Who is the Detroit Lions unsung hero of this fast start to the season?
By Robert Jones
The Lions real unsung heroes
While there has been much to fuel the excitement of Lions fans, no team ever has had success without the unsung efforts of someone who has quietly helped the cause by doing the little things that are essential to win games. Whether it be the dirty work or just playing at a level of consistency that allows their teammates to feed off of it and do their job well.
In the case of the Lions so far, the unsung hero has not been a single player, it has been the entire offensive line.
Coming into the season the offensive line had some definite questions. As a matter of fact, against the Arizona Cardinals, those questions became amplified. Mostly in the form of Taylor Decker‘s poor performance.
However, if we consider their body of work since, they have been the unsung heroes of this team. They did not surrender a sack to either the Chargers or Eagles and were able to open the gate for Kerryon Johnson last Sunday against the Chiefs.
As the season is wearing on, they are only improving. As a matter of fact, that improvement which started in week two was spear-headed by second-year tackle Tyrell Crosby who stepped in for an injured Decker and did not allow a sack.
In professional sports, it’s always about today. How well are we playing today? Did we win today? Everything is geared towards now, but the overall process is about developing the talents and skills of the players on a team to continually improve throughout the course of the season.
The coaches may very well be focused on today but in the process, they are working on making better players for tomorrow.
In the case of the Lions offensive line, they have performed much better than our fears. Especially after the performance in Arizona. They are quietly meshing together working as a cohesive unit and the results are in the way they are making the players on offense around them better.
Matthew Stafford has, in general, had more time to throw than almost any other season of his career. The ground game has been slowly gaining momentum and last week they pried open holes in the Kansas City defense for Kerryon Johnson almost at will.
Next week on Monday Night Football the Lions will travel to Green Bay to start divisional play. Based on how well this team is starting to play, that absolutely has to be considered a winnable game. As does the follow up against the Minnesota Vikings.
Success in the NFL almost invariably comes back to the play in the trenches. If the offensive line can control the line of scrimmage, usually the offense will have success. That success with increase exponentially if that offense has explosive weapons to work with.
For the Detroit Lions who have been pretty solid on defense while slowly trending upwards, if this group of unsung heroes on the Lions offensive line can continue to build upon their solid play over the last three weeks, then the offense will have the ability to start lighting up the scoreboard through the air and on the ground. Which will only help make the Lions solid contenders.