Lions find confidence in O-line heading into next season


The 1991-92 season marks the last time the Detroit Lions won a playoff game. 

Not exactly a stat that Detroit fans love to hear.

However, the Lions are optimistic about what this season’s outcome could be, especially with the offensive line they have in place.

Taylor Decker, a seven-year veteran out of Ohio State, spoke with the Detroit Free Press about the unit and why he thinks its experience will equal success for Detroit this season.

“I would say this is the most talented line I’ve been a part of, 100 percent,” Decker said. “I’m not necessarily a talent evaluator, but we’ve got a bunch of guys who are smart, confident, athletic. I mean we can get out and run a bunch of guys on the perimeter, or we can run downhill.

“Then one-on-one pass blocking I’m 100 percent confident if you put five guys across from us, we’re going to be able to hold up … and that opens up a lot of things for skill position players.”

Decker is putting some praise on an offense that ranked 24th in the league over the last two seasons, averaging just 21.3 points per game compared to the league average of 23.9. 

The Lions also ranked below the league average in the same time span in rush yards per game (102.6, 25th), pass yards per game (233.4, 16th), net yards per game (336.0, 21st) and third-down conversion percentage (37.8, 28th).

In addition, over the past two seasons, Detroit has had just 98 drives that made it to the red zone, tied for 26th in the NFL and well below the league average of 110.9. 

Despite barely spending time in the red zone, the Lions still managed to turn the ball over in the red zone seven times, tied for ninth highest in the NFL over those two years.

Regardless, Lions coach Dan Campbell believes that their offensive line unit is set to solve some of those problems.

“It’s a good group, I know that,” Campbell told the Free Press on Thursday. “They’re working together. Frank (Ragnow) and Jonah (Jackson), (Penei) Sewell and Big V (Halapoulivaati Vaitai), all of them. (Taylor) Decker.

“It’s a veteran group, it’s pretty tough, they’re smart, they work well together.”

The Lions will also depend on the veteran group to ensure their offense has more time with the ball. Detroit which ranked 28th in the NFL in time of possession last season (15:42), below the league average of 16:36.

Detroit is also just one 10 teams in the NFL to not have a 40-plus point game over the last two seasons. They ninth-most games finishing with 10 points or less, with five such games over the last two seasons.

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