Detroit Lions Offensive Film Review: Week Four

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Oct 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (21) picks up a first down during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Unsurprisingly the NFL’s worst rushing attack couldn’t rebound against the Seahawks stout run defense. They struggled to get anything going and only managed 53 rushing yards (2.9 yards per carry). The offense completely relies on Matthew Stafford, but the Lions offense refuses to give up on the run game. They still are committed to pounding the ball between the tackles on first down and won’t allow the passing game to set up the running game. They are forcing the team to be something its not and at some point its going to have to change.

Even when the Lions are able to get some solid push in the run game it always seems like one player misses a block and ruins the play. On the play above the Lions open up a hole inside against the Seahawks. Tomlinson is able to seal the backside defender on a pull block and Manny Ramirez gets to the second level to take out the linebacker. Meanwhile, Travis Swanson gets roasted by a spin move after he overcommits outside. The defensive tackle is able to spin right into the intended hole and stop Ameer for no gain. Swanson making that block is the difference between solid carry and a drive halting run.

Above is another example that shows exactly what I am talking about. This time Manny Ramirez is the culprit, he gets absolutely rocked off the ball and is pushed right into Ameer’s face in the backfield. The rest of the line actually does a pretty good job setting up the outside zone run, if Manny could of just anchored a little better Ameer had a good cutback lane and Travis Swanson was about to seal off the safety coming down into the box. Instead Ameer is forced to bounce the run to the opposite side of the field and shows off his impressive ability to create something out of nothing. He doesn’t panic, shakes a tackle in the backfield and does a great job to pick up two yards on the blown play.

The Lions struggled running the ball early, but were able to get some much needed yardage late in the game on their final drive. The play above was their longest run of the day and they were able to open up a big hole for Ameer Abdullah. Manny Ramirez and Swanson double the defensive tackle, they get enough push to force the DT right into the linebacker Ramirez needs to engage in the second level effectively taking him out of the play. Ameer does a good job hitting the hole hard and running through contact to gain some extra yards. He runs a lot tougher than a 200 pound back should and could be so good if this offensive line gave him a chance.

All together the run game was pretty terrible, they couldn’t consistently move the ball and failed to have a single impact run against the Seahawks. The offensive line was much closer to being a competent unit against Seattle, but still isn’t consistent enough to produce around. They can’t get push in the run game and have drastically failed to protect Matthew Stafford this season so far.

Next: Joe Lombardi and the Offensive Scheme