Game Week: Game Plan; Matchups To Watch

Matchups to watch and more as Lions prepare for 3-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

GAME PLAN: The running game appears to be the key for the Lions this week - stopping the Bucs' sensational rookie Carnell Williams and getting their own running game started. They obviously have their work cut out for them. The Bucs rank second in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging 166 yards per game, and they rank first in rushing defense, allowing 51.7 yards per game. The Lions have given up an average of 116.5 yards in their first two games and are averaging only 65.5 yards.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Lions LT Jeff Backus vs. Bucs DE Simeon Rice. The Lions have susceptible to the pass rush and Rice already has two sacks in the Bucs' first three games; Backus, along with the rest of the Lions offensive line, has struggled.

Lions RB Kevin Jones vs. Bucs WLB Derrick Brooks. Jones has not yet hit his stride with only 109 yards on 33 carries; Brooks has the ability to make plays all over the field.

Lions LBs Earl Holmes, Boss Bailey and James Davis vs. Bucs RB Carnell Williams. Williams has the fastest start of any rookie RB in NFL history with three consecutive 100-yard games. The Lions linebackers will have to maintain their gap responsibilities to try to contain him.


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