Pick Six Podcast: Here's why Lions' run game will be better, but bad for your fantasy team

The Lions are a low-key intriguing team to watch in 2018. They've gotten no publicity this offseason after going 9-7 and firing Jim Caldwell, who would be replaced by long-time Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The expectations should be high, but Vegas has them at a middling eight-win total, likely because of the neighborhood where they live.

The two biggest things to watch with Detroit this year are a) how the defense looks and b) can they establish some kind of run game. They've ranked 32nd and 25th the last two years, respectively, in Football Outsiders' run-game metrics. They need more balance. And they've invested to improve it, as Tori Petry of DetroitLions.com (@SportsTori on Twitter) noted when she joined the Pick Six Podcast to talk about the Lions' offseason.

"They really doubled down on wanting to fix the run game, which was a problem for them in recent years," Petry pointed out. "They got an offensive lineman [Frank Ragnow of Arkansas] in the first round, they got a running back [Kerryon Johnson of Auburn] in the second round, they got another offensive lineman [Tyrell Crosby out of Oregon in the fifth round] later on."

But how will this shake out in terms of feeding a certain guy? Saquon Barkley will be the No. 1 in New York, Derrius Guice will be the No. 1 in Washington ... will Johnson get the same treatment in Detroit? Probably not and, in fact, it might look a lot like a running game you've seen in New England before.

"I think it'll still be a running by committee situation. I don't necessarily think they'll have one, No. 1 guy," Petry explained. "That could change based on what Kerryon Johnson is able to come in here and do. Each of their running backs kind of has their own unique running style. There's no one way that they plan to run the ball, at least that's how it appears. LeGarrette Blount, a short-yardage, power, downhill runner. Kerryon Johnson was kind of that between-the-tackles runner at Auburn, but Bob Quinn said they see him going outside as well, not just between the tackles. And that was something he specified about Kerryon Johnson. And you have Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah who are great pass catchers out of the backfield, kind of shifty, can make guys miss on the open field on the second level."

"Each one of them has a different talent, so I think what we'll kind of start to see is having a couple of them out there at the same time, to confuse defenses."

This sounds, as I noted on the podcast, EXACTLY like the Patriots rushing attack, even down to Blount stealing touchdowns from everyone else. 

The rundown and full interview are below, holler at me on Twitter @WillBrinson if you have complaints/concerns/questions and make sure and subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play.

1. Draft breakdown

2. Running-game plan

3. How the defense will look different

"(Patricia's) made it clear it's going to be a week-to-week matchup basis," Petry said. "That's kind of his style, that's what he's done for years and that's what he wants to do when he comes to Detroit. It appears he's targeting defensive linemen who are not that downhill, attack-the-quarterback style of play that they were playing before. And kind of getting those versatile guys he can move around and play with, that are big, strong, and that seems to be the style that he's shifting to a bit. He's been adamant it's not going to be a 3-4, it's not going to be a 4-3, there is no base defense really, it's just going to be a week-to-week basis. 

"It's going to be interesting to see how that part of things unfolds as well, because I think he can get creative with the linebacking corps and the group of DBs he has, because he has a very deep of defensive backs, some guys who can play inside/outside, some guys who are kind of hybrid safety-linebackers."

4. The type of players that fit the defense

5. Golden Tate's contract situation

6. Lions win total is 8 ... over or under?

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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