Lions Game Plan Changes Drastically With Kenny Golladay Back

Kenny Golladay completely changes the Detroit Lions' offense.
Kenny Golladay completely changes the Detroit Lions' offense. / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are a much better offense when Kenny Golladay is on the field. That's not exactly breaking news. He's one of the best receivers in football, so of course Detroit is better when he plays.

But the statistics are pretty jarring. In fact, Matthew Stafford has been significantly more aggressive in his two games with his star wideout on the field.

In the first two games without Golladay, Stafford's average depth of target (aDOT) never got higher than 9.3. That's a really notable drop from what we saw from the Lions' gunslinger last year when he led the league with an aDOT of 10.6.

He returned to his more aggressive, downfield play style with Golladay back, however, posting aDOTs of 10.2 and 13.3 the next two weeks.

Stafford's numbers don't look particularly special right now, but that style of play could begin paying dividends really soon. Four of the Lions' next seven opponents are in the bottom half of Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metrics. That includes matchups with Jacksonville and Atlanta – the league's two worst defenses against the pass by that same metric.

With Golladay back to full strength against a run of shaky pass defenses, the Lions' passing game could really start taking off in the near future, especially if Stafford keeps attacking down the field like this.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.