The NFC North is a division stacked with talent.

Опубликовано linchao - чт, 11/29/2018 - 06:05

From Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense in Green Bay to Khalil Mack and the Bears’ defense in Chicago , no team is without an explosive, game-changing playmaker. For the Detroit Lions, that game changer could be rookie running back Kerryon Johnson.As the Lions’ second-overall pick in the 2018 draft, the former Auburn standout has a smooth and patient running style that has been compared to stars like Le’Veon Bell. Johnson used his natural ability to have an explosive college career, earning the SEC player of the year award in 2017 after rushing for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns. Now, it seems Johnson is having success translating his standout skills in college into the NFL. After a slow start to the season, the Lions finally snapped a five-year long streak of not having a game with 100 rushing yards thanks to Johnson. The standout rookie rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries and propelled Detroit to a 26-10 victory over New England for their only win of the season. In an ironic twist, the Lions traded up with the Patriots to draft Johnson with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2018 draft. It’s also important to note that New England is the second-worst in the NFL against the run. Nonetheless, following Johnson’s breakout game against the Patriots, it’s looking like he could become one of Detroit’s biggest offensive weapons on a team that has struggled on the ground for years. Much like the Packers’ rushing woes of previous seasons, the Lions have had a difficult time developing a sustainable ground attack. Under Lions’ first-year head coach Matt Patricia, Detroit has made an increased effort to build a much-needed impactful ground game to help relieve some of the pressure on veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. Through the last three seasons, the Lions have ranked in the bottom five for overall rushing offense, with last year being their worst performance on the ground yet. In 2017 Cheap JK Scott Jersey , Detroit ranked dead last in the league, averaging just 76.3 yards per game and totaling only ten rushing touchdowns on the season with the bulk of the carries being completed by third-year running back Ameer Abdullah. Detroit also stacked up 61 runs for negative yards to make them the 10th worst in the league. However, through the first quarter of the season the Lions have already seen a significant bump on the run. Detroit currently ranks 20th in rushing yards and seventh in yards per carry (4.6), much of that thanks to Johnson and despite having only one touchdown on the season, he could prove to be the Packers’ biggest rushing challenge to date.It’s no secret the Packers’ defense was absolutely dominant against Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen, but it’s also necessary to point out that the Packers did an excellent job of stifling running back LeSean McCoy who rushed for just 24 yards on five carries. Being able to stop McCoy was even more notable following the Packers’ inabilities to contain Adrian Peterson the week prior. Peterson rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Through four weeks, the Packers rank 16th for rushing defense and have allowed an average of 4.5 yards per carry. On the flip side, Detroit has faced defenses similar to the Packers, with the Jets sitting at 17th overall, the 49ers at 15th and Detroit sitting at 13th against the run. If the Packers hope to continue their defensive hot streak into week five, much of the focus will need to be on stopping Johnson on the ground. Going on the road against a divisional opponent always adds extra weight and Matt Patricia has made it clear that he’s dedicated to using Johnson as much as he can. With the Packers’ previous struggles against Peterson and the Redskins, it could be a weakness he’ll look to exploit even more. If Green Bay can push past Kerryon Johnson and the Lions this week and a banged-up San Francisco 49ers team the week after, they’ll be sitting at a comfortable 4-1-1 in a tough NFC North division going into their week seven bye. The Green Bay Packers beat the Buffalo Bills badly on Sunday, but no one was happy with the offense and with good reason. Six of those 22 points came on long field goals, and McCarthy seemed to settle for another long field goal attempt on the first drive , though Jamaal Williams was unable to gain sufficient yardage on a third-down play to try it.McCarthy settles a lot, and that’s becoming big problem because it costs the team possessions. There are two major philosophies about picking up first downs. The first, older philosophy captures the NFL standard for most of the 1980s and 90s, which holds that first and second downs are to be used to make 3rd down easier.A few four-yards runs on the early downs will give the team flexibility to either run or pass on 3rd and short, making for an easy conversion. The new philosophy holds that offenses are now so good (and defenses so restrained) that it’s more efficient to give yourself as many opportunities as possible to gain ten yards on an individual passing play, and that the vast majority of the time, any quarterback will complete a 10-yard pass before they are forced to punt.While you do need to run sometimes, just to prove that you might, the latter philosophy is far closer to optimal. We know that, on first down, a successful play must pick up at least 4 yards, and in reality that number is probably closer to 5. Your subsequent 2nd and 3rd down plays are really only successful if they pick up the first down, which means that if your first down play fails and leaves you with six yards to go or more, running is almost always a bad idea because runs don’t generally pick up big yardage. Smart teams know this.For instance, let’s look at the Rams Womens Lane Taylor Jersey , who are currently the cream of the crop in terms of football smarts. On 2nd or 3rd down, with 6 yards or more to go, and when the game is within one score, the Rams have passed 87% of the time. They have only run in this situation four times all season. It’s just not something they do. In the aggregate, their plays have been successful 52% of the time, while their passing plays have been successful 60% of the time. The Packers, on the other hand, still strive for balance in these scenarios. They have passed only 68% of the time and run 32% of the time. Those runs have only succeeded 1/3 of the time, and overall in these situations, the Packers only succeed 38% of the time. We tend to focus on 3rd down efficiency, but the Packers are basically pissing away plays and drives every time they do this. Despite the fact that the Packers have an all-time great quarterback, only seven teams pass less than the Packers in this situation, which is insane. On their first drive against the Bills, the Packers faced 2nd and 10 from the Buffalo 40-yard line. Either McCarthy or Rodgers called a run to Jamaal Williams, the worst Packer runner , that lost a yard. Incredibly, on 3rd and 11, they went back to the same well, and Williams was stoned for no gain. Even if Williams hadn’t been completely stuffed, the best case scenario for those play calls was a slightly shorter but still long field goal attempt, which is hardly an ideal outcome. It is these pointless plays and drives that seems designed specifically to not score, which cause the offense such problems. The Packers then did this again in the 3rd quarter when up 19-0. The team faced 3rd and 10 and called a run to Ty Montgomery, which was stuffed for a loss of one. The Packers were forced to punt from their own 18, and the defense was fortunate to preserve the shutout.The fact of the matter is that smart teams don’t operate this way. They pass more frequently and with more success when a first down is still in doubt. The actual plays that were called against the Bills were not half bad, and the second drive of the game — which resulted in a touchdown — was a thing of beauty. But the problems with the offense are deeper than individual play design. They show a fundamental lack of football understanding. McCarthy’s focus on execution has always been about the trees, but much of the rest of the NFL now runs a hyper-efficient forest, and Mike just doesn’t see it.