Lions: Joique Bell Has Big Goal, But Likely to Come up Short


The Detroit Lions need their offense to take a step forward in 2015, and Joique Bell is setting a big goal for himself to help do his part.

Speaking with, Bell set a goal of 1,200 rushing yards for the 2015 season.

"I’m going to rush for over 1,200 yards. That’s the minimum. If I do less than that, I’ll be surprised. I’ll be disappointed.Anything more than that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all."

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It is great to set aggressive goals, but there are a number of reasons why it is unlikely Bell will get where he wants to be.

Bell has seen an increase in his rushing yardage totals in his three years with the Lions, going from 414 in 2012 to 650 in 2013 to 860 last season. The problem with projecting that trend to continue to 1,200 yards in 2015 is that Bell has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in each of the last two years when he was a primary part of the running back rotation.

At 3.9 yards per carry, Bell would need more than 300 carries to get to 1,200; a big increase in the career-high 223 he got in 15 regular season games last season. Bumping that number to Bell’s career average of 4.1 yards per carry still requires 293 carries to reach 1,200 yards on the season.

In either case we’re talking about Bell receiving about three out of every four of the Lions’ rushing attempts next season. For comparison, Bell got just over 56% of the team’s carries last season.

To meet his goal of 1,200 yards, Bell will either have to see a significant increase in his yards per carry average or in his workload. Coming off injuries and with the Lions adding Ameer Abdullah in the 2015 NFL Draft, it is hard to see either happening.

It would be great to see Joique Bell have a huge 2015 season, but it would be a surprise breakout season for a 29-year old running back.

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