After only rushing for 76 yards in their win against the New York Giants on Monday, multiple NFL teams are still aware that the Detroit Lions have a lethal running game with running backs with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in the back field.
Considering the Lions will face-off against the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, I think it’s safe to say that no one is more aware about the Lions running game, than the Panther front seven which is led by linebacker Luke Kuechley.
“I think they complement each other really well.” Kuechly said while speaking on what he’s see on tape from Bush and Bell: . “I think Bell does a good job in between the tackles. He’s got some speed and then Reggie is obviously an explosive runner that can hit a crease and be gone.”
The fact that Kuechly respects the Lions run game, after only rushing for a total of 76 yards and one touchdown in their win on Monday. Proves my point that the Lions must run the ball well and consistently this year for them to have continuous success offensively.
When I say “run the ball well”, understand that “well” doesn’t always mean 150 plus rushing yards, sometimes “well” will means 70 yards rushing. It’s all based on their opponent and what their particular opponent’s defense brings to the table on game day. However, it doesn’t change the fact that by running the ball consistently, the Lions remain balance. That’s something that former head coach Jim Schwartz never seem to understand, as where Jim Caldwell does seem to get it.
Think about it, despite the rough moments the Lions had in the running game on Monday night, the Lions never strayed from it, they continuously stuck with the run and as the game went on, we saw an improvement in the rushing numbers as Bell went on to score a rushing touchdown that not only increased the Lions lead but it also sealed the Lions victory over the Giants. Which is not something that was lost upon head coach Jim Caldwell, as he mentioned it during Wednesday’s media presser.
“The thing that we didn’t do that I think Joe [Lombardi] did a great job of is that we were the patient with it.” Caldwell speaking on the Lions running game. “I think we may have tried to run the ball thirty times. Typically in a ball game like that, where it’s a little bit sticky early on, a lot of people get away from it and you end up running the ball 14 and 12 times, where that’s not enough. Sometimes it happens to you because the score forces you to do something more out of necessity and not by design. But in this particular case he was nice and patient and it paid off for us at the end of the game, particularly that last drive. That 12-play drive was a thing of beauty.
Again, I understand that the rushing numbers weren’t big or grand in the Lions win against the Giants but the most important impact that the running game had is the fact that it kept the Giants defensive line on their toes.
Did the Giants stop the Lions run game at times? Yes they did, but because the Lions ran the ball consistently, it became harder for the Giants to contain the Lions offense because they couldn’t ignore the Lions in the backfield with Bush and Bell and they couldn’t ignore the Lions arsenal through the air with Stafford, Johnson, Tate, etc. Once again, allowing the Lions to keep the Giants on their toes defensively, because of the balance that they brought offensively.
Which is why I say the Lions have to once again come into this game, with the same mentality to continuously run the ball. I understand that they need to run the ball better than 76 yards, moving forward but if for whatever reason they do struggle against the Panther front seven, the Lions must stand firm in being patient, while continuously wearing the down the Panther front seven and remaining offensively balance.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
Panthers LB Luke Kuechly Speaks On Impact That Bush And Bell Can Have In The Lions Backfield was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com