Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/6/12

Quietly, the Detroit Lions have improved a porous offensive line over the past four seasons. The group has come together nicely and was a huge reason for the success and health of Matthew Stafford in 2011. The group is constantly improving, and if they're able to take another step forward during 2012, that will lend Detroit's offense an even bigger helping hand.

The big uglies are getting put under a big microscope today. What's the outlook in the trenches for 2012?

Who's The Guy? Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola. In Detroit, it's always going to come down to Backus, the man in charge of protecting Stafford's blind side, and Raiola, the center calling out the defense. As they go, so does the offensive line, passing game and quarterback play. If each stay healthy and consistent, this group will always be alright.

Second In Command? Godser Cherilus and Rob Sims. The much maligned Cherilus has a big season ahead of him. He's got to continue improving to hold off a push by young Riley Reiff . Sims looks even stronger this year than he has in the past, which is saying something. He's lost a bit of weight and gotten stronger. His play will likely help the running game. Each is very important in their own way to the strength of the Lions line.

Others Worth Noting: Reiff, Stephen Peterman and Jason Fox. These contributors can be seen as role players, and Reiff might see time in limited moments. Fox's play has been improving thanks to his health, and his healthy return will help provide additional depth, which is the most important factor for a physically demanding position.

Biggest Key To Positional Success? Health and improved run blocking. If one or more members of the offensive line go down, the Lions will be in a bind. Keeping on the field and pushing through injury is a big key in 2012. Last year, the Lions were able to stay together which helped them. Also aiding the position would be a more consistent running attack and improved run blocking. If the Lions' line can do better here, they'll be much better off.

Best/Worst Case Scenarios: Best? The group stays consistent and avoids injury. As a result, Stafford has another good season. The rushing attack improves thanks to better run blocking, allowing the Lions' offense to evolve. Worst? Injuries hit and the Lions are forced to operate with a patchwork offensive line, which hinders Stafford. The running game stays non-existent in part because the line doesn't help out.

Outlook: Consistency will rule the season, and the Lions offensive line will quietly remain a strength of the team. They'll keep the pressure off Stafford and limit sacks. The run game might not take off, but minor improvements will be made which will help the offense.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Well, the Cavs should trade LeBron now

Report: Knicks open to trading Carmelo, picks for Kyrie

Report: Kyrie Irving asked Cavs to trade him

Landon Collins: Giants will ‘definitely’ topple Cowboys atop NFC East

Are the Cowboys bracing for possible Elliott suspension?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Simpson parole board member opens up about Chiefs tie

Draymond Green calls out Damian Lillard

Pacman Jones suspended for Week 1 of upcoming season

Stenson had rental home robbed at Open Championship

Report: Carmelo would waive $8M trade kicker for Rockets

Report: Rangers shopping Yu Darvish in trade talks

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Every NFL team’s biggest question as training camps start

Box Score 7/20: Nothing but Nolan

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker