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Wednesday open thread: How many rushing yards will the Lions give up to Justin Fields?

This Lions team has struggled against rushing quarterbacks before.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions defense rebounded nicely Sunday, posting their best statistical performance of the season in a win over the Packers. Sunday presents a new challenge as the Lions travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears, led by sophomore quarterback Justin Fields. Fields has taken time to develop, often relying on his legs to overcompensate. Since the Bears’ bye, however, Fields has taken massive steps forward as a passer to make his legs even more of a threat.

Question of the day: How many rushing yards will the Lions give up to Justin Fields?

My answer: gonna ballpark it at 95-105.

Fields has really been in a groove lately, and defenses have had to respect him more as a passer, leaving running lanes open. Last week, that led to Fields rushing for 178 yards against the Miami Dolphins, which would be an absurd number for a running back, let alone a quarterback. So far in 2022, Fields has posted 602 rushing yards, more than the entire Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers teams have.

The Lions are a dream come true for Fields, as they enter the matchup giving up the second-most rushing yards per game in the league at 148.8. The defense has been notoriously bad with mobile quarterbacks under this regime, and Derrick Barnes’ and Alex Anzalone’s attempts at stopping Aaron Rodgers on third-and-17 last week were an unfriendly reminder of that. With that level of play, Fields will have a field day, no pun intended.

With last week’s performance against the Dolphins, Fields probably has everyone on notice about what his legs can do, and as such, the Lions will likely spend a lot of effort game planning against it. However, there’s only so much you can do against a player of his caliber, especially with one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. Hence, I don’t see him matching last week’s numbers, but a performance in the 95-105 yards range would still be his second-best mark of the season.

What do you think? Can the defense step up and lock down Fields, or will he be a nightmare for the Lions on Sunday? Let’s hear it.

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