Home United States USA — Sport Detroit Lions confident running game getting on track

Detroit Lions confident running game getting on track


The Detroit Lions are off to their first 2-0 start since 2011 and one of just four undefeated teams left in the NFC.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions are off to their first 2-0 start since 2011 and one of just four undefeated teams left in the NFC, but even they don’t expect Monday night’s decisive win over the New York Giants to dramatically alter their perception nationally.
“I don’t think a lot of people are really picking us to (do much), so I think the biggest thing is consistency,” guard T. J. Lang said. “You can’t come out and have a performance like (Sunday night’s) and go lay an egg next week. We’ve got to keep building on the positive things we’re doing and keep the momentum on our side and keep the confidence up because I think this shows, kind of reinforces our belief that we have a hell of a football team. And we thought that, but obviously you don’t know until you get rolling into the season. We’re sitting here at 2-0 and feel real good about ourselves.”
The Lions have plenty of reasons to feel good about themselves heading into this week’s showdown with the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons .
They appear much improved defensively, with five sacks Monday night, five takeaways this year and a faster, more athletic unit than the one that was feasted on by opposing quarterbacks a season ago.
They have one of the more reliable special-teams units in the league, with the clutch Matt Prater handling field goals, shifty rookie Jamal Agnew on returns, and punter Sam Martin due back next month from an offseason foot injury.
And on Monday, they showed signs of maybe finally having a running game to complement the ever reliable Matthew Stafford at quarterback.
Ameer Abdullah ran for a career-high 86 yards against the Giants, and the Lions won a game with more rushing yards (138) than passing yards (122) for the first time in the Stafford era.
“Not quite where we want to be yet, but we’re better,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of the running game. “I think Ameer is getting back into his old form. He ran hard and guys were patient with the running game. Our offensive line did a nice job there creating some holes for us, but we still got a ways to go in that area.”
And a ways to go overall.
After Sunday’s game with the Falcons, the Lions visit the Minnesota Vikings and host the undefeated Carolina Panthers as part of a three-game stretch that could cement them as serious playoff contenders or expose them as frauds who’ve gotten fat off two inept offenses in the Giants and Arizona Cardinals .
For now, they’re just a 2-0 team trying to prove they belong.
“Doesn’t guarantee you much,” Caldwell said of the Lions’ hot start. “Only thing it guarantees you is that you won’t be 1-15, that’s about it. So still got a lot of work to do.”

Continue reading...