While last week, the Detroit Lions run defense was rightfully under the microscope following the Carolina Panthers’ dominance on the ground, Detroit’s own run game has been stuck in neutral for far too long. Even during this 6-2 stretch, the Lions have struggled to run the ball immensely, especially compared to how they looked over the first seven games.
Games 1-7: 183 rushes, 956 yards, 5.2 YPC
Games 8-15: 233 rushes, 854 yards, 3.7 YPC
Per offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, the running game hit a new low last week against the Panthers.
“The last two games we’ve had as many negative runs—minus yardage runs—as we’ve had the first five games of the season (combined),” Johnson said. “So, we’re not even getting our guys back to the line scrimmage and allowing our backs to potentially break tackles.”
It’s unclear what exactly is ailing the Lions rushing attack right now, as the team bolsters an offensive line t hat is about as healthy as its been all season (Frank Ragnow’s toe injury aside). But could this be the week the Lions finally rebound?
On this week’s First Byte podcast, we invite old friend and Bears writer Robert Zeglinski back to the show to tell us why Chicago’s defense has struggled so much this year, where they are the most vulnerable, and any standout players that Lions fans should be worried about.
We also talk about the progression of young quarterback Justin Fields, how he’s grown as a passer, and what the Buffalo Bills did to slow him down last week.
All of that, predictions and more on this week’s episode of First Byte. Check it out below:
Subscribe to the PODcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or iHeartRadio. Follow Pride Of Detroit on Twitch to get notified when we record the PODcast live and chat with us. Video replays are available on Twitch and highlights can be founded on YouTube.