Detroit Lions: Is this player the key to the 2021 season?

Detroit Lions (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Production by land or by air

The early favorite to be the biggest key to any success the Lions will have this fall has to be D’Andre Swift.

When you consider that the best chance Jared Goff has to succeed is by running a play-action passing game, which is, of course, dependent on a ground game that defenses have to respect, that makes Swift the straw that will stir the Lions offense. Especially given his ability to contribute to the passing game as well.

And while new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, as well as Dan Campbell, have both talked about wanting to be able to both run and pass the ball, right now the strength of the Lions personnel offensively is in the rushing attack.

So how productive D’Andre Swift is by land or by air will go a long way towards determining how effective the Lions’ offense will be. Going hand-in-hand with that concept is the fact that the better the Lions run the ball, the better their time of possession should be. That means less time the defense, which is a work in progress, is on the field.

Ultimately, it comes down to one question; if Swift plays well and is productive, what other player will have more influence on the Lions’ fortunes next season? Once the new year begins and the Matthew Stafford trade becomes official, Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell will be busy at work finding pieces to rebuild the Detroit Lions.

Free agency and the draft will present opportunities to find some young talent to add to the roster as well as the possibilities of swinging more trades. One way or another next season will be a starting point for the Lions’ new regime.

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No one expects that starting point to be overly successful. Rome wasn’t built in a day and rebuilding a franchise that has been run into the ground by the previous regime will take time as well. However, as things stand right now, it certainly seems that the Detroit Lions key player next fall will be D’Andre Swift.