The Detroit Lions have enjoyed a productive 2-1-1 start to the season, but even in spite of the positivity, there are some players who do need to step up in order to help the Lions have a better chance at a dominating second half of the season.
The Lions have gotten solid contributions from most on their roster, so this could be seen as nitpicking. Which players need to step up following Detroit’s bye to make a bigger impact on the field? Here’s a look at some of the top names the Lions need to see step up and make a few more plays in order to finish strong.
Jesse James, TE
James has a key fourth down reception to his credit this year and has been solid on the ground as a blocker. Lions fans likely want to see him make a few more big catches, though. James used to turn in such solid plays with regularity and be a red zone weapon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Lions will want to see him make that kind of impact in Detroit to make their offense scarier. Thus far, with only 5 receptions for 46 yards, it’s safe to say James hasn’t gotten going. The Lions will want to see him make a few more plays.
Jarrad Davis, LB
Davis was hampered by an ankle injury from the preseason, so it’s safe to say he is one of many Lions that could benefit from the early bye week. Still, the Lions need Davis to remain active and find his role within the defense. He’s a huge piece of the team moving forward and keeping him comfortable and engaged should be significant for the team. They need Davis healthy and making a bigger impact on the stat ledger. He is already one of the best leaders on the team.
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Damon Harrison, DT
A good defensive tackle is sometimes invisible in terms of his ability to clog the running lanes and make life miserable for the opposition. To that end, it’s not as if Harrison is playing poorly, he simply hasn’t been as statistically dominant as he was when he came to Detroit last October. The safe bet is that type of production in terms of sacks may have been unsustainable. Still, if Harrison did add some sacks to the total for the Lions, it would be nice. The defensive line has suffered from injury early on, so guys like Harrison have to be graded on a curve.
Will Harris, S
It’s not fair to put pressure on a rookie to step up so fast, but given some of Detroit’s injuries in the secondary, it would be nice for the team to see Harris come in and start to play with some swagger. In the preseason, Harris had some nice plays which showed that he might be a fast learner. He’s gotten some snaps, but in a perfect world, the Lions see him do a bit more to help out their depth moving forward. Detroit likes drafting from the safety position, so seeing Harris develop would be nice.
Trey Flowers, DE
Speaking of former third round picks, Flowers is another player who has been dinged up early and has been adjusting to life as a Lion. It isn’t fair to think Flowers should be statistically dominating after setting foot in Detroit, but he was a big money acquisition for the team this offseason. So far, he only has 15 tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble with the Lions. Those numbers are alright, but the Lions would be much tougher up front if Flowers delivered more sacks. Such is life when you’re the big dog and everyone is game planning for you.