Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones thinks their offense can be the best in the league. He’s just forgetting about having the worst running game in the NFL.
The Detroit Lions had the worst running game in the league last season. They rushed for 1,221 total yards in 2017. That was 145 yards less than the next closest NFL team (Cincinnati Bengals) and 1,041 yards from the league-leader (Jacksonville Jaguars).
Despite those facts, the Lions’ offense still finished 13th overall last year. And that falls on the shoulders of quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wide receiver corps. The latter featuring a trio of talented wide outs in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., and rookie Kenny Golladay. They reeled in 181 combined receptions for 2,581 yards and 17 scores in 2017. Both Tate and Jones posted 1,000+ receiving yard seasons.
Possessing a top ten-level passing offense, is it any wonder that this group is ultra-confident in the air? But their lack of a consistent ground game has really hurt this team. It’s a fact that seems lost on Jones.
"“We have all the ability to be the best in the league,” Jones told the Detroit Free Press on Friday. “We have all the tools … With our second year, you seen a lot of improvement. You seen a lot of continuity within all of us, cause it was all of our first year in the system, Jim Bob included, so we’re all getting to know each other and stuff. And this past year I think a lot of things were done.”"
Honestly, is it any surprise that a wide receiver would forget about the team having the worst rushing attack in the NFL last year? Obviously, Jones is displaying confidence in his teammates and coaches, something you’d want to do during an interview at radio row in preparation for Sunday’s Super Bowl. But to say that Detroit has all the tools to dominate offensively without a running game is ridiculous.
But let’s also remember Jones’ benefits from the extra looks. A team bolstering two 1,000+ yard receivers is rare. And if Detroit suddenly started running the ball effectively, those passing targets go down. But let’s not forget that Stafford, the one responsible for doling out all those passes, was sacked a whopping 47 times last season, second most in the NFL. And that is a direct result of having zero running threat.
It’s great for Marvin Jones to think the Detroit Lions could soon have the best offense in the NFL. But to say they have all the tools to do so while also possessing the league’s worst running game is straight-up fiction.