Detroit Lions: He who hesitates hinders the offense

Lions quarterback Jared Goff passes during training camp on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, in Allen Park.Lions
Lions quarterback Jared Goff passes during training camp on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, in Allen Park.Lions /
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D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The bomb strikes fear in the heart of the defense

Jared Goff is not Matthew Stafford. We all know that. We also know that Goff has struggled with turnovers the last two seasons. That being said we shouldn’t expect Goff to stretch defenses the way Matthew did.

However, not stretching the field at all will handicap the offense.

No one can realistically think Goff will be chucking the ball downtown all game long. The bread and butter of the Lions’ offense will be the rushing attack. Behind an improving offensive line, the talents of running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams will be expected to produce a consistent ground game.

Yet in today’s NFL, teams must be able to pass the ball. Ideally, head coach Dan Campbell would like to see a balanced offense that can grind out yards at will on the ground and create plays in the passing game.

Occasionally the ground game will lend a chunk play to a drive, but most big plays come from the passing game. The point? If a team can grind the ball down the field on the ground and score, that’s great. However, in the NFL big plays often lead to points.

That means that either a ball carrier breaks a long run or a receiver turns a short pass into a big play or the offense connects on a long pass.

All three are difficult to make happen, but the most direct route that strikes fear in the heart of a defense is the long pass.

Keeping opposing defenses honest is one of the primary goals of an offense. Connecting on a deep pass will definitely keep them honest. As a matter of fact, just attempting a couple of deep passes, even if they don’t connect, will keep the defense on its toes just due to the threat.

Not attempting to stretch the defense will cause it to sit on those short to intermediate throws. In turn that will cause turnovers and for the offense to struggle.