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The Shadow
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Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions

Three of the four teams reaching conference championship games during the 2017 NFL season were .500 or below the year before - Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville.

So it’s possible the Lions, with a solid off-season of roster building by general manager Bob Quinn, and a new head coach Matt Patricia infusing energy, could do the same, right? The Lions wouldn’t be coming that far. They won nine games in ’16 and ’17, and have averaged nine wins the last four campaigns.

Of course, it’s not that simple, but possible. The Lions have a good nucleus. A rebuild is not in order.

Defense and running the football are the keys. In fact, how obvious they are is stunning.

Minnesota allowed the fewest yards and fewest points in the NFL last season. Jacksonville was second in both categories. The Super Bowl champion Eagles were fourth in yards and points allowed per game.

The other conference finalist was traditional power New England, whose defensive coordinator was Patricia. The Patriots were 29th in yards allowed, but just fifth in points yielded per game.

The Lions’ defense was 27th in yards and 21st in points allowed per game.

The Lions’ defense features a solid secondary (Glover Quin, Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs), which kept them in games by forcing a lot of turnovers. The Lions were fourth in the NFL in interceptions with 19 (tied with Philadelphia), but just 20th in sacks with 35, and 27th in passing yards allowed. They were 20th in run defense, allowing 4.2 yards per carry. It’s a very telling stat in comparison to their rushing offense. The Lions were last in the NFL in rushing yards, averaging an NFL-worst 3.4 yards per carry.

The Lions will have a prolific passing attack. Matthew Stafford is a franchise quarterback and in his prime, and there are no signs wide receivers Golden Tate or Marvin Jones are slowing down. Given the base of the passing attack, all promising young receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Eric Ebron have to do is hold onto the ball. Stafford will find them, and they should be open.

But you must run the ball. Jacksonville led the NFL in rushing, Philly was third, Minnesota seventh and New England 10th.

In 2016 Jacksonville was 22nd rushing, the Eagles 11th and Minnesota dead last - 32rd. It was no coincidence what running the ball meant to the win-loss record.

Think New England doesn’t run the ball effectively and relies totally on Tom Brady. Think again. The Patriots have been seventh (’16) and 10th (’17) in rushing yards the past two years.

The Lions need more than one running back. The Vikings drafted the sensational Dalvin Cook last season, but would have been lost if they didn’t have steady veteran Latavius Murray after Cook was injured. LaGarrette Blount was a genuine difference maker for Philadelphia. First-round draft pick Leonard Fournette’s impact on the Jaguars is indisputable.

Quinn has a lot of decisions to make this off season. Can he wait past the first round and still select the right running back? How good are the linebackers available? Will any at 20th overall merit a first-round pick? Quinn was really good signing mid-level free agents his first year, not-so-good his second. Can he regain his Midas touch in that regard?

Seems obvious Patricia, one way or another, is going to can the Lions’ wide-nine concept, which has been the staple of their defense since Jim Schwartz was head coach. Where does pending free agent end Ziggy Ansah fit into that? How about tackle Haloti Ngata? If Lions are running a 30 front, is Ngata still a bonafide two-gap nose? Can A’Shawn Robinson become one? If the the Lions’ re-sign Ngata, what would be the cost? He was paid nearly $12 million combined the last two seasons for limited production and he’s 34.

There are a lot more questions than answers at this point.

What is crystal clear, however, is what the Lions must do in order to genuinely improve.

For proof, check out the Eagles, Vikings and Jags.

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20180216/pat-caputo-needs-much-more-obvious-than-answers-for-detroit-lions

The Shadow
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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Seems the Lions are far worse than their record shows. They have been one dimensional on offense for several years now. Will Patricia be able to revamp that Defense on the fly or are the Lions looking at a 2-3 year Defensive rebuild. The lack of a running game has crippled their efforts for several years now. Relying on Stafford to make that offense go on his own, is a recipe for for being average.

I look for the Bears to gain on the Lions this season and maybe even surpass them. Sending the Lions back to the basement. Though the Packers may be getting in their way.

I am sure our old pal Rexxy will be along here to tell us how their new future Hall of Fame HC will bring home multiple Lombardi's. I am sure Detroit will make room in the trophy case next to all those Lombardi's Caldwell brought the Motor City.

re-Build 3.0

My 2018 Prediction...7-9 or 8-8 if they get lucky.

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY The Shadow

..... The Lions have a good nucleus. A rebuild is not in order.

The Lions’ defense was 27th in yards and 21st in points allowed per game.

 The Lions were last in the NFL in rushing yards, averaging an NFL-worst 3.4 yards per carry.

 

What is crystal clear, however, is what the Lions must do in order to genuinely improve.

 

 

 

Yep, this article can be summed up in those last three sentences but I'm not so sure I agree with the first.  That D requires more than just a couple missing parts, and there is more to the problems at running the ball than just finding a RB. 

Butkus never wore an earring

Lionrexx
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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Hey boys, don't worry about us..Were just hopin to be able to win a couple games...wink

The Shadow
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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Oh, I think the Lions luck has run out there!

re-Build 3.0

My 2018 Prediction...7-9 or 8-8 if they get lucky.

Lionrexx
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POST COUNT: 2205
Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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They may surprise ya Shadow...Hope ya can keep up wink

The Shadow
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY Lionrexx

They may surprise ya Shadow...Hope ya can keep up wink

They won't surprise me at all. History is against the Lions now. They just cannot sustain it and will start to slide back. It is inevitable and just as likely as it raining 20 minutes after you wash your car.

re-Build 3.0

My 2018 Prediction...7-9 or 8-8 if they get lucky.

Galad
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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I can't help but wonder if part of their running issues has something to do with Stafford. We don't know exactly what their system is like, but you can't be as bad at running as Det is without some blame going on your QB. I mean he's making calls at the line, he's a vet. I'd love to know how often he checks out of a run to a pass. He has a bit of Cutler in him. He believes in his arm a bit much. Regardless, I'm not sure I've seen a team more ineffective at running the football. Det should just be grateful they've been able to play a horrible Bears team twice a year for the last several years. With the collapse of GB their luck has been uncanny. It can't last however, and they will wish they had more to show for it. 

 

 ChickenLittle 4.jpg 

Lionrexx
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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Honestly, I think the injuries on the O-line destroyed our run game, with the loss of Decker at LT for the year, our center Swanson, out for the year, our RT Wagner out for a number of games, and our RG TJ Lang out a lot of games...it was all up to the backups, and they were unable to get any continuity which hurt our ground game. Next man up wasn't enough to get it done, but they will all be back at 100% this year, and they are looking to make a splash with a RB in the draft. We shall see...a lot of talk about Barkley, but will they do it ....

Lionrexx
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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Look at all the responses....is anyone here anymore?....I'm banned from FB....Nobody to talk to angel

Corn Cob
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Re: Needs much more obvious than answers for Detroit Lions
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I didn't know it was possible to get banned from FB, Rex!?!?

Did you post in the wrong forum? cheekydevil

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