Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys: 3 key matchups for Week 7
By Zach Payne
Matchup 2: Jeff Okudah vs CeeDee Lamb
The number one talking point coming out of Detroit over the last two weeks has been that changes are coming on defense. While those changes have yet to be revealed, the hope is that some schematic tweaks can help the Lions’ defense play more cohesively. That will start with individual players finding more success in their isolated assignments.
While Detroit has struggled to win individual matchups, the secondary has been bleeding yards. Jeff Okudah has been the Lions’ best corner, but that is a very low bar to clear. After a strong first three weeks, Okudah had back-to-back games that served as learning experiences. However, seeing as he has been the No. 1 corner for Detroit, Okudah will draw the Cowboys’ top wideout CeeDee Lamb regularly on Sunday.
Dallas has struggled offensively so far, but a lot of that can be attributed to the absence of Dak Prescott, who was injured in Week 1. With Prescott seemingly on track to make his return this week, the Cowboys as a whole will be in a better position to move the ball. Lamb is going to be arguably the biggest beneficiary of Prescott’s return. Through six weeks, Lamb is seventh in the NFL in targets (60), but he has not been in the upper echelon of receivers with production to match that target share (33 catches for 409 yards, two touchdowns).
It’s interesting, however, that Lamb’s worst game of the season was Week 1 against Tampa Bay, when Prescott played (just two catches on 11 targets).
Because of the upgrade under center, more strain is going to be put on the Detroit secondary Sunday. With Lamb demanding such a large target share, Okudah will certainly be targeted several times in the game. The question is whether we see the Okudah from the first three weeks, or from the most recent two games.