By: Herman Moore
Ford Lions Report Analyst
This week, it’s not going to be easy for the Lions offense to get on track against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, I would like to serve up a few suggestions.
Sounds like a broken record?
Well, it is indeed broken, perhaps smashed. The Lions offense has not been able to jump-start its powerful engine this season; the offensive unit is capable of mustering up more than field goals in the red zone.
Successful teams have proven it’s not necessary to throw into the end zone to score touchdowns. To combat defensive teams settling their secondary near the goal line, good teams must adjust, fight, push and claw their way to victory.
Get positive yards on first and second down
The goal should be to average three to four yards per carry and eight to 10 yards per completion. If the Lions can create more manageable down and distances, they will avoid unfavorable third down situations.
Use a balanced approach
Most experts consider a balanced attack a close ratio between a team’s total offensive passing and rushing plays – that is one way to view it.
The Lions should predominately throw the rock, implementing an innovative passing attack that uses the run solely to complement the offensive attack. Running backs Mikel Leshoure, Joique Bell and Kevin Smith have hurt past opponents on screen passes out of the backfield against linebackers.
Establish an effective short passing attack
To have an effective quick passing game, conventional wisdom leans toward utilizing shorter, consistent passing plays for higher completion percentages. This approach can frustrate defensive strategies geared to eliminate big passing plays or chunk yardage because it draws in the linebackers and deep safeties allowing offenses to attack over the top.
The Lions should take two to three mandatory deep shots each quarter to scare the defense into over protecting the deep third of the field to exploit the underneath holes. Quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receivers Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Titus Young, along with the tight ends and running backs, provide the Lions with plenty of weapons to spread the ball around and control the game through the air.
Sideline the Field Goal Kicker
OK; it is never smart to forego any scoring opportunities, but Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz should forewarn his team that he will not attempt any field goals in the red zone for the first half. Sorry, Jason!
While watching the Lions this Sunday, fans may occasionally reminisce about a childhood favorite book, “The Little Engine That Could”, while subconsciously chanting ‘I think they can, I think they can.’
Herman Moore joins Tom Leyden and Rob Rubick on the Ford Lions Report Live every Sunday at 11am throughout the season. You can follow Herman on Twitter @HMAN84