Let’s get physical
I think everyone expects not only Matthew Stafford back in the lineup next season, but Kerryon Johnson as well. This is excluding any shortsighted thoughts by the franchise to bring either one of them back this season. Which they shouldn’t.
Kerryon still has a chance to be an outstanding back, but with his history of injury on every level from high school to this very season, the Lions have to do more to ensure a continual, positive arc for their rushing attack than just make him their only ace in the hole.
They had the right idea going into this season when they wanted to make C.J. Anderson their change of pace back, but I’m not sure he was the right player for the role. Could Bo Scarbrough be that type of player? Maybe. I’m not sure he’s an NFL feature back, but can he be effective carrying the ball? I think he certainly proved he’s worth getting a good look at the rest of this year.
What Bo did last Sunday was to always fall forward even if he had nowhere to run. Always finish every run. Backs that do that always make positive contributions. J.D. McKissic is a big-play back, but without better blocking, he is better served being used in specially designed plays in certain situations or as a receiver out of the backfield.
Ty Johnson has tremendous speed but is a little raw and hasn’t shown the ability to win a one-on-one matchup over a linebacker or safety in the hole.
This is where the power-back comes into play. If the O-line doesn’t do their job, he at least keeps it from being a disastrous loss of yards and can often get a positive yard of two while always falling forward.
Is Scarbrough the answer? Again I’m willing to watch his audition the rest of this season, but if he isn’t the one, then the Lions need to find one who can give them the power and boost this ground game needs.
The Lions have so many needs on defense, especially the defensive line and linebacker, that those should, and better be, offseason priorities because continued play like we’re seeing now would only ruin next season as well.
But if the Lions can also acquire a good power back and some more help on the O-line combined with the overall talent they already have on that side of the ball, they could make next year’s offense somewhere between really special and unstoppable.