Last year Matthew Stafford threw more passes in a single season than any player in NFL history, so it’s hard to imagine that the Detroit Lions will suddenly become a team running a balanced offense. However, I get the sense that the Lions would like to run the ball it more.
Much of this will come down to gaining more leads in early in games. The 2012 campaign featured a huge blown lead on Thanksgiving and a couple other defeats pulled from the jaws of victory, but mostly their shortcomings came in the first half of games. Detroit went 3-8 in contests decided by one score, but five of those losses were two-score contests until the Lions tacked on garbage points late.
Detroit actually has a decent backfield heading into 2013 and that’s the first time you could really say that about them in a while. The jury’s still out on Mikel Leshoure, though Joique Bell and Reggie Bush are both above-average backs whose receiving skills fit them perfectly for this offense. Detroit only managed 2.4 yards per carry on the ground in their second preseason contest against the Cleveland Browns, though let’s wait and see how their run-blocking does in meaningful action.
“That’s something we’ve got to get going,” Dominic Raiola said of the run game, via The Detroit News. “I don’t have an answer for you right now. Of course we want to get that going, especially with an explosive guy like Reggie Bush. It’s disappointing. I don’t think anybody’s satisfied in here, which is a good thing. Take it for what it is and come back to work.”