6 Detroit Lions players who must play well against the Chiefs in Week 1

If the Detroit Lions are going to pull off the upset on Thursday night, these half-dozen players will have to play well.
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Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

4. RB Jahmyr Gibbs

He didn't do it in a toe-the-line of the rules, Gregg Williams offering bounties kind of way, but Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo put a bit of a bullseye on Gibbs in his game plan this week.

"It's all eyeballs on No. 26 when he goes in the game," "That's one of the things we've been talking about, know where he is and if he's in the game because we certainly think with a guy that's that explosive they're going to try to find way to get him the ball.""

Steve Spagnuolo

Gibbs is obviously lined up for a multi-faceted role this season. More narrowly, his versatility/big play ability can be a real game-changer in the Lions' bid to upset the Chiefs. Beyond the explosive plays he can offer, Gibbs can make a difference doing little things that won't show up in the box score.

Check out this play from the first preseason game, as Gibbs recognized pressure coming on the back side and abandoned a play-action fake to give Nate Sudfeld a clean pocket. A credit to his awareness, and perhaps his mental preparation after going against the Giants in joint practices that week.

3. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown

St. Brown is an obvious one here, as the Lions' No. 1 wide receiver and a general tone setter for his teammates. He and Jared Goff have a strong connection, and that rapport will have to be non-verbal quite a bit in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL.

St. Brown will be an important safety net for Goff against the Chiefs, as he always is. The Lions' offense has to be efficient moving the chains and extending drives if they are to pull an upset, and the "Sun God" will obviously be a key cog there.