Detroit Lions Poised for Special Season due to….

Detroit Lions Poised for Special Season, Brad Holmes Must Add Pieces

 

 

Detroit Lions on verge of special 2023 season - Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions News, Analysis and More

The Lions came into Week 8 needing a bounce-back win in the worst way, and delivered just that on Monday night against the Raiders. Detroit, with the win, is 6-2 heading into the bye, and is in sole possession of first place in the NFC North and the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. Yes, you read that right. The Detroit Lions stand atop the NFC North standings, and would host a home playoff game if the season ended today. Impressively, the Lions have put

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together the aforementioned great start while enduring injuries to several key players on both sides of the ball. Powered by TaboolaRECOMMENDED FOR YOU NATIONAL High schooler known as local hero is shot while hunting with friends, family says Oct 23, 2023 NATIONAL Prison nurse raped inmate with cancer who depended on him for chemotherapy, feds say Oct 18, 2023 NATIONAL Brother finds 12-year-old’s decomposing body under blanket — then dad flees, WI cops say Oct 17, 2023 NATIONAL Mom of 2 shoots back at home invaders, then she’s shot and killed, Texas police say Oct 23, 2023 For starters, defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, one of Detroit’s prized offseason acquisitions, hasn’t played a single snap since Week 2 due to a torn pec, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll play again in 2023. Then there’s fellow offseason addition Emmanuel Moseley, who suffered a torn ACL in his Lions debut in Week 5 against the Panthers. Additionally, running back David Montgomery, safety Kerby Joseph, EDGE James Houston and offensive linemen Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai have each missed multiple games as a result of physical ailments. Despite the constant presence of players on the inactive list throughout the season, the Lions have largely maintained their winning ways. And, a fair chunk of that can be attributed to Dan Campbell’s squad embracing the “next man up” mantra. And, there’s no better recent example of

 

Lions GM Brad Holmes should be in the Executive of the Year conversation - Pride Of Detroit

 

that than rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs’ performance Monday against Las Vegas. With Montgomery, Detroit’s lead back, sidelined for a second consecutive week, Gibbs was tasked with stepping up and shouldering Montgomery’s customary bell-cow workload. The first-year pro did just that and then some in front of a raucous Ford Field crowd in Week 8. In the win, Gibbs rushed for a staggering 152 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, good for an average of 5.8 yards per attempt. He also contributed another 37 yards as a pass-catcher. In doing so, he became the first Detroit rookie back to produce a game with both 100-plus rushing yards and 30-plus receiving yards since Lions legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders in 1989. It also marked the second consecutive game in which the former Alabama back amassed north of 100 all-purpose yards. Campbell believes there are many more good days to come for the versatile, first-year runner. “I could tell he was feeling it,” Campbell expressed after the game, regarding Gibbs’ career day against the Raiders. “Every week, he’s just gotten a little bit better and a little bit better. I thought last week was his best game, and this week certainly surpassed that. I think the more he gains his own confidence in his own abilities in this league, he’s just going to continue to grow. And, I think this was kind of the tip of the iceberg, if you will, for what he’s able to do and going to be able to do. Really proud of him.” Penei

 

Lions Rookie Could Grow into Franchise QB: Insider

Sewell, the only starter on Detroit’s offensive line yet to miss a game this season, helped pave the way for Gibbs’ breakthrough performance. The third-year lineman, like Campbell, was impressed with the way in which the first-year back ran the football Monday. “He was really comfortable out there,” Sewell said of Gibbs in the postgame. “He looked like he had a clear mind and knows the gameplan well. So, to see him out there doing what he does best, it was honestly crazy. I didn’t know he was that fast, and he just makes it look effortless out there — and it makes us look better.” What a difference a year makes. Remember, a year ago, Campbell’s bunch started off the season 1-6, before racking up wins in eight of its last 10 games. This year’s Lions – outside of suffering a setback to the Ravens last week – have had a different feel to them. They have seemed like a much more complete team, with the ability to be productive on both sides of the ball. It has fans and pundits alike thinking that this season has the potential to be a very special one for the Lions. It could just be the year where the franchise wins its first playoff game since the 1991 season. However, before that can occur, Detroit general manager Brad Holmes must get to work on making a trade deadline deal or two. As good as the Lions have played to start the 2023 campaign, they are still likely at least a couple pieces away from being a legitimate NFC title contender. They definitely could use another EDGE defender to complement the pass-rushing production of Aidan Hutchinson. Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt for Holmes to invest in further depth at both cornerback and wide receiver. Yet, it’ll be hard for Holmes and Detroit’s front office to address all three of those needs at Tuesday’s trade deadline. Thus, if I were in the shoes of the third-year general manager, I’d focus my attention on acquiring a game-changing pass-rusher, like the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby (who had a QB hit and eight total tackles against Detroit) or the Vikings’ Danielle Hunter. Even though he plays for a divisional rival of the Lions, Hunter, who’s in the last year of his contract, should be easier to pry away. The eighth-year pro leads the league with 10 sacks and 12 tackles for loss through eight games. And, just like Crosby, he’d provide a huge boost to Detroit’s pass-rushing department. The Lions are already on the verge of a division-winning, 10-plus-win season. That would be a highly satisfactory campaign for the organization, considering the dysfunctional situation that the team was in when Campbell and Holmes took over their respective positions in 2021. However, if Detroit wants to take the next step and become a bonafide contender to win the NFC, Holmes must work his magic and strike a deal for a player of Hunter’s caliber by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline. It would put the “bow on top” of a special season in the Motor City.

 

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