A Look At Which Detroit Lions Feasted And Who Struggled In Their Week Three Win Against The New England Patriots.
Detroit Lions That Feasted
The Detroit Lions new head coach Matt Patricia earned his first career win Sunday night against his former team, the New England Patriots. Patricia should get a lot of credit here for scheming the victory against one of the best-coached units in the NFL. The game-plan for Detroit was evident and it worked all night.
The Lions offensive line dominated at the point of attack. This allowed the Lions running game to really take control of time of possession on the field while keeping Brady off of it. On the limited attempts, the Patriots offense did get to try to score, they were largely ineffective due to Patricia’s game-plan. He knew their main threat was tight end Rob Gronkowski, but with a bad supporting cast.
The Lions brought their safeties down into the box heavily and often. This took away the opposing rushing attack and kept Gronkowski and Brady to one of the worst games in their careers. Patricia drew it up and his players executed it to a tee.
Kerryon Johnson helped the Lions get another festering statistic off their back with being the first running back for Detroit since 2013 to rush for over 100 yards in a single game. Johnson showed the vision, patience, balance, and burst that warranted the Lions moving up to select him in the early second round. While the season is far from over, the rookie back has shown serious promise thus far and could be a candidate for offensive rookie of the year when it’s all said and done.
However, running backs rarely ever accomplish these feats on their own.
Rookie guard Frank Ragnow and center Graham Glasgow helped pave the way for the Lions offense in this victory. Glasgow’s head was on a swivel all night, looking for work consistently and did a great job with interior stunts pickups. Rarely was he out of place and did a great job pulling in the run game.
Ragnow, on the other hand, was straight disrespectful with his blocks on the Patriots this past week, in a great way. Going back through the film, the vast majority of runs went to the A and B gaps on the left side of the line. This was because Ragnow was dominating every Patriot interior defender at the point of attack. The rookie had several zone blocks the ended with defenders at the second level being driven into the ground. This opened up huge cutback lanes for Johnson and the running back corps to take advantage of.
Detroit Lions In Famine
Nearly every week I have done these articles, I’ve had an even distribution of those doing well and those struggling. But this game was the most complete game I have seen from a Detroit Lions team since I started covering them in 2016.
That said, the only Lions to really struggle in this game came from the tight end group. Luke Wilson was brought to Detroit largely because of his athletic traits and how they enable him as a pass catcher. However, Wilson’s been struggling to get open consistently and it’s impacting the reps he is getting on the field. This has led to us seeing more from fellow Lions tight end Levine Toilolo, who was brought in more to fill the inline blocking role.
This effort went in vain this week as Toilolo’s blocks were consistently instantly shed when the running play was to his side of the field. While it is no secret the Lions tight end group is lacking talent, you would like to see more production from the group going forward, even if it’s just within their individual roles.
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