On Monday, the Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field for a prime-time matchup with the Detroit Lions. Mike Payton of Pride of Detroit kindly volunteered to answer our questions about the Lions and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: The Lions changed offensive coordinators this offseason, firing Jim Bob Cooter and replacing him with longtime Seahawks play-caller Darrell Bevell. What has Bevell done differently than his predecessor and what is the strength of Detroit’s offense in 2019?
Bevell has taking the handcuffs off of Matthew Stafford. When Jim Caldwell and Jim Bob Cooter showed up in Detroit, Stafford was a super talented guy in need of some control. There were a lot of times that he would wow you and then immediately follow that up with a lay where he tried to do too much and turned the ball over or over threw it. Caldwell and Cooter helped him calm down and he’s since improved his decision making and footwork drastically. But they never took those handcuffs off of him to let him play to his strengths and it hurt him and it hurt the team.
Bevell is letting Stafford use that arm again and he’s letting him run the this offense. It’s paying off in spades so far and Stafford currently has the highest quarterback rating of his career. No surprise the team is a top ten offense currently too.
Where Bevell is struggling is getting the run game going. The Lions had a good week last week against a Chiefs team that was allowing 6.2 yards per carry coming into the game, but they haven’t had much luck elsewhere. The Packers are currently allowing 5.2 yards per carry so it’s possible the Lions are able to get things going there again this week. But who knows?
We’d like to thank Mike. Be sure to check out the rest of our Q&A session with Pride of Detroit over the course of the week as well as our Q&A session over there. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Monday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Lions versus Packers.