The Detroit Lions offense has been All-World bad in 2021. They’ve struggled to do much and it’s hard not to exclusively blame the Lions offense for all their losses. The only time the Lions have put up 20 or more points in a game this season was in Week 1, and they only had 17 points at the two-minute warning in that game. Since then , Detroit has averaged 14.4 points per game. Detroit is currently 29th in points per game and 27th in yards per play.
So where should the blame go? It’s really easy to blame Jared Goff, and most of the criticisms lobbied against him are totally warranted. But how much blame should Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn shoulder?
So far it seems like he’s shouldered none of it with Goff being the scapegoat. With the passes short of the sticks and the constant screens, Goff is the one throwing the ball, Lynn is the guy drawing it up. Saying that Lynn is drawing up only what Goff is capable of doesn't seem like a good enough excuse anymore.
Lynn hasn’t shown a lot of creativity this season. The Lions offense has been wildly predicable to the point where you can sit in your living room and call the screen to T.J. Hockenson—that seems to happen every game—right before it happens. Opposing defenses have clearly caught on, ttoo. It’s time to try new things. The Lions are far past the point where playing it safe is the right thing to do. It’s time to draw up stuff on offense that nobody will see coming.
Another issue is that guys on offense keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The holds, Goff’s backpedaling, false starts, Goff’s backpedaling, poor route running and Goff’s backpedaling. This is where a coach should be doing the most coaching. You have to break these players of their bad habits or bad things will continue to happen.
I’m not saying that Anthony Lynn should be fired. I am saying that he should be on notice, though. Of all the coaches on this staff, his job should be the only one that isn’t 100 percent safe right now. I would like to see what he can do with better personnel, but right now I’ve seen nothing inspiring from the Lions offense, and many things need to change.
Why it’s an overreaction
The fact of the matter is that this offense is a total patchwork outside of D'Andre Swift and Hockenson. None of the skill players on this offense figure to be around past 2022. Some of them will be gone as early as March.
On top of that, the Lions offensive line is missing their two best—and most important—pieces. Lastly, yeah, Goff is not a good quarterback. His inability to go through his read progressions has undoubtedly impacted Lynn’s ability to scheme up an offense.
With all of that in mind, it is really hard to fully blame Lynn for how bad this offense has been. The man has nothing to work with, and it almost feel like it’d be a waste of time to throw away any creativity on guys whoa ren’t going to be in for the long term.
We’ll really get to answer this question once the Lions have bulked up at receiver and have their quarterback of the future out there. That’s when we can really judge the the Lions’ offensive coordinator’s performance. Until then, he’s safe and he should be safe.