The Detroit Lions won in a different fashion than in the past, will it lead to a new team identity?
The win on Sunday in Jacksonville looked very different for these Detroit Lions. No, not just because they actually won the game and spared their head coach’s job for at least another week. It’s because they did it without quarterback Matthew Stafford carrying the team and throwing for nearly 400 yards.
The victory came in the trenches with the ground game. What? How can that be? Detroit hasn’t had a 100-yard rusher in years! Well, maybe there have been a couple of 100-yard rushers in the past few years, but not many. Winning on the ground with the occasional big passing play is something new for this Lions team. Could it be their new identity going forward?
That all depends on the coaching. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has sort of been known for his team’s ability to run the ball. Now, that may have been due to the talent at the running back positions, the blocking scheme he employed, the guys on the offensive line … you get the idea.
But running the ball effectively and winning while doing it is something the Detroit Lions have lacked for a long, long time. A huge kudos to rookie running back D’Andre Swift for making it happen. Also, we can’t forget about running back Adrian Peterson showing up in the Motor City and running hard.
The combination of Swift and Peterson wasn’t expected coming into this season, but it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. On a day that Stafford threw for 223 yards and one touchdown, the Lions piled up 34 points. I’m not sure any of us saw this one coming in this fashion. But one more thing needs to be pointed out:
The Lions are the best run-blocking team in the NFL
Back to the question posed by this post – have the 2020 Detroit Lions found a new identity? Can they go forward and continue to pound the rock to victory? Swift and the run blocking will have a lot to say about that. The defense will need to do their part as well, otherwise, the game script is out the window if constantly playing from behind.
If these Detroit Lions keep jumping out to early leads, this ground and pound approach could easily become their new identity as long as it leads to victory. We also need to remember this was one game. Another horrible loss could cause a head coaching change and it all comes crumbling down. But for today, following a victory, let’s stay positive and keep pounding the rock!