The Detroit Lions are poised for an interesting game Thursday when a hamstrung Chicago Bears team comes to town to take on an injured Jared Goff and his supporting cast.
The Lions, due to injuries, weather, and a quarterback on his first career start, have leaned on the run game more than usual over the past two weeks, including last week when D’Andre Swift exploded for 136 yards on the ground in a loss to the Browns. Jamaal Williams struggled to find any kind of success, posting just 11 yards on seven carries in Williams’ first game back from injury. Will that change Thursday?
Bold prediction of the week: Jamaal Williams outrushes D’Andre Swift against the Bears
There are a few things going on here. For starters, D’Andre Swift is not lightning in a bottle. Last week’s 9.7 yards per carry was an exception, not the norm, and it was the first time Swift eclipsed five yards per carry in a game all season. Likewise, Williams was on a snap count and very clearly to be knocking off some rust.
Add to that, Swift is not a bell cow back. His touches have always been limited—taking away his 33-rush game against the Steelers, Swift is averaging less than 12 rushing attempts per game. To further add to that, most of Swift’s touches come through the air when Jared “can’t throw past the line of scrimmage” Goff comes in the game. With that being the case, we could see a large portion of Swift’s yardage come from dumpoffs, screens, and the likes on Thursday.
Williams, on the other hand, should be poised for more touches after easing back in last week. He offers a change of pace from Swift, one that coach Dan Campbell will likely lean into if he keeps calling plays the way he has over the last couple weeks.
I won’t be surprised if Swift surpasses Williams in total scrimmage yards, especially if the Lions find themselves down late, but Williams has a real shot to have a better rushing day than Swift against the Bears.