The Detroit Lions have been trying to piece together a competent offensive line longer than many fans can remember. And while one game is hardly a sample size worthy of any declarations, left tackle Taylor Decker was happy with a lot of what he saw from his group after Sunday’s season-opener.
“Yeah, so we just watched the film today, and there was definitely plenty of positives to take away from the offensive line play,” Decker said. “I mean, obviously, at the end of the day what matters is wins and losses, but I do think we’ve laid a good foundation throughout camp and throughout the all the Zoom OTA meetings, to try and maximize what we could do in that time to be able to lay a foundation for a good run game.
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In the disappointing loss to the Bears, quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked just once. Not bad for blocking that surrendered more than 40 each of the past two seasons. But more impressive was the ground game, which averaged 4.8 yards per carry, a mark they topped just three times a year ago.
Much of that damage was done by new addition Adrian Peterson, who racked up 93 yards on 14 carries. That total included five runs of at least 10 yards and a long of 21.
“Adrian did an awesome job, especially coming in on short notice, I guess, to get into the offense and learn the playbook,” Decker said. “I think you saw it with him, and you can see it with our other backs — if we can get them to the second level, they can make guys miss and make explosive plays.
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“That’s huge for us as an O-line and it fires us up to want to block for a guy like that,” Decker continued. “Because when we execute our job, we know we’re going to get big plays. Just wearing on defenses and making them defend the run opens up the rest of the game for us, so Adrian, along with all our other backs, we know they have the ability to make guys miss at the second level and get to the third level. That’s exciting to see. Like I said, watching the tape, it’s a good thing to build on moving forward.”
Detroit’s next opponent, Green Bay, offers a clear opportunity to build on the Week 1 performance. In the Packers’ season-opening victory, they allowed the Minnesota Vikings to rush for 6.1 yards per carry.