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It’s clear Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes must trade for WR before it costs them later

Free Press columnist Carlos Monarrez tackles three tough questions after the Detroit Lions’ 26-14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football at Ford Field:

How concerning is the receiving corps?

It was pretty clear Monday night, after Josh Reynolds caught a pass and fumbled it, and after Jameson Williams (believe it or not) dropped a pass that hit him in the hands, that Jared Goff’s only two reliable receivers are Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta. (And no, Jahmyr Gibbs isn’t a true receiver).

That’s part of the reason Goff threw a pick-six to Marcus Peters, looking desperately for St. Brown under pressure with few other options available. Unless Williams gets a hand transplant during the bye, general manager Brad Holmes needs to work some magic and find a receiver upgrade before Tuesday's 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline, lest this lack of depth hurt the Lions in a game that really matters later this season. Maybe coach Dan Campbell can help grease the skids with his old mentor and get Sean Payton to send Jerry Jeudy to Detroit.

Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams misses a catch against Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson during the first half at Ford Field on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.
Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams misses a catch against Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson during the first half at Ford Field on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

How good was Jahmyr Gibbs?

With 60% of the starting offensive line missing, the rookie had every excuse to fail. Instead, he put on a show in a coming out party for a national audience. I still believe the run game will go through David Montgomery when he gets back from a rib injury, probably after the bye. But the Lions rode Gibbs for the second straight game and he delivered, with 26 carries for 152 yards and one touchdown.

Gibbs is more a slasher and speedster, which doesn’t lend itself to being a workhorse like Montgomery, a punishing straight-line runner. But Gibbs came alive in the second half and helped the offense atone for Craig Reynolds’ lost fumble at the Raiders’ 3-yard line. Gibbs turned the corner and scored from 27 yards, then jumped into the stands for a lengthy celebration with fans. When Montgomery returns, the run game could be an extremely potent weapon.

What was the atmosphere like at Ford Field?

Simply put, it felt like a playoff game. It was as loud, explosive and exuberant as I’ve seen the stadium. This is what this team has wrought: a fanbase that has been aching to explode. Late in the game, when the Lions sacked Jimmy Garoppolo three times in four plays, it felt like the roof was going to come off the joint.

JEFF SEIDEL: This was crazy fun: Lions roll to a wild, loud, rollicking win on MNF

Lions fans cheer against the Raiders during the first half at Ford Field on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.
Lions fans cheer against the Raiders during the first half at Ford Field on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

The Lions pulled out all the stops by introducing Lomas Brown into their ring of honor during a homecoming game for alumni, and handed out bracelets that were synched to light up for visual pyrotechnics. It felt like a warmup for other big games that Ford Field has been waiting too long to host.

Contact Carlos Monarrez: cmonarrez@freepress.com. Follow him @cmonarrez.

Catch the "Carlos and Shawn" show after every Lions game, on demand on freep.com/podcasts or subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts (AppleSpotify).

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes should bolster WR depth at trade deadline