The Lions’ running game is like that “friend” who sleeps with your wife


Detroit Lions

Photo: Fairfield Citizen

This past Tuesday, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell called an NFL team’s running game a quarterback’s “best friend” which must have been implied in a general sense considering that’s been quite the opposite if we’re talking Detroit football.

In fact if we’re sticking with the “best friend” metaphor, the Lions’ running game is the equivalent to that friend who sleeps with your wife behind your back.

Or in Matthew Stafford‘s case, it’s Ameer Abdullah pulling an “Avi Garcia” with Mrs. Kelly B. Stafford herself.

But back to football terms, the Lions haven’t ranked higher than 28th in rushing yards per game since finishing 17th back in 2013 when they featured the dual threat of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. It was also in 2013 the Lions last saw a running back rush for over 100-yards in a game which ironically enough happened four-years ago tomorrow. That day Bush rushed for 117 total yards on the ground in a 40-10 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Since then the Lions have played 62 opponents and have yet to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark in a single game, which in any sense seems pretty unreal considering during that span you’d figure it would in the least bit happen on accident.

“That’s more of an attitude than any technical thing,” running back Ameer Abdullah said, via the Detroit News. “It’s not always player issues. Sometimes we may not be dialing up the right thing at certain times. It’s about bringing a good attitude and executing your job. I want it to be better, but I got to be better. That’s the thing I keep telling myself, just try to be better, keep going hard.”

So how does this transcend to Matthew Stafford?

So far this season, the Lions’ signal caller and highest paid player in the League grades out according to at a 79.9. Comparatively this puts him just ahead of Andy Dalton and just behind Dak Prescott which doesn’t sound good at all put according to PFF isn’t terrible considering their scale.

The bottom line in that considering Stafford’s hefty paycheck is he needs to be better.

But in that general sense Caldwell is right. The running game should be a quarterback’s best friend, if that running game is at least serviceable. And not to make any excuses for Matthew Stafford, I realize we should be well beyond that, but you have to wonder how much better he’d be if he truly had that “best friend” in the offensive backfield instead of that guy who could knock up his wife… figuratively speaking.

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