They're a Ford-owned product that doesn't run, but the head mechanic promises this will change. No franchise has provided less ground support to its starting quarterback than what the Lions have given Matthew Stafford since he entered the NFL in 2009. Detroit running backs have produced only seven individual 100-yard performances during Stafford's 125 career starts, the last one coming by Reggie Bush during the 2013 season. Detroit's collective production is just as putrid. The low point of the Stafford era came in 2017, when the Lions ranked last in average rushing yards per game (76.3) and per carry (3.36). Whose fault is this? "I think blame can get passed all around the organization and it starts with me," Lions general manager Bob Quinn told co-host Gil Brandt and me Monday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "I'm in charge of delivering the players and hiring the head coach. "If anyone wants to point a finger as to why the running game did not work last year, they can point it at me." The problems began last offseason with a flawed premise. Quinn believed Detroit's core group of running backs — Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Dwayne Washington and Tion Green — would be good enough to generate a credible rushing threat if nothing else. Quinn had witnessed first-hand that a running back-by-committee approach can thrive during his time working in New England's personnel department before becoming Detroit's general manager in 2016. The Lions never came close to enjoying that kind of success. A 49-year-old Barry Sanders showed more elusiveness playing dodgeball in a 2017 Quicken Loans commercial than any member of Detroit's showed did in a game.
Lions' putrid running game will be fixed, GM Bob Quinn promises
Sporting News | Feb 13