For a big chunk of Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons, Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs didn't find much room to run. An injury-thinned offensive line didn't help, but during his regular Tuesday appearance on 97.1 The Ticket this week head coach Dan Campbell lightly lamented some unrealized yardage.
"(There) were a couple things, man, I wish he had read a little different."We ran a lot of outside zone, and (he has to) hit that cut a little earlier and cut it upfield," "There were a number of things in there where we felt we were really going to get some explosive runs, and that’s why you run them. You know it may take a minute to get them, but we expected to pop more than we got. We weren’t real clean all the way through the game like we really should be."
In the first half against Atlanta, Gibb has nine carries for 25 yards and six of his first eight carries between the tackles went for two yards or less. It's also safe to say running between the tackles is not really Gibbs' game, and the Falcons' interior defensive line is formidable.
Dan Campbell sees lightbulb coming on for Jahmyr Gibbs
On the Lions' fourth quarter touchdown drive that sealed the game, Gibbs ripped off runs of 12 and 21 yards on back-to-back plays. On the scoring play, a read-option fake to Gibbs opened up a clear path to the end zone for Jared Goff.
Campbell also noted how Gibbs helped close out the victory.
"What fired me up more than anything was two of the last runs, he hit a 12-yarder and then a 21-yarder," "And that’s in the fourth quarter after getting a bit of a load. I felt like, OK, here we go, he’s starting to find his way and get a little rhythm here. That was really encouraging for me."
"Because I think this kid’s pretty tough and I do think he’s got vision and he’s only going to get better with time. When this lightbulb really, really comes on, I think it’s going to be something special. We’ll just keep coaching him up."
Gibbs finished with 80 yards on 17 carries in a workhorse-style role against the Falcons, with key runs to spark the drive that sealed the win. Even with David Montgomery back in the lineup, facing the Packers' 27th-ranked run defense on Thursday night brings potential of a big night for Gibbs on a primetime stage.