The Detroit Lions may have got the win on Thursday night over the Kansas City Chiefs, but fantasy football owners aren't thrilled with how the team utilized first-round running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
It was the David Montgomery show for the most part in Detroit's backfield in Week 1. Gibbs carried the ball just seven times, but showed impressive efficiency with 42 yards to go along with two receptions for another 18 yards in the 21-20 win. However, despite Gibbs averaged an impressive 6.0 yards per carry, the Lions never seemed interested in making the talented rookie a focal point of the offense.
Prior to Week 1, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson hinted at an "unexpected role" for Gibbs this season. That comment got fantasy owners excited before the season, but led to plenty of fans voicing their frustration about the situation during Thursday night's game.
Ben Johnson: "We might use Jahmyr Gibbs in some ways that people don?t quite think we might."
The ways: pic.twitter.com/J8zIK9gir9
— Brady Fred (@Brady_Fred) September 8, 2023
Billy this is Jahmyr Gibbs he?s an electric player, the problem is he doesn?t play pic.twitter.com/D1ZDS3BKhd
— Eliot Crist ? (@EliotCrist) September 8, 2023
While fantasy owners were understandably frustrated at how little Gibbs was used in his first career NFL game, there was a simple on-field reason for his limited usage. The former Alabama running back wasn't as effective in pass protection as the starter in Montgomery, as you can see in the clip below.
This is why Jahmyr Gibbs isn?t playing pic.twitter.com/s6ZfWgjqFD
— JC Cornell (@CornellNFL) September 8, 2023
Gibbs was the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft after an impressive college career with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Crimson Tide. After transferring from Georgia Tech to Alabama in 2022, Gibbs stole the show in Nick Saban's backfield, rushing for 926 yards and seven touchdowns while racking up another 444 yards and three scores on 44 catches.
Given his explosiveness and dual-threat ability, Gibbs turned enough heads for the Lions and general manager Brad Holmes to take a chance on him with a first-round pick. While he may not have had the production fantasy owners were hoping in his first game, there is still plenty of time for the Lions to get Gibbs acclimated to the NFL game and increase his workload as the season goes on.
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