We are knee deep into our latest series from End Zone Score. NFL free agency is in full swing. Teams continue to make decisions that will affect the franchise’s immediate future. The focus here will be on each of the 32 teams’ biggest problems. What is the biggest negative facing each club. More importantly, how is each organization addressing the matter? In this edition we will take a hard look at the Detroit Lions. You can play catch-up here when it comes to the teams we have done to date.
Problem: Running game
Kudos to Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford for a strong showing this past season. A finger injury limited his effectiveness down the stretch in the playoffs. Then again, the lack of a running game in recent seasons has forced the team into becoming far too one-dimensional. Injuries cost Ameer Abdullah the vast majority of the season. Theo Riddick (357), Zach Zenner (334) and Dwayne Washington (265) combined for a mere 956 yards. The team ran for only 81.9 yards per contest, the third-worst average in the league. And this follows seasons in which the Lions were 28th (2014) and dead last (2015) in the NFL in rushing.
It’s very interesting to note that the Detroit Lions have been one of the more active teams during the free-agency period. However, while the team hasn’t added a veteran running back it has beefed up the offensive line. The new right-side combination of guard T.J. Lang (Green Bay Packers) and tackle Ricky Wagner (Baltimore Ravens) should help in numerous aspects. Better blocking up front would go a long way to the team’s getting its ground attack back on track.