The Detroit Lions will kick off their season this Sunday at home against the Chicago Bears.
With the start of the season comes the fresh optimism of Detroit Lions fans that this will finally be the year they can compete in the playoffs. If they hope to do that, it all starts one Sunday against Mitch Tribusky and the Bears in a very winnable game. Here is my stab at who will lead the Lions in major stat categories this week.
Rushing Yards: Kerryon Johnson
The Lions revamped their running game this offseason, adding D’Andre Swift and newly signed Adrian Peterson in the draft and free agency; however, expect Kerryon Johnson to lead the team in rushing this week for a few reasons.
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D’Andre Swift’s hip injury could cause him to be on a snap count for the game, and with Peterson only being here a week, it could take some time to be entirely comfortable in the playbook.
Johnson is still a talented back when healthy and should be capable of getting a slightly larger chunk of the carries with Peterson and Swift rotating in.
Receptions: Marvin Jones & Receiving Yards: Marvin Hall
With Kenny Golladay doubtful with a hamstring injury, expect Marvin Jones to be Matthew Stafford’s go-to target on Sunday.
Expect Stafford to look to Jones often, especially on third down and in the red zone.
Despite that, Marvin Hall might lead the team in yards. If Hall replaces Golladay as a starter, he will most likely be matched up with rookie Jaylon Johnson in his first NFL experience. That could be a favorable matchup for Hall coming off a strong training camp. Hall has an excellent opportunity to expose the inexperienced corner for a few chunk plays.
Tackles: Jahlani Tavai
The Lions are expected to adjust their linebacker rotations based on their matchup. Facing the power running attack of the Bears, Jahlani Tavai should get a large chunk of the snaps next to Jamie Collins. Tavai’s instincts against the run will be necessary to slow down David Montgomery while Jamie Collins will be able to hide his deficiencies in the pass games.
Sacks: Da’Shawn Hand
The Bears offensive line is one of the weaker lines in the league and are replacing former Pro Bowler Kyle Long with German Ifedi from Seattle. Ifedi is a converted tackle who has not to be a great starter at any point in his career.
This could be an excellent opportunity for Da’Shawn Hand and Nick Williams to attack the interior of the line. The two of them could have big games, but Hand should receive a slightly more playtime giving him a few more opportunities to sack Tribuski.
Pass Breakups: Amani Oruwariye
Amani Oruwariye is expected to start over Jeff Okudah across from Desmond Trufant in Week 1. Trufant is a veteran corner with a Pro Bowl on his resume, while Oruwariye only has a few games of starting experience on a three-year team.
Expect the Bears to test the young corner early to see if he can hold up in man coverage, especially with Allen Robinson. This should give Oruwariye with a plethora of opportunities to have a big game.
The Detroit Lions are going to kick off the 2020 season against the Chicago Bears; this was a look into what could be expected during the week one.