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Detroit Lions: Offensive Line

Detroit Lions offensive line gives up another sack

How does that saying go? The game is won and lost from in the trenches? In other words, the offensive and defensive line is where the game of football is truly decided. In this article, I will look at the Detroit Lions offensive line.

Before we get started, I would like to give a moment of silence to the tragic loss of Stanley. ....... ......... ......... .......... ......... Oh Stanley we will bring you home again. You belong in Detroit and we will get you back.

Now back to the Detroit Lions Offensive Line. In 2008 the Lions went 0-16.... as if we all didn't already know that. Another tidbit that most of the fans already know is that a big part of that dismal season can be attributed to the offensive line. However, I will go over this simply on the one in a million chance that a Lions official might actually read this... since it is the Detroit Lions front office that seems to be the only group in America who does not know how bad the offensive line is.

The 2008 starters were for the most part (Center)-Dominic Raiola, (Guards)- Damian Cook & Stephen Peterson, and (Tackles)- Jeff Backus & Gosder Cherilus.

In 2008, the offensive line gave up a total of 52 sacks. Only San Fransisco allowed more. The Detroit Running game was fifth worse in yards per carry at a paltry 3.8 and 3rd worse in total yards rushing. Let us face the truth here. When a team is horrible in rushing and also is horrid in allowing sacks, you have to look at the play of the offensive line. These are telling statistics that the Detroit Lions offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL if not THE worst.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you the 2009 starters for the Offensive Line. (Center)-Dominic Raiola, (Guards)- Damian Cook & Stephen Peterson, and (Tackles)- Jeff Backus & Gosder Cherilus. ........ Yes that is right. All the same starters. The Lions have added a couple new faces to the offensive line but at this point they only add depth. The projected starters look to be the same five that formed the worst offensive line in 2008. My only question I would like to ask the Detroit Lions front office is...... "What the Hell were you thinking?"

Seriously! Why would a team draft a quarterback number one over all if they cant protect him? If the Detroit Lions play Mathew Stafford this coming season, they will show that it is still the same incompetence running the Lions yet again. To play Stafford behind the line that has allowed over 50 sacks for three seasons in a row, would only be looking to ruin him. The Lions ruined Scott Mitchell. They ruined Joey Harrington. If they play Stafford they will ruin him too. It is of paramount importance for the Detroit Lions to put together an offensive line with some real talent before playing Stafford. They should have put that line together before drafting a quarterback and they have already messed that up. Now we can only hope they don't play him yet.

Mr. Mayhew, throw Culpepper to the wolves. Let the savages feast on Statton. Please, whatever you do, please don't sacrifice the future of the Detroit Lions by placing him behind the worst offensive line in the NFL before you even attempt to fix it.

Since 1991 I have been whining, crying and ranting that the Lions needed to get a better offensive line. In 1997 I thought I saw signs of it happening when Juan Roque started picking up his game and blowing open holes for Barry Sanders. Barry ran for two 85-yard touchdown runs in that one game. Juan Roque hurt his knee soon after and was never the same. The Lions have not had a line that even resembled being good since.

Nothing personal against Stafford or his supporters. I think the Lions would have been much better off drafting Jason Smith first overall in the 2009 draft. You give even an average quarterback time to throw and he will win some games. The best QB in the NFL cannot win games if he is always throwing before the play develops or while he is peeling chunks of his rib cage from the turf.

I hope I haven't beat around the bush too much on this subject. :o)

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