2. Shutdown running back Kerryon Johnson
For a team that’s lacked consistency in the run game over the past few years, it appears as if the Lions may have found a solution in rookie running back Kerryon Johnson.
Although Johnson is just a rookie, he’s shown that he can be a big part of the Lions offense. In the Lions three victories this season, Johnson has carried the ball an average of 16 times a game and has averaged 6.82 yards per carry.
There’s a clear pattern here: When the Lions win, Johnson is a focal point of the offense. However, when they lose, opposing defenses get after Johnson.
Often times, Detroit will try to get Johnson to run towards the outside and once he’s in open space, he tends to do the most damage. This means that Roquan Smith will need to be a big part of the Bears game plan on Sunday.
One of the major attributes that Smith brings to the table is his sideline-to-sideline speed. This makes him a valuable asset as he stops running backs from breaking away for big gains.
In four of Detroit’s five losses this season, Johnson has carried the ball less than ten times and has averaged under four yards per carry three different times.