Through four games, there’s no doubt that the Detroit Lions running game isn’t where it needs to be. The team ranks just 22nd in the league in yards per carry (3.9) and Kerryon Johnson is averaging just 3.4 YPC after averaging 5.4 in his rookie season.
But a couple stats suggest the backs aren’t the problem in Detroit. Johnson and the rest of the Lions backs are actually among the league best in yards after first contact. According to ESPN NFL Matchup, the Lions are sixth in the league in rushing yards after contact with an average of 1.85 yards per play.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that—as logically follows—Lions running backs are facing contact faster than almost any other team in the NFL:
Currently, these teams are averaging the most yards before contact per rush: #GiantsPride #RedSea #Skol #RavensFlock #KeepPounding #GoBills #Browns #DallasCowboys #GoNiners #RaiderNation #WeAreTexans @gregcosell | @MattBowen41 pic.twitter.com/F717gVygtu— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) October 7, 2019
- Pretty awesome story from NPR on DetroitLions.com multimedia reporter Tori Petry.
- PFF’s Timo Riske wrote a quarter-season takeaways piece that talks extensively about Matthew Stafford’s newfound aggressiveness. Here’s a snippet:
I've taken a look into the route data after 5 games of play and revisited what I wrote about four teams (DET, KC, TB, GB) in the offseason. Seems like I was onto something.https://t.co/0wn4I7RJfp pic.twitter.com/Q4g90EOPMt— Moo (@PFF_Moo) October 8, 2019
- Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni talked to the media via teleconference on Tuesday. DetroitLions.com has a nice recap here.
- Our friends at Arrowhead Pride asked this, perhaps rhetorical, question:
And Twitter user—and Lions fan—@Yes_Its_Slim had the perfect response:
- Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon thinks the Lions can take some inspiration from the 49ers’ “Monday Night Football” performance, seeing as they, too, are readying to play on the national stage out of a bye week.
- Bleacher Report tried really, really hard to create a Joker parody this week, and Matthew Stafford turned out to be their best effort as a punching bag. Not everyone is a fan: