Greg Robinson Struggled Against Olivier Vernon. The Lions Win, But Robinson Needs To Be Better.
Greg Robinson struggled in the win over the New York Giants on Monday night. He was called for three penalties, two of which were accepted. He allowed a sack and various other pressures on the night. It was an abysmal showing for the former number one overall pick.
Robinson was clearly the weak link in the offensive line. The rest of the offensive line fared very well against a strong Giants pass rush.
Top Graded #Lions from MNF on O:
— Brett Whitefield (@PFF_Brett) September 19, 2017
In his defense he faced a very tough match up, lining up against Olivier Vernon – one of the leagues premier pass rushers. Struggles in pass protection were expected from him in this game. I don’t think many people were under the impression that the Lions were going to trade away a late round draft pick for an elite left tackle. That shouldn’t have ever been the expectation. He doesn’t need to be elite but he does have to be better than he was Monday.
While Monday’s game against the New York Giants was a poor outing for Greg Robinson, the Lions won. If the Lions can continue to win games, no one will remember poor showings like this upon Taylor Decker’s return.
Robinson’s performance Monday, a serious liability, was still not enough to drive the team to a loss. This was in a large part due to Matthew Stafford‘s mobility, one of the most underrated parts of his game. Stafford continually manipulated the pocket and fought through arm tackles to extend plays and pick up yards on the ground. Stafford converted on third downs with his legs multiple times to extend drives. While these are important parts of Stafford’s game, the Lions can’t ask him to repeat his success in this area on an every-game basis.
Sometimes Stafford won’t be able to break those tackles. Sometimes Stafford won’t have a clear lane to the first down. Those instances are when Greg Robinson’s poor performance becomes a problem. Monday, while not ideal, was good enough for victory. That may not be the case going forward. Greg Robinson doesn’t have to be good, he just has to be good enough.
The Lions offensive is having a good night. Greg Robinson, my God, is not.
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) September 19, 2017
The upcoming game against the Falcons should be an easier match up for Robinson over Monday night. The following week, Robinson will be facing off against a very strong Minnesota pass rush. This is only the first of a few other tough match ups that Robinson will have to face before Taylor Decker returns.
Taylor Decker, who underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, is eligible to return to practice in week six and eligible to return to games in week eight. Whether or not Taylor Decker will be ready to play week eight is still up in the air. There has been little-to-no additional information since his surgery other than the fact that he is no longer wearing a sling.
With very little information concerning Decker’s recovery, the team will likely be counting on Robinson for a significant portion of the season. Greg Robinson struggled mightily against the Giants. He needs to be better.