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.

Solutions

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.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for EndZoneScore.com and the founder of ProFootballGuru.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

About The Author

Russell S. Baxter
EndZoneScore (NFL) Lead Columnist

A freelance NFL writer, editor, researcher and analyst for more than 30 years with a background in both television (ESPN)--contributing to shows that won 5 Emmy Awards--as well as radio (both live and voice-over), Baxter is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com. He also writes for NFL Spin Zone, FanSided, Pro Football Spot, Blasting News and The Sports Post. He has written for Bleacher Report, Cold Hard Football Facts, Pro Player Insiders, The Football Girl, ThePostGame.com, NFL Female and more. Baxter has been a steady guest on Yahoo! Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, FOX Sports Radio and also appear on a weekly basis during the NFL season on Patriots Playbook on Patriots.com Radio. Baxter can be heard on numerous other stations and podcasts across the country and all over the world. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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