The Detroit Lions have several questions to be answered this season. However, their one-two punch in the backfield may be among the best in the NFL.
The pads are now on and the real test will begin. Make no mistake about it, there is no such thing as an ‘easy’ NFL practice. But full pads and contact is a different animal than helmets and shorts.
For the Detroit Lions, this week marked the start of full pads. It marked the first time we have had the opportunity to see the highly touted offensive line in full action. It also was the first chance for the revamped defensive line to turn some heads.
Overall the Lions’ strength is in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but it is the offensive line that is clearly the best unit on this roster. It is upon the backs of this five-headed monster that the Honolulu Blue and Silver expect to find success when they have the ball.
So far for Dan Campbell’s big boys in the trenches, we have seen glimpses of what we expect from them this season. There is still plenty of work to be done before the season arrives, but the first impressions aren’t bad.
Penei Sewell has a lot of talent. It is easy to see what an amazing athlete he is, but there is a lot for him to learn before he will become a dominant force. Meanwhile, Frank Ragnow, Jonah Jackson, and Taylor Decker are going to be as good as advertised.
The offensive line is considered a top 10 unit by many analysts. Chemistry will be the key factor that will determine how good they actually become. It is also the reason they could fail.
All the talent in the world can’t make up for an offensive line that doesn’t play as one. So while the left side of the line should pick up where they left off last season, the right side will need to do their best to catch up. Because if they do, then the Lions have a chance to truly unleash their potent one-two punch.