Memo to the NFC: Be afraid of the Detroit Lions. Be very afraid.
They aren’t a running team, as head coach Jim Schwartz relies heavily on the arm of QB Matthew Stafford to lead them to victory. The Lions are a definite pass-first team, but they will need to run the ball more effectively in cold-weather playoff games.
If the Lions could average between 10-15 more yards rushing, then that would open up the middle of the field for WRs Calvin Johnson and Titus Young.
The defense has been outstanding at pressuring the quarterback and creating turnovers, but their one weakness has been stopping an effective running attack. The Lions Wide 9 defensive alignment puts the ends on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackles, and their job is to rush the quarterback.
Ideally, the Lions want to gain an early lead that forces the opposition to abandon the running game and pass the ball more.