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Friday open thread: Who will be the Lions’ standout performer vs. Buccaneers?

It’s gameday and prediction time!

Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

At 8 p.m. ET Friday night, the Detroit Lions will have their final chance to inspire confidence heading into the 2018 regular season. Sure, there’s another preseason game next week, but the fourth contest typically only features players that won’t factor into many gameday decisions by Week 1.

And for Lions fans, they’re going to need some sort of confidence heading into September. A win doesn’t really matter and won’t change people’s opinion of the team on its own, but some good individual performances from key players would go a long ways to brush away the concerns from the first two games.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Who will be the Lions’ standout performer Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

My answer: Kerryon Johnson. In the Lions’ first preseason game, Johnson was one of the main headliners, along with fellow back Ameer Abdullah. After having a somewhat quiet game against the Giants last week, I think we’re going to see Johnson get some time with the first-team offense, and I think he could really shine.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Lions use Johnson at all in the preseason finale considering his importance to the team in 2018, but also taking into consideration how much he may need the experience before opening day against the Jets. If the team has already decided to keep Johnson away from harm against the Browns in Week 4 of the preseason, this will be the rookie running back’s final opportunity to get in game shape for the regular season. As a result, he may get a fair amount of playing time. I’ll just go ahead and say I think he hits 50 rushing yards this week.

Your turn.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.