Detroit Lions one-two punch may be among the NFL’s best
By Robert Jones
Teams that run the ball well can compete
The success and failure of every season are determined by many factors. Whether it be talent level, coaching ability, or just schematic progress.
For the Detroit Lions, the 2021 season is about taking the first step in their journey towards competitiveness. Coach Dan Campbell and his staff have made every effort to build camaraderie while competing as hard as his troops can.
Will the results be enough for the Lions to win games? The experts don’t seem to think so and it’s not that far-fetched to imagine this roster that still has holes in it to have struggles.
But it’s also not that far-fetched to envision Campbell’s high efforts players being competitive.
If the Lions do have a losing record as expected, there is reason to believe that they could very well be on the short end of many close games. There are a few reasons why this could be the case.
The first is coaching. Rather than making everything as complex as possible, Campbell and his staff want their players to simply focus on the task at hand and play fast instead of thinking too much. This is especially true for the defense.
The natural improvement the defense should make from playing faster and being more aggressive should mean more stops. That doesn’t mean the Motown hitmen have suddenly turned into the Doomsday Defense, but it does mean they should be respectable enough to be competent. And any defensive improvement means a better opportunity to be competitive.
The last factor is the running game. Teams that can run the ball and play respectable defense can compete. They may not be championship contenders yet since these Lions still have definite needs, but with good execution and playing hard until the whistle, they have the capability to be in games until the final gun.
D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are both talented and versatile. Barring injury, they will be one of the best one-two punches in the NFL and give the Lions an opportunity to be competitive week in and week out. How many games they win might be another matter, but it shouldn’t be due to a lack of production from the backfield.