Detroit Lions Offensive Line Second Worst In NFC North


The 2016 season has ended and the post-season grades are coming in and they aren’t all good for the Detroit Lions. The popular narrative coming from Allen Park in the aftermath of a play-off loss to Seattle is that the Lions have over-achieved this season. The recent rankings from Pro-Football focus would support that line of thought.

One of the bright spots for the Detroit Lions has been the play of the offensive line.  Strong season’s from Larry Warford and Travis Swanson’s were only surpassed by the rookie Taylor Decker’s performance who turned out to be the highest rated lineman on the offensive front.

However the Detroit Lions offensive line’s emergence didn’t do much to impress the master-evaluaters at pro-football focus. They ranked the Lion’s offensive line second worst in the NFC North ahead of only the Minnesota Vikings.  Even the Chicago Bears performed better in the trenches.

"The biggest issue this team had was at LG, where the combination of Graham Glasgow and Laken Tomlinson simply took turns getting abused. As a pair, they surrendered six sacks, 10 penalties, and 49 total pressures, with neither countering that form with dominant run-blocking displays. – Pro Football Focus"

Lions fans have the bad habit of being “satisfied” with the slightest bit of improvement and tend to over-estimate performances.  This is the case when it comes to the offensive line. The group was improved from last season to be sure.  But there is obviously still more work to be done on the interior.

Laken Tomlinson was the latest linemen to come to the Detroit Lion’s via high draft pick.  The 2017 season will be pivotal for the guard from Duke if he is to become a perennial starter in the NFL. Decker, Warford, Swanson and Glasgow are on track to show improvement next season. Just a small improvement from Tomlinson could make a huge impact as the Detroit Lions try to build a solid running game in 2017. A running game that will be vital if the Lion’s hope to return to the playoffs in 2017.

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