Lions fans, rejoice: the curse is finally over. It took five years, 70 games, and too many running backs to remember, but the Lions finally had a 100-yard rusher. The team’s dominance on the ground allowed them to control the clock and keep Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense on the sidelines, leading to a 16-point win that nailed last week’s bold prediction of the week. That puts me at two-for-two the last two weeks on bold predictions, and they’ve been fairly outlandish. Which brings us to this week—what was that? You liked Kerryon’s performance last week? Wait till you see this.
Bold prediction of the week: Kerryon Johnson tears apart injured Cowboys defense, runs for 125 yards, 2 TDs
How’s that for upping the ante? If I’m here next week talking about how I’m on a hot streak with these predictions, I’ll be a happy man and the Lions will undoubtedly have dominated the Cowboys.
This is very feasible. Last week, the Lions’ offensive line was getting plenty of push off the line, gaining traction and reaching the second level for their double teams. It was unlike anything Lions fans had ever seen! A large portion of Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount’s rushes were in the 7-to-10 yard range, getting stood up by linebackers and safeties at the second level rather than defensive linemen.
This week, the Lions face a much tougher defensive line—the Patriots’ line is among the worst in the league. The Lions will have to take care of business against the likes of Taco Charlton and DeMarcus Lawrence, and it won’t be easy.
That being said, the Lions should find much better success at the second level if they can get there. Star linebacker Sean Lee is out two-to-four weeks after tweaking his hamstring in last week’s game, and anyone with knowledge of the Cowboys will tell you how important he is to that defense. In years past when Lee has been lost for the season, the Cowboys defense has simply fallen apart.
The Lions still have to start every rush by handling the defensive line. That being the case, I’d expect a lot fewer 7-to-10 yard rushes like we saw against the Pats, and much more in the 3-to-5 yard range. I’m optimistic about what comes after, however. If Kerryon Johnson can get to the second level, I think he could make quick work of the Cowboys’ secondary and we could see him break off a long run—maybe even several. It won’t be easy, but it’s not out of the question.