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.

Ryan Kang/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 7
Next

2. RB Jahmyr Gibbs

As mentioned, Gibbs did not play against Tampa Bay back in Week 6. The Buccaneers also have a very good run defense (3.8 yards per carry-sixth best in the NFL; 92.3 yards allowed per game-fourth), and they were eighth in DVOA as a run defense for the season. They also don't allow much to opposing running backs in the passing game (448 receiving yards, tied for fifth-fewest in the league during the regular season).

Gibbs' role as a pass catcher has diminished lately, with four or fewer targets in six of the last seven games. But he did have four catches for 43 yards against the Rams last week. Against Tampa Bay, and the blitz from all angles approach Todd Bowles professes, he's in line for a heavy dose of short area targets from Goff on Sunday. Gibbs' one game with more than four targets from Week 13 to now came against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16. Minnesota was the blitz-heaviest defense in the league during the regular season.

Gibbs is a special all-around talent, and the kind of explosive dual threat the Buccaneers could have trouble with. David Montgomery's role in the Lions' backfield is not going to go away, but Gibbs is lined up to the bigger difference maker of the two this week.