Detroit Lions: Goal is to improve in 2018, but not too much
All three phases of the team failed: offense, defense, and special teams. But the offense is the biggest culprit for the Detroit Lions.
The offense has been given all of the major resources since general manager Bob Quinn took the reigns. What happened on offense was unforgivable, and it starts at the top.
Franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford looked terrible. Stafford is a good quarterback. The best this franchise has ever seen. To take that next step to “great quarterback,” he cannot have games like this.
Each of Stafford’s four interceptions were frustrating to watch. He looked completely out of sync, and one has to wonder if more reps during the preseason would have been beneficial. Stafford should be the guy keeping Detroit in the game. If the scoring becomes a shootout type game, then Stafford should be the one holding his end of the shootout.
Interceptions aside, Stafford wasn’t fully to blame. Outside of wide receiver Kenny Golladay, no one was getting open with consistency. Wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate were not making plays, and they had plenty of good passes bounce off their hands and hit the ground.
The tight ends were able to meet their 2018 expectations: nothing special. The only thing that stood out was a false start penalty against second year tight end Michael Roberts.
After watching former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron catch a touchdown on Sunday for the Indianapolis Colts, it would have been nice to see Roberts step up against the Jets. But he recorded zero receptions. Roberts really needs to make an impact this season, but will he get a chance if he keeps playing like this?
The offensive line was far from a cohesive unit. Stafford rarely had a clean pocket, which contributed greatly to his sorry play. Then there is the run blocking, which was atrocious. The team rushed for 40 yards on 14 carries. That isn’t enough yards for a satisfactory half, much less an entire game.
The investment in running backs Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount look like an absolute waste after one game. Not because they lack talent, but because they are behind a line that gets no push. If the run game is ever going to work, the offensive line needs to play better.