Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call “10 Questions with Twentyman.”
20man: If you have him on your fantasy team and are looking for a RB2 or flex, I’d play him. How’s that?
Scarbrough brought a physicality and toughness to this run game that’s been missing since Kerryon Johnson went down. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry last week, which doesn’t jump off the stats sheet, but nine of his 14 runs went for four or more yards. Plus he had a touchdown run.
Washington is allowing on average 133.9 yards on the ground per game, which ranks 22nd, and the Redskins have allowed a rushing touchdown in six of their last seven games.
I expect Scarbrough to get the bulk of the Lions carries, like he did against Dallas, as long as he has some early success.
20man: For me, if we’re talking Week 16 or 17, it kind of depends on the record and how the team is playing.
But I’ve always thought this: Players work their butts off training their bodies during the offseason to get ready to play. They grind through training camp. They spend countless hours per week preparing during the season, and the reward is getting to play the game they love on Sunday.
Stafford is a competitor, and as long as he gets the OK from the doctors that he’s good to go and can’t hurt his back any further by playing, then he should play. He’s earned that right as an 11-year veteran.
“Because this is what I do,” Stafford said Wednesday, when asked why he should play again in 2019. “I understand your question, but this is what I love to do. I love playing football. I appreciate all the hard work that all the guys in this locker room and in this organization put into going out there and trying to win games on Sunday and I love being a part of that.”
20man: I think Driskel has played well enough the last two weeks for the Lions to win both of his starts, and that’s really what you’re looking for from a backup quarterback.
He adds a different element to the offense with his athleticism and ability to run. That adds another layer of preparation for opponents.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has proven he can tailor his scheme to the strengths of the players he has. Driskel accounted for three touchdowns and no turnovers against Dallas. That’s good enough to win in this league. I like him as a player, and if he continues to play well, I could see him earning a backup role next year. I’d still draft and look to develop the position, however. I think that’s just good business practice in the NFL.
20man: It’s a right ankle injury he suffered last week in Dallas on a late kickoff return. He grabbed at it right away and was limping pretty good coming off the field.
The fact that he didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday puts his availability in question for the Washington game. If he doesn’t play, I could see Ty Johnson return kickoffs and either Marvin Hall or Danny Amendola return punts.
20man: The Lions would have the 10th pick in the 2020 draft if the season were to end today. I got a similar question last week, and I’ll stay consistent to what I said a week ago.
This team is lacking consistent playmaking on the defensive side of the ball. I would look for the best playmaking defender available with the first pick, whether that’s a defensive lineman, cornerback or other position.
20man: I don’t see the point in activating a player to the 53-man roster and then deactivating him on Sunday, especially with some of the injury concerns you mentioned.
Bryant is a little different body type (6-6, 261) with long arms and some versatility in that he can play down or stand up. Detroit spent a fourth-round pick on him, so let’s see what the young fella can do.
This is a Detroit pass rush that’s been widely inconsistent this season, so maybe Bryant can provide a spark. I expect them to limit his reps in his first game action, but I think we'll see him out there Sunday for his NFL debut.
20man: It’s been the biggest disappointment so far this season, no doubt. Like a lot of people who cover this team, I thought at the beginning of the year the defense would be really good and the offense might struggle at first adjusting to a new scheme. It’s been the complete opposite. The offense has played terrific and the defense has let them down for the most part.
There just hasn’t been enough consistency on that side of the ball. They couldn’t stop the run early in the season. They’ve gotten better in that regard over the last month, but now they can’t stop the pass.
The last two games are a great example of the inconsistency we see on that side of the ball, especially when it comes to the pass defense. They were able to pressure Mitchell Trubisky in Chicago two weeks ago (five sacks and 10 QB hurries), but breakdowns in coverage on the back end plagued them.
Last week against Dallas, they didn’t pressure Dak Prescott (one sack) consistently enough and he had way too much time to find receivers. Defenders can’t cover the talented pass catchers in this league all day.
Good pass defense is a marriage of rush and coverage, and right now that marriage is not working.
20man: I addressed Bryant above. I think we’ll see him in Washington. We’re already seeing some of that with Scarbrough in the backfield, Will Harris at safety and even cornerback Amani Oruwariye (nine snaps on defense last week). The Lions are mixing in some of their young players, and I’d expect that to continue over the next six games.
20man: I don’t think any coach is getting a free pass. When head coach Matt Patricia talks about pad level, leaky fundamentals or bad techniques, he takes the blame behind the podium, but that falls on the entire coaching staff from the head coach to the quality control guys. Just like every player is evaluated after the season, Patricia evaluates his coaching staff as well, and he’ll address anything he feels is lacking when that time comes. It’s the coaches' job to put the players in the right spots to be successful, and the record would indicate that hasn't happened enough.
I’d also caution not to breeze over the players’ responsibility in 3-6-1, either. In the end, it’s on them to make the plays that make the difference in wins and losses. Drops, penalties, missed tackles, etc ... those mistakes fall on the players.
20man: Finding some sort of consistency in all three phases of the game. Offensively, under Bevell, I think they’re onto something. Special teams has been OK, outside of the early penalty problems. The defense is the biggest setback right now, and they have to find some answers over the next six weeks.
This is a team that doesn’t play good enough complementary football to consistently win games, despite the fact that they’ve led in every game they’ve played this season.