Heading into 2022, the Detroit Lions look to have one of the top offensive lines in the league and that bodes well for an important position group.
While most understand the advantage boosted line play could have for the quarterback and wide receivers, the most clear benefit still seems to be set to be felt at the running back position.
Detroit wants to impose their will up front while opening holes, and an elite line should give them a shot at doing that. Many see it as a foregone conclusion that the Lions will start to move people in the trenches this year.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Lions actually offer their running backs one of the bigger advantages in the entire league. Writer Sam Monson ranked the eight best blocking environments for their running backs, and Detroit made the list.
According to Monson, Detroit’s development in 2021 came largely without Frank Ragnow. Now that he’s returned, the development of both he and Penei Sewell could make the team elite.
“With Ragnow back in the lineup, Detroit’s line could easily rank in the top five in terms of run-blocking grades this season, providing an excellent opportunity for D’Andre Swift and others to put up big numbers,” Monson concluded.
For offensive-balance sake, the Lions could use a big season from Swift and a big year from the line he depends on to spring him loose. Hearing this ranking should give fans some extra confidence in their offensive front before the year.
Lions’ Line Could Dominate During 2022
Some might find predictions for a top-five Lions’ offensive line laughable, but it shows the confidence in the team’s front to start the year with good reason.
Detroit has solid tackles in Taylor Decker and Sewell, an elite center in Ragnow, a Pro Bowl guard in Jonah Jackson and a strong bounce-back player in Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Along with depth the team has found in the likes of Evan Brown, Ryan McCollum, Matt Nelson and Tommy Kraemer, there is no reason the team can’t dominate.
Detroit is looking like a line that deep and tough. Not only can they push people around in the run game, but they might be able to give their quarterback an elite pocket in 2022.
Add it up and it seems like the kind of unit any skill position player might well appreciate.
Lions Running Game Needs Major 2022 Boost
Whether from an elite offensive line or internal improvement, the Lions must run the ball better during the upcoming season.
The team has had a dormant running game for far too long, and while it showed some sporadic flashes of brilliance in 2021, the fact is, the Lions need to strive for something more consistent than the 19th ranked rush offense in the league.
Last season, the Lions only rushed for a measly 12 touchdowns and 1,886 yards. Their 4.4 yards per-carry average wasn’t near the lowest total in the league, but could also improve.
Now, with a healthy Swift, the team feels like a good bet to break through. Jamaal Williams offers Detroit a solid running mate for their star, and names such as Godwin Igwebuike, Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson may offer the team the kind of depth that teams crave.
Combined with an elite offensive line that gives them a great shot to succeed, this could be a combination to watch in the Motor City this year.
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