It’s week 2 in the NFL and the Detroit Lions square off against the Los Angeles Chargers. Here are five key Lions to watch.
1. TE T.J. Hockenson:
Hockenson not only set an NFL all-time record for most yards in a tight end’s debut last week, he was also PFF’s top-ranked pass blocking TE in the NFL. Hockenson was massively effective in all aspects of his game as advertised.
This week, I’d look for him to block more than he did a week ago. The Chargers pass rushers are the strength of their defense which may cause Hockenson to be inside as an extra blocker. Look for Jesse James to get more targets this week than he did last week.
This being said, Hockenson will not exclusively be inline, he will still line up in the slot and get some targets. He was simply too good to ignore.
2. QB Matthew Stafford:
Stafford is going to be in a good old fashioned gunslinger contest. I see both of these quarterbacks having great games and Stafford will need to out-duel Philip Rivers for the Lions to have a shot. Both of these teams don’t have much of a run game so far this year.
Look for Stafford to spread out his targets as he did last week, making his receivers difficult choices for any fantasy football players out there.
3. DE Trey Flowers:
Flowers played a limited amount of snaps in week one. Look for him to expand his role this week. In his limited role last week, Flowers still managed to get two QB pressures showing once he gets his feet under him after missing all of the pre-season, he can still be a force.
4. RB Kerryon Johnson:
Johnson was disappointing last week — not even managing 50 yards while getting 16 carries. The second-year running back must step it up a few notches to make this offense balanced. He was not much of a factor catching the ball either last week. The more the Lions can make Johnson an effective part of the offense the better. A run game will keep more defenders in the box so Stafford can make throws with fewer players in coverage.
5. LB Devon Kennard:
Kennard is the NFL’s sack-leader after week one. He will need to continue his reign at the top if the Lions are going to pull out the win at home on Sunday. Sacks are drive killers and when youre going to be up against a strong offense like the Chargers, you need to stop quite a few drives to give your team a chance to win. Between Flowers and Kennard, pressure should be applied from both sides thoughout the game, forcing the Chargers to double one of them, giving the other a one-on-one matchup.