A new identity for the Detroit Lions might be needed

SideLion Report

Stop me if you’ve heard this before … the Detroit Lions need to fix their run game. Yes, new year, the same problem. However, with quarterback Matthew Stafford gone, Detroit will need the help of their running backs and offensive line more than ever. It has to be an emphasis, a new identity.

The Lions’ commitment to quarterback Jared Goff has extended past a one-year flier. His new contract gives the impression that he’ll be with the team for at least two seasons. It’s safe to say that the new regime in the motor city wants Goff to pan out. For that to happen, the Lions will need to build a rushing attack that the organization hasn’t seen in decades.

Why is it so important? Let’s take a look at Goff’s four-year career as a full-time starter. In his best two seasons, 2017 and 2018, he was accompanied by one of the league’s best rushing attacks led by running back Todd Gurley.

2017 
Goff’s Stats: 3,804 Yards, 28 TDs, 7 INTs, 62.1 Completion Percentage, 100.5 Rating
Team Run Ranking: 8th

2018 
Goff Stats: 4,688 Yards, 32 TDs, 12 Ints, 64.9 Completion Percentage, 101.1 Rating
Team Run Ranking: 3rd

It was quite a run for Goff, who was on his way to becoming an elite quarterback in the NFL. And the Los Angeles Rams rewarded him with a max contract for it. Unfortunately, Goff crossed the bridge that every highly paid quarterback comes by. The loss of talent.

Whether if it’s from injuries or the team having no money to replace those who left in free agency, they’ll have to prove that they can do without. Goff has had to do without and couldn’t sustain his high level of play in the past two years.

2019
Goff Stats: 4,638, 22 TDs, 16 INTs, 62.9 Completion Percentage, 86.5 Rating
Team Run Ranking: 26th

2020 
Goff Stats: 3,952, 20 TDs, 13 INTs, 67.0 Completion Percentage, 90.0 Rating
Team Run Ranking: 10th

So, if the Lions want Goff to return to his 2017-2018 form, they’ll need to focus on putting on offense around him. When the talent around him has dropped, his play falls in line with it.

The irony is strong in Detroit. Bringing in a quarterback who relies on his rushing attack doesn’t feel ideal when the franchise hasn’t had one in forever. Despite that, the Lions are re-building and are in the process of stockpiling picks for the next two seasons.

Perhaps they can build that offense for Goff. If he doesn’t pan out, they should have a strong foundation for the next quarterback.

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