The Detroit Lions are entering football Sunday as an eight-point favorite over the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s a critical game for the Lions, not only to prove they can bounce back after last week’s embarrassment against the Ravens but also because their bye week is ahead. A two-game losing streak would be a tough way to end the first half of their season after starting so promisingly.
And while the 3-4 Raiders may seem like an easy win for Detroit—especially at home for the first “Monday Night Football” game in Detroit since 2018—the Lions still need to show up. The Raiders have a handful of All-Pro talents on their roster, and Detroit will be a bit shorthanded.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions player needs a big game vs. the Raiders?
My answer: In general, the Lions running game needs to show up. Vegas has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, and, on paper, it seems like this should be an easy win for the Lions. However, Detroit’s running game will be extremely shorthanded this week. Not only will David Montgomery miss the game, but Detroit’s interior offensive line could be completely jumbled.
With starting center Frank Ragnow doubtful, having missed all three practices this week, Graham Glasgow is likely to slide inside. That leaves the Lions likely to start their fourth and fifth-string guards (Jonah Jackson is out and Halapoulivaati Vaitai is limited with a back injury).
So if we’re talking individual players, these guys need to be at their best on Monday: Kayode Awosika, rookie guard Colby Sorsdal, and rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Awosika is a player the Lions trust and will almost certainly be in the lineup regardless of whether Ragnow plays or not. Sorsdal could be in for his first NFL start.
The key to all of it may be Gibbs, who is coming off a strong 126-yards-from-scrimmage performance. He also gained 80 yards on 17 carries.
But the one thing Gibbs has failed to do in both of his starts this year is begin the game strong. Against the Falcons, Gibbs had just nine carries for 25 yards in the first half. Against the Ravens, it was just three carries for 9 yards.
Detroit will likely need to get him going early on Monday to control the pace of the game and give the defense more rest than last week.
Who do you think needs a big game against the Raiders? Scroll down to the comment section and offer your thoughts.