Detroit Lions: Week 17 should be a Tion Green showcase
With nothing left to prove this season, the Detroit Lions should turn rookie running back Tion Green loose to see if he can carry the load in the Motor City.
The Detroit Lions have struggled to produce a consistent ground game for several seasons now. In fact, the last time the Lions had a running back gain 100-yards or more in a single game was Reggie Bush, back in Week 13 of the 2013 NFL regular season. That was over four years ago!
That could all change on Sunday, but only if the Lions are willing to let rookie running back Tion Green run wild on a Green Bay Packers defense that has allowed opposing rushers to gain 116.1 yards per game on the ground against them.
Inconsistent offensive line play, a coaching staff who loves to pass-first and a lack of talent in the backfield have all combined this season to make the Motor City the worst rushing offense in the entire league. But let’s face it. This is nothing new for Detroit, who arguably haven’t had a dominate running back since the days of Barry Sanders.
But in the Lions’ last four games, Green has been able to string together some solid performances as a back-up to starter Theo Riddick. In that span, the undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati has racked up 144 rushing yards and two scores on 33 carries. Green leads the team with a 4.4 yards per carry average, and if he had enough attempts to qualify, would currently rank 12th in the NFL in that category.
"“[Tion Green’s] young,” wrote Kyle Meinke for Mlive.com recently. “He makes mistakes. He runs too much east and west for a guy that big, and needs to learn to get north and south. His pass protection needs work. But he’s producing, for a running game that has struggled to produce at all this season.”"
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Tion Green is a downhill runner who should be making his bones between the tackles, which is perfect for this current version of the Detroit Lions. The 24-year old runner has proven to be more effective than any other back on the roster. In the Lions’ final game of the season, with the playoffs out of reach, Detroit should absolutely set Green loose.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll find themselves another 100-yard rusher for the first time in four years.