6 players who'll be biggest x-factors for Detroit Lions in Divisional Round vs. Buccaneers

Here are six players who will be the biggest x-factors for the Detroit Lions in Sunday's Divisional Round game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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6. DT Alim McNeill

Overall, the Lions' pass rush has still not been enough outside of Aidan Hutchinson. But McNeill's return to health has also helped spur a further spike in Hutchinson's production over the last couple games.

Following his breakthrough regular season, even though it was shortened by a knee injury, McNeill is Pro Football Focus' highest-graded interior defensive lineman among players still alive in the playoffs.

The strength of Tampa Bay's offensive line is clearly tackles Triston Wirfs and Luke Goedeke. They are far more vulnerable in the middle, and McNeill should be lined up for favorable matchups on a regular basis during Sunday's game.

Aaron Glenn has dialed up the blitz a little more lately, which has helped boost the Lions' pass rush production. But as noted by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, even with the Lions having success the few times they did blitz him in the first matchup, Baker Mayfield had the second-best QBR against the blitz during the regular season.

Mayfield can move, but it's hard to call him mobile, or particularly athletic in line with running quarterbacks that have given the Lions trouble. He's also dealing with an ankle injury, and while it didn't appear to become a thing he had his healthy foot stepped on during Tampa Bay's Wild Card Round win.

It's a near-lock that Hutchinson will surely be putting heat on Mayfield from wherever he lines up on Sunday. But McNeill needs to be noticeable and dent the stat sheet as a pass rusher, coming from right in front of Tampa Bay's signal caller to make him uncomfortable.