The Detroit Lions play host to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon, in a game that really shouldn't be much more than a day for taking care of business. The Panthers are 0-4 on the season and rank in the bottom tier statistically both offensively and defensively. And, while nothing can be taken for granted, the Lions should be 4-1 when the game ends on Sunday afternoon. In order for that to happen here are three Lions that need to ball out against the Panthers.
Who needs to ball out for a Detroit Lions win?
As we've written previously, the Lions don't need even a perfect game to be favored against the Panthers. But there are three guys who can really make their afternoons on Sunday easier should they absolutely ball out.
Tackles: Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell
Okay, so maybe this is a stretch naming two guys instead of just one but hear me out. The only real player to “fear” on the Panthers' defense is Brian Burns. If our tackles can neutralize his presence and create space for Jared Goff to work, the Lions should have no problem walking out of Ford Field with a win. Sewell for his part is the 8th best tackle in the league through our games according to PFF.
Gibbs has been solid but hasn't broken out yet. He was drafted 12th overall to be a difference-maker and change of pace back. While he hasn't been bad, we've not seen the flash yet. This week's matchup is a perfect opportunity for the young gun to find some running lanes and confidence. We've already made some bold predictions for Gibbs this Sunday and there's no doubt he should ball out on Sunday.
HEEEE's BAAAACK! We don't officially know the role that JaMo will take this Sunday, but this weekend will be his season debut. There would be nothing better that could happen for him and for this team than for him to come back and absolutely ball out. He's already been impressive in his return to the practice field and his preparation during his suspension, but now it's time for it to translate on the field. Should he ball out it'd go a long way for him to put the distractions that have plagued his young career to rest and be the piece we know he can be.
The bottom line:
Do the Lions need other-worldly performances this week to get passed the Panthers? No, probably not. But for the season moving forward, it would be really, really nice to see the tackles handle Burns, and both Gibbs and JaMo to get into the flow of things and make some plays that can carry over into the following weeks.