The big news for the Detroit Lions is that quarterback Matthew Stafford will not play against the Chicago Bears. If the Lions want to have a chance to win, they are going to need other players to step up in a huge way — including the following five.
1. WR Kenny Golladay
With Stafford out and the Lions needing someone to step up, the man who may be up for the job is Golladay. Golladay has been good to great so far this year and he will be leaned on heavily — especially with no run game. Speaking of which, I would not be shocked if QB Jeff Driskel leads the Lions today in rushing yards.
2. TE T.J. Hockenson
The Bears struggle to cover tight ends this year. Hockenson is overdue for a big game, although last week was his second best yard total for the year. Also, young quarterbacks and backups love to use tight ends as safety blankets. Either way, Hockenson should have a pretty big game on Sunday.
3. LB Jarrad Davis
Davis has struggled once again this year and is getting outplayed by a rookie. However, the coaching staff still believes in Davis so he will start this week in an assignment that may show Davis’ flaws yet again. Davis will be told to spy Trubisky. Trubisky does have some speed that can be a problem if left unchecked. At least Davis is serviceable in that department.
Davis has also proven to be a pretty good pass rusher. Maybe the Lions coaching staff will have him rush more and let LB Jahlani Tavai play more in the middle.
4. RT Rick Wagner
Wagner will most likely face Bears All-Pro defensive end, Khalil Mack. Mack tends to move around the defensive line and takes advantage of the weakest link. Wagner will have his work cut out for him as would any offensive lineman who has the chore of trying to block Mack. The Lions will, of course, give him help by the guard on double teams or at least have a tight end stay in and chip Mack before they run their route.
5. QB Jeff Driskel
Driskel is a mobile quarterback who has over 100 yards rushing on 25 attempts last year for the Bengals. He had a passer rating of 88 and for a backup, that’s not all that bad. Driskel does have some recent starts as he started five last year for the Bengals. To be honest, I expected worse stats from Driskel, but they aren’t all that bad.
A thank you to Erik Schlitt who found more information on Driskel. You can follow him on Twitter @erikschlitt for more of his work.
Also for more of my work, follow me @Gullett_James on Twitter, and of course @LionLowdown.Follow here: