The Detroit Lions are the healthiest they’ve been in quite some time as they exit the bye week and prepare for Sunday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. Running back David Montgomery returns to the Lions’ backfield that could use some fresh legs, as well as a couple key starters on the offensive line. Hopefully, that’s enough to give the Lions and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson the spark they need to get the offense flowing again.
In Montgomery’s absence, the Lions lost their 20 points or more streak and failed to get the running game going on a couple occasions—it doesn’t help that Jahmyr Gibbs was also out for one of those games (Tampa Bay). Gibbs played well as Montgomery’s replacement, especially against the Raiders on “Monday Night Football,” but having that two-headed monster back forces defenses to account for both Gibbs and Montgomery, and it allows the Lions’ offense to potentially get their identity back, which is running the ball effectively to open up the play-action game.
Today’s Question of the Day is...
With Montgomery returning, how should the Lions split carries moving forward?
I don’t have a definitive answer, but I do like the idea of splitting the guys into different roles and coming close to a 50/50 split so as to not overload either runner. Gibbs obviously excels in the open field but has shown over the past couple weeks that he can do it all.
Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery have served as complimentary backs this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 10, 2023
Montgomery has recorded the 6th-highest rushing success rate (44.7%). Gibbs has been more explosive, with 7 carries gaining at least 10 rushing yards over expected (T-2nd in NFL).#OnePride pic.twitter.com/csd8rBjfBA
Gibbs is already proving to be one of the most explosive runners in the NFL, while Montgomery is just about automatic on short runs and has done a nice job of being efficient on first and second down fighting for yards after contact. Where Montgomery is at his best, if you ask me, is when the Lions are looking to close the game out in the fourth quarter. When the Lions lean on Montgomery to seal the win, he’s money. He can really wear a defense down and break their spirit.
Fantasy owners will be angry, but I think the Lions will continue to split the workload like they did the last time these two were both healthy, with Gibbs having an increased workload—he’s absolutely earned it.
We will see soon enough.