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Saturday open thread: Who will be the Lions’ x-factor against the Panthers?

Which Lions player could be the key to victory on Sunday?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, we discussed which Carolina Panthers players could give the Detroit Lions fits on Sunday. Popular choices were Luke Kuechly Julius Peppers and Cam Newton.

Now it’s time to look at the home team, as they have a couple mismatches that could turn the tide in Sunday’s game. The Lions have won this year because of each phase of the game. Their defense held strong in Minnesota, Jamal Agnew sealed the game in New York with a punt return touchdown, and the offense exploded in the fourth quarter against the Cardinals.

Detroit’s x-factor can literally come from anywhere on this roster. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Which Lions player will be the x-factor this week against the Panthers?

My answer: Ezekiel Ansah. I know Ansah has been a pretty big disappointment in three out of four games, as he continues to deal with a knee injury that has kept him on the injury report every week. However, I think this could be a game that looks a lot more like his one solid performance against the Giants.

Ansah is going up against Matt Kalil, one of the worst left tackles in the league. According to Vikings Wire, Kalil had just a 38.2 grade from Pro Football Focus through three weeks, ranking him 61st among all 72 qualifying tackles.

Kalil is also dealing with a groin injury and is questionable for Sunday, though head coach Ron Rivera expects him to play. Even if he does, there’s a good chance he won’t be as effective as his usual self, giving Ziggy an opportunity to eat on Sunday.

Your turn.