Song of the Game is back. Each week, we’ll use a song to describe our feeling or the Lions’ performance from the previous game. At the end of the year, we’ll have a complete Spotify playlist telling the story of the Lions’ 2018 season. You can check out the 2017 playlist here, and our explanations for our choices here.
Detroit Lions vs. Miami Dolphins Song of the Game: “Shockandawe” by Miguel
“I run, I write, I rock
I ran that’s right, I run
I write, I rock, I ran, I’m sayin’...”
Through six games this season, this much is clear: Kerryon Johnson has changed the Detroit Lions offense, and I never want it to be any other way ever again for as long as I live.
Not since Barry Sanders—yes, that Barry Sanders—has Detroit had such a dynamic, game-changing running back. I get its early, and we’ve been here before, but Johnson has proven to not only be this team’s best running back, but it’s pretty clear he’s the team’s most important player not named Matthew Stafford.
I tell you this in June, and you tell me I’ve watched one too many highlight videos. I tell this to you today, and you can’t give me one good reason as to why he isn’t. His Week 7 performance against the Miami Dolphins was confirmation of what we thought we saw in Week 3 against the New England Patriots: Kerryon turns this Lions offense into a unit no longer concerned with clawing its way back into games; he’s setting the tone, and Detroit is now running the show—literally.
Kent Lee Platte runs the numbers around here, and he decided to compile some stats to show how Kerryon is rewriting the Lions record book this early in his career. As far as efficiency goes, Johnson just accomplished something Barry Sanders never did: five straight games of 5.0 yards per carry. Through six games, his 444 yards on just 69 carries make him a benchmark for productivity as a rusher, and as long as he’s getting touches, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be the runner this team needed to diversify to realize its most potent potential.
“I dropped the bomb,
Did I take your bomb?
Just shock and awe,
Better brace yourself...”
Me vs people who tell me to get a haircut https://t.co/2el4fOOFft— Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) October 21, 2018
Kiko Alonso looked like he braced himself for impact here, but he wasn’t ready for the bomb of a stiff arm Kerryon delivered.
It’s a play like this that happens nearly every time he touches the football: the play isn’t over until Kerryon says it is. He’s falling forward, he’s delivering the contact, and he’s running through the outstretched arms of defenders. And in the case in Kiko Alonso’s attempt, sometimes they’re left looking up wondering where they went so wrong in life.
“Give it up, hey!”
Each week, Lions fans—including myself—have been waiting for Kerryon’s role to expand. After Detroit’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Matt Patricia scoffed at the idea that Johnson’s usage wasn’t where it needed to be, making comments about wear and tear over the course of an NFL season.
In Week 7, Kerryon received the most amount of touches in his career, and he made the most of his chances, setting career marks in both rushing yards and yards per attempt.
If you’ve been hard on the coaching staff for their use—or lack thereof—of Kerryon, it’s time to step back off it. Detroit has a plan to keep him fresh well into his rookie season, and the team has other capable backs to help move things along on offense. Give it up, and just enjoy the way the Lions coaching staff has slowly, but surely, turned Johnson into a focal point of the offense.
“Just shock and awe...”