Jahmyr Gibbs turned to the locker next to him and asked Craig Reynolds about his carry count from Monday night.
“Fourteen,” Reynolds responded, leaving Gibbs in disbelief.
“Dan told us we were going to run the ball 40 times,” Gibbs mentioned. “He wasn’t kidding.”
Gibbs achieved career-high numbers with 26 carries, accumulating 152 yards, while Reynolds contributed 74 yards from his 14 carries. Their efforts propelled the Detroit Lions to their first home prime-time victory in five years, with a final score of 26-14 against the Las Vegas Raiders at Ford Field.
Getting his second consecutive start in place of the injured David Montgomery, Gibbs received the ball eight times during the opening drive of the game, reigniting an offense that had struggled with its rushing game for the past two weeks. Gibbs also made five catches for 37 yards, accumulating a total of 189 yards from scrimmage. He scored on a 27-yard run in the third quarter, fulfilling head coach Dan Campbell’s game plan.
Campbell emphasized the importance of reestablishing the team’s identity in this game. The Lions finished with 486 yards of offense, effectively holding the Raiders to only 157 net yards. They dominated time of possession and displayed a stark contrast to their previous week’s performance against the Baltimore Ravens.
With a 6-2 record, the Lions are off to their best start since 2014 and hold the top spot in the NFC North division. They are two games ahead of the Minnesota Vikings (4-4) and have the second-best record in the NFC, trailing only the Philadelphia Eagles (7-1). The Vikings suffered a setback as their starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins, sustained a torn Achilles tendon during their recent win against the Green Bay Packers.
The Lions are in an advantageous position, and Campbell stressed the importance of capitalizing on wins in a competitive league. Their focus remains on their division, and they look forward to healing up during the bye week while preparing for their upcoming challenges.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd on Monday night, the Lions secured an early 9-0 lead with three Riley Patterson field goals. They maintained their advantage throughout the game, despite facing three turnovers and challenges in the red zone.
Jared Goff extended the Lions’ lead to 16-7 just before halftime with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sam LaPorta. Gibbs, scoring his second touchdown in as many weeks, celebrated by leaping over the end zone wall into the crowd.
Goff completed 26 of 37 passes for 272 yards, Amon-Ra St. Brown delivered an impressive performance with 108 receiving yards, and the Lions had their most successful rushing day of the season, despite missing two starters on the offensive line and fielding their seventh different combination upfront in eight games.
Colby Sorsdal, making his first NFL start at right guard, contributed to this achievement, along with other key players who stepped up in crucial roles.
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