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Hours Before Facing Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions Rookie RB “Most Definitely” Commits to 500 Yards Receiving

Published 09/06/2023, 9:19 PM EDT

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Believing in one’s own abilities is far greater than having others believe in them. 21-year-old Detroit Lions Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs has set his eyes on the prize this NFL season and believes that he can achieve a statistical rarity that not many rookies have achieved in the recent past. 

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Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, is planning on utilizing the young rookie’s skills “in some ways that people don’t quite think we might” in Thursday’s NFL season opener showdown, in the clash against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Arrowhead Stadium.

Jahmyr Gibbs’ glorious performance prediction 


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While speaking with Michele Steele of ESPN, the 2023 NFL No. 12 overall draft pick out of Alabama expressed his confidence in being able to display an outstanding performance in his opening season with the Detroit Lions. Most definitely, especially with this system,” said the rookie running back as he set ambitious goals for himself achieving a staggering 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in his debut season. 

This is a number that has become increasingly difficult to achieve after many NFL teams shifted their gameplay away from featuring running backs as the primal point of their offensive force. Based on data accumulated over the past three years, only three running backs have amassed over 500 rushing yards.


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Last season, only Christian McCaffrey was able to achieve the remarkable feat of accumulating 1,139 rushing yards and 741 receiving yards.

There have been other close contenders, however, with Austin Ekeler tallying 915 rushing yards and 722 receiving yards in 2022, and achieving 911 rushing yards and 647 receiving yards in 2021. Alvin Kamara recorded 898 rushing yards and 756 receiving yards in 2020. 

Yards are merely accessories to Gibbs’ real goal 

The primary focus for the young running back is to contribute considerably to the Lion’s overall performance in the 2023 season and push towards winning it. He is also setting his eyes on the highest prize for an NFL rookie – The Rookie of the Year Award. His performance statistics are complimentary at best – “If we win, the rest will come,” Gibbs told ESPN on Monday.


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A post shared by Jahmyr Gibbs (@_.jah1._)


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Others also have their eyes out for the fresh draft. Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said earlier this week that Detroit would be using the rookie running back in ways unexpected in Thursday’s NFL season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. “It’s all eyeballs on number 26 when he goes in the game,” remarked Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo while talking about Gibbs, 

It is interesting to note that, during his two-year collegiate career at Georgia Tech and one at Alabama, the hyped rookie never managed to reach the milestone of 1,000 rushing yards or 500 receiving yards in a single season. During his time with the Crimson Tide in the previous season, Gibbs managed to accumulate 926 rushing yards and 444 receiving yards while scoring a total of 10 touchdowns.


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The expectations are high for the 21-year-old rookie running back, but for the most part, he is setting them for himself. Whether it is an unnecessary smoke screen or merely an overstated proclamation, we must wait to find out.

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Written by:

Anushka Laha


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Anushka Laha is a fairly new addition to the NFL arsenal at ES. From representing her state at National Basketball matches, to winning medals at Muyai Thai, this PG Department of English Prize holder is an artist at heart. Words and images merge seamlessly in her writing as do the colors and lines in her paintings.
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Edited by:

Sharan Nair