One of the biggest complaints of the Matt Patricia was his insistence—on both sides of the ball—to stop the run. According to his philosophy, those were two of the most important things a team needs to accomplish in order to succeed in this league. People griped, however, that this was an old-school train of thought and the NFL has evolved to a passing league. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson don’t care if you can stop the run if they can throw for 350 yards and four touchdowns on you.
But even myself—someone who mostly subscribes to the idea that stopping the run is a wasted effort—can recognize that some weeks it is important to both run the ball and/or stop the run. And this week may be it for the Detroit Lions.
Even though we saw Matthew Stafford finally unleashed and it resulted in 34 points against a well-respected defense, the game plan may need to be different this week. Stafford could outduel Mitchell Trubisky, but I’m not sure he can Aaron Rodgers in the midst of one of his best seasons ever. Plus, the Packers aren’t particularly good at stopping the run, and D’Andre Swift looks like he’s ready for a return.
So today’s Question of the Day is: Should the Lions simply try to play keep away from the Packers offense and run the ball on Sunday?
My answer; To a degree, yes. I think the Lions are too mistake prone to try and win a 38-35 type of game, so their best chances at coming away Sunday with a win is to grind out possessions, and try to win it 24-20 or something like that.
That being said, the Lions also have to realize that Green Bay is going to score points. That means even when the game is close, you’ll have to be aggressive on offense. That means going for it on fourth-and-short. That means not just giving up on a third-and-15 with a draw play. That means still taking the occasional deep shot, even when trying to control the clock.
More than most weeks, the Lions should try to establish the run, but if it becomes clear the defense is only giving up quick scores, they’ll have no choice but to embrace the shootout.
Should the Lions focus on the run vs. the Packers?
This poll is closed
Yes, keep Aaron Rodgers off the field for as long as possible