3 Lions who need to play a lot better if Detroit is going to make it to the Super Bowl

If the Detroit Lions are going to pay off their postseason run with a trip to the Super Bowl, these three players will have to play better against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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3. CB Kindle Vildor

Vildor stepped into a bigger role when the decision to bench the struggling Jerry Jacobs was finally made. He has started the last four games, including the two postseason games of course, playing 98, 100, 100 and 97 percent of the snaps respectively.

What has that yielded over that last four games? 11 total tackles, one tackle for loss, a forced fumble, zero pass breakups, zero interceptions. As the Lions' pass defense has bleed yards and explosive plays, if they had better options Vildor would not be playing as much. Someone higher on this is getting more attention for his struggles, and rightfully so.

To be fair to Vildor and honest about him, he's a fringe roster-worthy player being relied on to start and play nearly every snap as an outside corner for the Lions. A tentacle of the old baseball-centric line that goes something like "It's not your fault, kid, it's the scout that signed you" applies here.

It's not Vildor's fault that circumstances have him in a more prominent role than his actual skills deserve. It's not even completely the Lions' fault, with Emmanuel Moseley playing on a few snaps this season and Jacobs struggling unexpectedly like he did before being injured himself.

Vildor will of course find himself in a prominent and critical role again on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. Matched up against Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk or even Jauan Jennings if Samuel is out or limited, he at least cannot be a complete liability.