Detroit Lions: Will Kerryon Johnson ground these flyin’ Lions?
By Robert Jones
General manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia have made it very clear they expect to turn around the Lions defunct ground game.
With a busy offseason of acquiring help for the offensive line and more talent at running back, the expectations are not just lip service high, but… well, actually high.
So last week when the Lions opened the exhibition season in Oakland, second round pick Kerryon Johnson launched what was probably the most anticipated debut by a Lions running back since Barry Sanders.
Despite the 16-10 loss to the Raiders the ground game was noticeably effective. Kerryon Johnson displayed all the traits we have been hearing about. He was patient, made good decisions and even broke a few tackles.
Everyone aboard the hype train?
Yes, Johnson deserved the kudos he received from his coaching staff and even the media, but we all need to remember that one game doesn’t make a career.
The Lions lack of ability to run the ball ever since Barry packed up his vast talents and went home has been well documented. Yet even with the great drop-off in production, which would naturally happen because Barry is Barry and no one else is, the depths to which the Lions rushing attack has plummeted is far beyond reasonable.
And the worst of it has been since Matthew Stafford came riding into town on the wings of much fanfare.
Quarterbacks receive too much credit when their team wins, but they also get too much blame when their team loses. Football is the ultimate team game. This isn’t basketball where Michael Jordan can carry your team to a championship level all by himself.
Yet if we look at last weeks game against the Raiders, we see the opposite of what we have become accustomed to. The passing game was incompetent and ground game shined.
Kerryon Johnson was very good, but we also need to tip our caps to Ameer Abdullah who showed that he is still very much capable of contributing.
All in all a good start on the ground.