3. The Baltimore Ravens can shut down the Detroit Lions run game with Michael Pierce?
Michael Pierce has been an unheralded player who is making the most of a healthy season in 2023. He has not been able to finish a season since 2019, but as of right now, he is playing about as good as he was back then. This makes a massive difference in the run game. Against a Detroit Lions team that takes pride in punching you in the mouth, there are few teams that Pierce will have a bigger presence against.
Pierce is seeing this team at the perfect time as well. The Lions are limping in a bit, and both guards are banged up. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was active on Sunday but sat as the Lions are easing him back into the mix. Dan Campbell said this week that he is close, which means he may be in the same role, and the Lions will lean on backup Graham Glasgow.
Kayode Awosika started in place of Jonah Jackson last week as Jackson is nursing an ankle injury. Jackson has not practiced this week and is unlikely to play. Beyond that, David Montgomery is out this week, and his backup, Craig Reynolds, has a hamstring issue. Jahmyr Gibbs is hardly their running back because they do not use him between the tackles, but he is more like a skill player who they use in different manners. Gibbs will be for Roquan Smith and Kyle Hamilton to wrangle. The straight-up-the-gut runs will feature backup guards and backup running backs. The Baltimore Ravens need Michael Pierce to deliver.