The Detroit Lions may have found a cure for their ground game blues
By Robert Jones
Might makes right
Against the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions did display what would have to be considered an effective ground game. Sure they didn’t have a marquee 100-yard game from anyone on their roster, but they ran the ball effectively. In other words, the Dallas defense actually had to spend some time and energy trying to stop the Lions from running the ball.
Detroit as a team rushed for 121 yards on 28 attempts for a team average of 4.3 yards per carry. That is something the Lions would and should take any week of any season. A positive rushing day is always a welcome sight.
Now having pointed that out we also need to consider that quarterback Jeff Driskel had 51 of those yards. If your searching for a rushing attack for next season when it would be expected that Matthew Stafford will be back in the lineup and is not going to gain those type of yards, that becomes a factor in the learning process.
The Lions actually gained 70 yards on 20 carries without Driskel for a 3.5-yard average. But Bo Scarbrough gained 55 of those remaining yards on 14 carries averaging 3.9 yards a haul. So what should Matt Patricia and his staff have learned from this?
If you think my next statement is that Bo Scarbrough is the answer, then you’d be wrong, but he might be part of the answer.
Much like the second half of last season as we all watched the Lions just playing out the string, like this year, and having Kerryon Johnson shelved with an injury, like this year, the only success Detroit had running the ball was pretty much when they turned to little-used Zach Zenner and basically let him power through any hole he could find for as many yards as he could find.
That’s what the Lions did last Sunday. They had the offensive line make any kind of crease they were capable of and then slammed Scarbrough into that crease for as many yards as possible.
Was it a work of art? Well, it won’t make anyone forget the artistry of Barry Sanders, but if it’s effective, then you’re at least on the right track. Right now with Matthew out and the season basically lost, it’s a matter of finding something that works. It wasn’t spectacular and didn’t win the game for them, but with a decent defense and Matthew in the game, they would have won.