Matt LaFleur has his eyes on this player in Week 18
Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers have one final roadblock before the playoffs. They must beat the Detroit Lions in Week 18 on Sunday Night Football. Head coach LaFleur watched one Lions player, G.R.I.T., out in the running game during Detroit’s win over the Packers at Ford Field in November. LaFleur singled a running back out in Wednesday’s press conference.
During the defensive match earlier this season, running back Jamaal Williams led the Lions in rushing with 81 yards on 24 carries. He averaged just 3.4 yards per carry, but it was enough to milk the clock and allow the Lions to get the 15-9 win.
According to Bill Huber with Sports Illustrated, Williams is someone Matt LaFleur is keying in on this week. LaFleur talked about Williams during his press conference Wednesday. He said Williams embodies what the Lions stand for and is “severely underrated”:
Jamaal Williams is the "epitome" of what the Lions are all about and "severely underrated," LaFleur says.— Bill Huber (@BillHuberNFL) January 4, 2023
Williams is coming into Green Bay hot
Williams ran all over the Chicago Bears in Week 17. He ran 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown in Chicago. The Packers running defense has had questionable outings this season. They can’t allow Williams to have those stats if they want to play on Wild Card weekend.
Williams is graded 71.1 overall by Pro Football Focus this season. At 994 rushing yards this season, he will likely eclipse 1,000 yards for the year against the Packers. Williams has had an impressive 15 touchdowns so far this season. However, there are glitches in his game.
Williams has three fumbles and is only averaging a pedestrian four yards per rush. It’s up to Joe Barry’s defense to make sure he has one of his more humble appearances in Week 18. Williams is not guaranteed to be a dynamic running back in every game he plays.