FBG says: Good matchup. In Week 2, for virtually the first time in years, the Lions saw a spark of dynamic running in their backfield. LeGarrette Blount and rookie Kerryon Johnson racked up numerous chunk gains against the 49ers. The hope, of course, is that the explosive Johnson eventually runs away with the gig, and the team could shift its focus that way as soon as this weekend. Johnson has yet to get into much of a rhythm with the Lions trailing for all of the young season, but he looks both fast and quick-footed and represents the dynamism this team has been chasing for years. Blount's role is officially under siege. It's too early to tell whether the Lions' front line is improving with first-round guard Frank Ragnow on board, but its arrow is at least theoretically pointing up.
The New England run defense, which allowed the league's second-most yardage per carry in 2017, doesn't look improved. The front line, built specifically to beef up against the run with two new nose tackles, can only do so much. Eventually, miscast linebackers like Kyle Van Noy and Dont'a Hightower will be exposed as relatively soft run-stuffers. The linemen draw their share of the blame as well, though. The tackle rotation is deep and talented, but maddeningly inconsistent. That was on display as the Jaguars routinely caved in the right side last Sunday, freeing T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant for big gains. Lamar Miller took similar advantage throughout Week 1. The unit will be in even sorrier shape against the Lions if strong safety Patrick Chung can't clear the concussion protocol.