Ameer Abdullah, an improved Theo Riddick, or promising UDFA Zach Zenner.  The team doesn’t have to just accept that he’s having a rough series, they have options.

It isn’t just he personnel working in favor of this improvement, either.  Schematically, the team is working in their second season under Joe Lombardi.  If they show even a little bit of improvement as a passing team, their ability to run the ball should improve just because of more favorable looks.  Again, we don’t just assume progression, but it was painted all over the preseason by these players. It’s an improved part of their game.

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