Detroit Lions backup quarterback Jeff Driskel has been giving his starting opportunity everything he’s got, including some offensive rushing moves.
In the wake of an injury to Detroit Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, backup quarterback Jeff Driskel has been off and running in this offense. Over the past two weeks, he’s totaled 88 rushing yards including a two-yard touchdown scamper on an option play giving the Lions a 14-10 lead over the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter.
Now, let’s ignore the part of the Detroit Lions ship that’s going up in flames right now…cough, cough, defense, cough. We’re over on the positive side of the ship. The side where new running back Bo Scarbrough falls forward after contact to gain an extra couple of yards and also scores a touchdown. The side where wide receiver Marvin Jones continues to score touchdowns while refusing to be tackled.
On this side of the ship, Driskel is proving to have a very similar skill set as a certain quarterback that’s in a fight with the NFL but still (sort of) trying to get a job. No, this team doesn’t need a 32-year-old QB that comes with a circus show.
Over here, things are still moving in the right direction. Except for Sunday when Driskel had room to run but inexplicably didn’t. Instead, he waited and threw incompletions while trying to force the ball into a covered receiver. His decision not to run was so baffling that even the color commentators were scratching their heads asking why he didn’t just run on multiple occasions.
“Hey, Driskel! You already scored one rushing touchdown at that point. You had nobody within 10 yards in front of you. Why not put those legs to use again?” Those five-to-seven yard runs would have helped way more than the forced incompletions. It was almost offensive he didn’t tuck and run.
Okay, back to the positive side of the ship. Driskel’s young. He’s still learning and will take those easy yards in the next game when he’s given the opportunity. He still put up 51 rushing yards in the game. That’s more than Stafford has ever put up in a single game, by about 20 yards!
To clarify, Driskel and Stafford are different quarterbacks. Nobody expects Stafford to put up big rushing numbers. He’s also not in the situation to easily run as often as Driskel has been the past two weeks.
So far, this Lions team is embracing Driskel’s ability with his legs. At least they are playing to his strengths and giving the team its best chance to pull out victories. He just needs to step up and run when the opportunity presents itself. It’d be offensive for him not to.