The Detroit Lions finished the first 18-week NFL season with a 3-13-1 record; a record fitting for Detroit’s first boring 10 weeks of the season. Yet, after the bye, the Lions began to cohesively play, capped by that third victory this last weekend against the Green Bay Packers. Detroit aggressively charged Green Bay, using several trick-plays and sheer aggression to out scheme and out match their opponent in shocking ways. The game, while not signifying a realistic victory next season, highlights the Detroit Lions aggressive potential, and sends Dan Campbell and staff into the off-season on a high-note.
Detroit Lions Stick to Aggressive Plan, Show Potential in Season Finale
Jared Goff Plays
Jared Goff notably missed the last several games due to landing on the COVID-19 list and suffering a knee injury. He mustered himself for the last game and, as he needed, the offensive line protected him. Only suffering one sack, Goff threw for 238 yards on 21 completions of 30 attempts, and two touchdowns. The stat line is the spectacularly boring line the Lions need from Goff. He managed to get the ball in playmaker’s hands without forcing an overrepresentation of his own magic in the offense.
The Lions stand to benefit from Goff’s continued presence in Detroit, although more on that factor for the off-season. While he is not the most stunning quarterback, he has been to a Super Bowl and can facilitate given the right assistance. Goff is a help, and not a hinderance, to Detroit in the current landscape of NFL quarterbacks.
Defensively, the Lions are in another galaxy; the front-office must seriously invest on that side of the ball. Aaron Rodgers – who played only the first half – gleefully revealed the glaringly obvious fact. While this game was not an extensive showing of players who, conversely, do deserve a second change, Julian Okwara was a presence on the defensive line, landing two sacks one a forced-fumble. The effort was a positive sign from a pass-rusher who voiced the desire to play more earlier this year.
Offensively, in tandem with Goff, both Kalif Raymond and Amon-Ra St. Brown offer potentially spectacular options at wide receiver. St. Brown was one of the best offensive players in the month of December in the entire NFL. Raymond is a special teams receiver, yet he has shown the potential to be a perfect fit during the reconstruction, and thereafter. St. Brown’s ability to draw safeties ultimately helps the other more ‘obscure’ talents the Lions are trying on offense. He is also hard to bring down in the open-field.
Detroit Lions Aggressive Coaching
The multi-dimensional use of players brings Sunday’s most exciting point – the coaching. If the Lions were going to win, it was going to have to be about the coaching resourcefulness. Dan Campbell and staff took advantage of Packers backups, and utilised witty timing to complete trick plays. They had the upper hand in execution and decision making, which is shocking regardless of who lines up for Green Bay. The defense intercepted backup Jordan Love twice, sacking him once, and made the offense look fairly inept (of course, all after Rodgers proverbially put his baseball cap on, safely on the sideline). Offensively, Detroit’s coaches knew where and how to feed the ball to multiple players around the gridiron.
Sunday showed the Detroit Lions coaches motivate their players to play fast, aggressive, and punctual. Moreover, that they can create and coach a fast game plan, beating one of the more dominant and exciting teams in the NFL. There is a lot to fix for the Detroit Lions, but they are heading into a season with a team that fits an aggressive scheme, potentially creating fits for opponents.