The Detroit Lions offensive line is in a state of flux with Taylor Decker’s injury. But with Penei Sewell shining bright, it’s a good problem to have.
For Lions fans, it’s been the same problem year after year for a few decades; the rushing attack stinks and the pass protection is inconsistent. That in itself is a major handicap to overcome, much less when we consider how poor the defense has been for the most part too.
The last time opposing defenses feared the Lions’ ground game Barry Sanders was embarrassing them left and right. Since his retirement on July 27, 1999, Detroit has not been able to muster much of a rushing attack.
Any success the Lions had over the last dozen seasons was because of quarterback Matthew Stafford carrying them. Reggie Bush was the only Detroit back that rushed for over one thousand yards while Stafford was in the Motor City and that was back in 2013.
Suffice it to say that running the ball has been a problem. Despite the Lions hiring coach after coach who continued to claim the Honolulu Blue and Silver would run the ball, it always ended with the same old story; Detroit couldn’t run to save their lives.
This year there is a new regime in town. Head coach Dan Campbell has proclaimed what so many others have before; the Lions will run the ball. With Matthew Stafford now in Los Angeles and no longer able to carry them, these Motor City cats will need to run the ball if they expect to have any success.
General manager Brad Holmes used the draft to add more talent to the trenches on both sides of the ball. Heading into the season opener against San Francisco both the offensive and defensive lines were expected to be the Lions’ strengths.
However, the offensive line was missing a key contributor against the 49ers. Left tackle Taylor Decker. There had already been concerns surrounding these rebuilding Lions, but suddenly the tension rose. But maybe it was just a bit premature.