Maybe, just maybe, we should start taking them seriously now?
After a slow start to the season, the Lions have now won three of their last four games. Notably, two of those victories came against the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. On Sunday, they were able to add the Miami Dolphins to that list, by way of a 32-21 win in warm Miami.
Overall, the game was very comfortable for Detroit, who never seemed like they were in any danger of losing. In fact, ESPN’s “win probability” tool never gave Miami more than a 50% chance to win the game (and even that was only when the game began).
Though there is plenty to be excited about coming out of this game, here are my main three takeaways.
1. Kerryon Johnson is definitely legitimate
Maybe this shouldn’t even be a takeaway anymore? But, Kerryon Johnson is a legitimate force to be reckoned with at the running back position. Forget about running for 100 yards in a single game. This time around, Johnson barely needed a single quarter to hit the century mark. His first run of the game went for 24 yards, and he also broke one for 71 yards in the first half. Altogether, he finished the day with just 19 rushing attempts for a grand total of 158 yards. Needless to say anymore, but Detroit’s rushing attack is far from a weakness anymore.
2. They actually do have a tight end on the team!
Say what you will about the tight ends who are on the roster (before this game, they had combined for 10 catches for 74 yards), but Michael Roberts finally took it upon himself to show us that he can contribute. He did so by posting three catches for a team-high 48 yards, as well as two touchdowns. Although production hasn’t been easy to find from the position for the most part this season, Roberts showed us today that we can at least expect some contribution from the position.
3. They are capable of limiting opposing rushing attacks
Last week, when Detroit held Green Bay to just 98 rushing yards, it was a nice little surprise. This week, in holding the Dolphins to a total of 107 rushing yards, they’ve shown us that maybe the rush defense isn’t as bad as the season numbers have shown us. In fact, take away Kenyan Drake‘s long run of 54 yards, and the Lions held the Dolphins to 53 yards on 18 carries. In starting Brock Osweiler, Miami may have even been tipping their hat to the fact that the rush would be the primary option in their offense, but Detroit was ready for the task of stopping it. Sure, the numbers they’ve posted in the last two weeks are far from world-beating numbers, but they are at least showing us progress.