The Detroit Lions struggled to get anything going on the ground all season long and a large reason for that has to do with terrible offensive line play.
But as we look deeper it could be because well truly no running back had a chance to be the bell cow. Sure Ameer Abdullah wanted the job but was a rookie behind a terrible line. Both Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick showed flashes of brilliance throughout the season.
The Lions will need to decide who their primary running back is going to be and stick with that ball carrier all season long. When we look at age as a factor we see that Abdullah is 22, Riddick and Zenner are both 24 and young enough to contribute for years to come, so age is not the issue.
When we look at the numbers Abdullah is clearly the best pure running back as he had the most rushing attempts with 143, gained the most rushing yards on the ground with 597, and had the best yards per carry ratio with 4.2. The difference was on passing downs, where Riddick tallied 118 receptions, 1,039 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 8.8 yards per catch.
The Detroit Lions were absolutely dead last in 2015 for running the ball but these numbers do not seem as bad as they appeared. The Lions pick at the 16th spot in the 2016 NFL draft and some strong run blockers are exactly what they need in order to get this ground game going with more fluidity. The only problem is most of the top prospects at that position will be gone so the Lions will either need to trade up or get lucky to help improve this ground game.