Detroit Lions vs. Steelers: Five players to watch
With the Detroit Lions playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime on Sunday night, here are five players we believe are worth watching.
The 3-3 Detroit Lions face a tough task Sunday night. They’ll welcome the 5-2 Pittsburgh Steelers to Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan for a primetime matchup on Sunday Night Football. Pittsburgh has one of the most balanced teams in the league.
The Steelers rank sixth in total offense. They possess the seventh best passing offense in the NFL and rank 11th in rushing. And to add insult to very possible injuries, Pittsburgh’s defense is the third best in the league as well.
Here are five Lions’ players we believe will play a big role if Detroit is going to defeat the surging Steelers Sunday night.
Theo Riddick, Running Back
Arguably the NFL’s top receiving threat out of the backfield, Riddick’s number is likely going to be called a lot against the Steelers on Sunday night. The fifth-year back will probably be quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s security blanket as the veteran passer figures to be scrambling for his life due to the Lions’ injured, makeshift offensive line.
Marvin Jones Jr., Wide Receiver
Number one wide receiver Golden Tate is questionable for this matchup. And even if Tate is able to play with his shoulder injury, it’s unlikely he’ll be fully healthy. And with rookie wide out Kenny Golladay already ruled out for this game due to a hamstring injury, the onus of the Lions’ passing attack will run through receiver Marvin jones. Unfortunately, the Steelers possess the league’s top passing defense, so Jones will have to take his game to another level.
Glover Quin, Safety
Quin has arguably been the Lions’ top defensive player through the first half of the regular season. But a concussion he suffered against the New Orleans Saints in Week Six nearly sidelined him for this upcoming contest. Detroit will need a top game from Quin to win this matchup. I’m just not sure he’s fully ready to give it.
Ameer Abdullah, Running Back
I know this is an obvious answer. But it’s also a very true one. Abdullah will need to have the game of his life on Sunday night. Facing a top flight Steelers’ defensive secondary, and possibly being without two of their top receivers, Detroit will need to be ultra-successful running the ball to win this contest. That responsibility lays squarely on the shoulders of Abdullah and this Lions’ offensive line.
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Brian Mihalik, Left Tackle
Whether Mihalik or newcomer Bryce Harris get the start at left tackle, either one will be critical to the Lions getting a “W” on Sunday. Replacing the injured Greg Robinson at left tackle, whomever gets the call to protect Stafford’s blindside will be a busy man. His ability in both pass coverage and run blocking will likely be the biggest determining factor in this matchup.