Detroit Lions: Kirwan's Triple Team Is the Wrong Lions Triple Team
Since it was July 4th, CBS Sports writer and Sirius Radio personality Pat Kirwan decided it was a good day to look at the explosive aspects of today's offense.
Kirwan's article took a look at some of the teams in the NFL which utilize what he calls the "Triple Threat": three weapons that make it impossible (or very difficult) for defenses to defend, because if you focus on one, the other two will burn you.
My issue isn't with the ranking (though the Falcons above the Lions—really, Pat?), it's with Best's inclusion.
It's not that Best isn't good, either. While I have some concerns over his injury history, he's a dynamic back, and defenses do have to account for him.
However, including him in this trio as if he's the Lions' version of Darren Sproles is not only premature, but it seems to me as if it's ignoring the play of both Titus Young and Nate Burleson for the sake of a running back who has played one (mostly) full season.
Especially based on their play last year when Best was gone for almost the whole season.
While Best had a decent rookie season (held back by—you guessed it—injury!), it's hard for me to buy that he's this big a threat.
Maybe you don't buy that Titus Young will turn his offseason drama into a leap forward or that Burleson will prove himself every bit as reliable as he did in 2011. However, I don't see how you can be anymore confident in Best's health or production—especially when he will split carries with Mikel Leshoure once the second-year back returns from his two-game suspension.
Who is the Lions' third man?
I'm not sure I see him on the field enough to warrant entry into the "trio" before he's proven himself.
This seems especially odd when you compare him to the other backs on the list. Aside from Sproles, Arian Foster and Ray Rice are on the list, and LeSean McCoy just missed (mostly because DeSean Jackson is such an inconsistent disaster).
I like Best, but he's not the threat those backs are. Maybe he will become such a threat, but he's not there right now. I'm not even sure he's more of a threat than DeMarco Murray—admittedly a very odd choice by Kirwan for the Cowboys' trio, as he had a great rookie season, but is hardly proven beyond that, especially since they have another incredibly talented wide receiver.
Or did Miles Austin die in the offseason and I missed it?
If you're going to start ranking players whom defenses might be more prone to worry about, I would go with either Titus Young or Nate Burleson before Best. They stay healthy, they're on the field more and Young is a threat to score, while Burleson showed last year he can almost always be counted upon to catch the ball.
Throwing the oft-injured Best, with his 3.7 yards per carry, two concussions and rookie season dings and cuts, is off base.
Kirwan doesn't give the reasoning for Best's inclusion—he doesn't do that for most of the teams. Still, it stands out.
The next thing Kirwan will be telling us is Heath Miller is one of the Steelers' trio.
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