Detroit Lions: Winning formula must develop into a new identity
Could a second win be on the horizon? Even before the win against the Patriots, this Week 4 clash with the Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) looked winnable. The biggest issue with the game is that it is on the road, but Detroit has one advantage going into this week: the ground game.
The improved running game is Detroit’s best asset moving forward. Here are the rushing numbers for the Detroit Lions running backs against New England:
- Kerryon Johnson – 16 carries, 101 yards, 6.3 yards per carry
- LeGarrette Blount – 16 carries, 48 yards, 3.0 yards per carry
Johnson was absolutely fantastic at rushing the ball. Especially considering his longest run was just 15 yards. Johnson didn’t make his yards with one long 70 yard run. He was simply effective play after play.
Blount’s average clearly isn’t as good, but he truly has become one of the best free agent acquisitions by general manager Bob Quinn. Blount gets the tough yards and compliments Johnson’s style quite well. He has shown leadership along with maturity. All the while, Blount seems to enjoy the success of his teammates as much as his own.
This newfound rush attack not only improves the offense by making the Detroit Lions less predictable, but also improves the defense by controlling the clock and sustaining drives. The less the defense is out there, the better they can perform over the long haul of the game.
During the Patriots game, it was a role reversal for the two teams. Detroit is usually the team racking up the early “three and outs” and getting nowhere on the ground. When this happened to the Patriots, it created frustration for the offense that snowballed into ineffectiveness for most of the game.
Then Detroit’s productivity running the ball kept sustaining the drives. Not just in terms of nice chunks of yardage on the ground, but the ability to open up the passing lanes for quarterback Matthew Stafford. If Detroit can commit to running the ball again this Sunday, they could very well beat the Cowboys.