On Friday, we discussed some of the key players on the Baltimore Ravens who could stand between the Detroit Lions and a 7-5 record. A lot of people chose Terrell Suggs, whose 9.5 sacks should definitely scare Matthew Stafford, especially with his starting center officially out this week. Others believe Danny Woodhead and Benjamin Watson may give the Lions linebackers some trouble in this game.
But let’s shift over to the Lions roster. While Detroit hasn’t exactly looked dominant over an opponent since Week 9 against the Packers, they certainly have some players that represent a mismatch against the Ravens.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player is key to a victory on Sunday?
My answer: I’m just going to go ahead and assume Stafford is a given here. So instead of stating the obvious, I think the key to this game could be Kenny Golladay. This Baltimore defense is one of the best—if not, the best—in the NFL. That means the Lions are likely going to struggle developing long, sustained drives. Instead, they may have to hit on a few big plays, and that could be the difference in the game.
Enter: Kenny Golladay. Quietly, Golladay has put together quite a streak since returning from injury in three weeks ago. Let Pro Football Focus explain:
over the last three weeks, rookie WR Kenny Golladay has averaged 3.69 yards per route run, the fifth-most of any wide receiver over the past three weeks with at least 36 snaps in route.
He’s had a 40+ yard reception in all three of those games, despite only having six total receptions.
In a game that’s likely going to be low-scoring, one big play could make all of the difference, and no one player on the Lions is making big plays more often that Kenny Golladay right now.
Get back aboard the Kenny Golladay Hype Train, y’all!
Our highest graded rookie WRs in 2017 pic.twitter.com/C3J3LSbaXb— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 1, 2017