After four weeks of poor run offense, the Detroit Lions backs and blockers were ready this week.
It took them until week 17, but the Lions had by-far their best rushing game of the season against the Chicago Bears.
The Lions dominated the Bears 41-10, not allowing the Bears to score outside of the first quarter. Their defensive bounce back was incredible, but their offensive attack was unstoppable.
Specifically, one of the biggest reasons for their offensive roll was the utilization of the ground game. In their previous four games, the Lions totaled 386 yards of combined rushing.
On Sunday versus the Bears, they combined for 265 rushing yards, the highest mark of the season. The force behind the run was led by Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift.
“Important, important to get it going and to get those guys running confident and feeling the holes, get the O-Line playing confident like that too, and it was very important and a good day to do it,” said Jared Goff in his post game press conference.
Granted, Chicago’s defense has allowed the third most rushing yards and third most rushing yards per game this season. Conversely, a 200+ yard performance on the ground is impressive.
Williams was Detroit’s most used back on Sunday. He rushed for 144 yards off 22 carries and added his 15 rushing touchdown of the season. This was the fourth game in his career he surpassed 100 yards rushing and it was the most of his career. He also is one rushing touchdown away from tying the Lions touchdown record at 16 held by none other than Barry Sanders.
Williams also broke out for a 58-yard run, the longest of the season and the longest in his career.
Equally effective was Swift. He accounted for 78 yards on 11 carries, with one rushing touchdown. His longest run went for 35 yards. Swift has been a mixed bag all season due to injuries and limited snap counts. Today was a reminder of the player he truly is.
Swift was used more as a passing threat too. He caught 4 passes for 39 yards and took a 21-yard pass from Goff into the end zone for his second score of the game.
“Proud of the O-line, proud of Jamaal, Swifty (Swift) came to life man,” said Lions head coach Dan Campbell in the post game press conference. “Watching Swifty that’s like being out in the desert with nothing to drink and there’s that water that you just found, it was great.”
Swift looked untouchable on the field today. He was patient, waited for holes to open up and when they did, it was like a drag race. His speed is electric and makes defenders uneasy when he’s in open space.
Sticking with speed, Jameson Williams got one carry today. Like a Ferrari parked in the garage, it got a test drive today. Early in the third quarter, the rookie took it 40 yards downfield off a jet-sweep. Williams’ was one man away from a touchdown.
If the Detroit Lions can continue to dominate the ground game, it’ll make life in Green Bay a lot easier for their last regular season game.
Photo Credit: David Reginek – USA TODAY Sports
Photo Edit: Noah Wulbrecht – Woodward Sports