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An In-Depth Film Review Of Taylor Decker’s Performance Against The Baltimore Ravens.
Running Game Finds Success Behind Decker
One of the biggest issues for the Lions this year has been a very poor rushing game. They are the 31st worst run game in the NFL averaging just above 78 yards per game. There has been debate about whether the issues are scheme related or player related. Watching film this season, it is hard to point the finger at Lions left tackle Taylor Decker because he run blocks and pass blocks at a high level, consistently.
This past Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens was no exception for Decker. While the Lions running game did not have a phenomenal game as a unit, typically their best running plays of the game came from perimeter runs to the left, the side Taylor Decker plays.
This a great block by Decker to seal the edge. He is the leading pulling lineman, assigned to take the edge player out of the play to open up the hole for running back Tion Green to run through. Decker is facing one of the top edge defenders in the league going up against Raven outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
The linebacker makes a good read but as he turns inside to make a play on the running back he is met by Taylor Decker who gets his arms underneath the defender. The Lions tackle is then able to use this leverage to take even one of the strongest edge defenders in the NFL to the ground. The result is a 33-yard rush for the Lions rookie running back for his first carry in the NFL.
This is a very subtle but nice play by Decker on the ground here. As running back Theo Riddick is receiving the hand-off, you see Taylor Decker’s head turn inside to see a linebacker blitzing to his inside with his left guard out of position. He shifts his hips inside and drives his man into the blitzing linebacker which allows left guard Corey Robinson enough time to impact the linebacker’s path to the ball-carrier. It slows him down enough that he cant catch Riddick, who is able to make the Lions first touchdown of the game.
Later in the game the Lions get a great block in space by Decker to spring Green free for the first touchdown of his career. The Lions motion in receiver Kenny Golladay to make a block the edge player, freeing Decker to pull as the lead blocker, this time in space. While you would like to see this block sustained longer, it takes the nickle corner out of the play allowing Green to burst through the hole cleanly before bouncing it outside to the pylon for the touchdown.
With how badly the Lions have struggle so far this year to run the ball with power in the red zone, these plays are encouraging to see for Detroit’s running game in future seasons. It’s further proof of how important Taylor Decker is to an effective offense for the Detroit Lions.