Star players are dropping like flies around the league, but the Detroit Lions are getting back key players at a critical juncture of the season.
Mercifully Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker returned to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford’s blindside this past weekend against the Cleveland Browns. Decker missed the first half of the season and after Detroit’s experiment with left tackle Greg Robinson failed his return couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Lions’ offensive line has been a problem throughout the year and with a suspect running game the team will need to give Stafford time to sling the rock as they’ll rely heavily on his arm to carry them into the playoffs.
Decker’s return should help immensely and I think I speak for every Lions fan when I say I’m excited to see the franchises’ bookend tackles, Decker and Rick Wagner, in action together #DetroitBlockCity. I just made that up, but if Decker and Wagner dominate I think that could catch on.
Detroit also welcomed back offensive lineman Corey Robinson who apparently played guard for the first time since he was in high school. Filling in for veteran guard T.J. Lang, who should be returning from a concussion soon, Robinson held his own against the Browns defensive front.
There is now unprecedented depth on the offensive line and the Lions’ abysmal running game and shoddy pass protection should improve over the stretch run.
Another key contributor returned against the Browns and made sure his presence was felt. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay is back and looking every bit like the dynamic rookie deep threat we came to know and love early on this season. Golladay gives Detroit another weapon and will demand attention from opposing defensive coordinators.
The Lions are getting some critical pieces back as they tackle their favorable remaining schedule. They truly have no excuses now and while the team does have its warts (no running game, weak pass rush, etc) they should be able to keep the heat on the Minnesota Vikings who may be facing a divisive decision at quarterback with the return of Teddy Bridgewater.
I’m still all in on Detroit winning the division. They have just enough talent and grit to get it done this season, but if they fail to do so they won’t be able to blame the injury bug like many other NFL teams.
Also Pro Bowl voting is open and these are the Lions players I think are deserving of a trip to Orlando:
Darius Slay – Slaying opposing wide receivers every week and earning the Big Play Slay name
Glover Quin – MVP of the team and arguably the best safety in the league
Jamal Agnew – Simply electric (looking like a great pick by general manager Bob Quinn)
Golden Tate – YAC (yards after the catch) machine
A’Shawn Robinson – Swats balls and does other cool stuff
Graham Glasgow – A bright spot on a disappointing offensive line
Matt Prater – $$$$
Help vote these guys in they deserve it!