Can Gardner Minshew Be Stopped? 5 Things To Watch in Lions vs. Jaguars

Gardner Minshew

Getty Gardner Minshew fires a pass.

The Detroit Lions are getting set to get back to work following a week off to rest and reset, and now, the team is faced with the challenge of coming back and going on the road to kick Week 6 off.

When the Lions get back to work this week, there will be plenty of issues waiting for them to iron out in order to get things back on the winning track.

What are the most important storylines this week? Here’s a look.

Do Lions Have a Bye Week Hangover?

Detroit likely used the bye week to rest up and iron out whatever lingering injury concerns there may have been from the first part of the season. That was the good news from their early bye. The bad news? Detroit now has to get back on the field and shake off the rust in a major way. Sometimes, it’s not easy to go on the road and win following an elongated break. The Jaguars will be hungry after losing in Week 5, so the Lions will need to be locked in from the start and cannot afford to show any signs of rust whatsoever. The bye week is a positive and a negative for teams. The Lions will have to hope that it’s more positive this week.

Can Detroit’s Defense Stop Garner Minshew Mania?

The Lions know they haven’t been getting enough pressure on the quarterback, and in Week 6, they will once again be faced with a player who can run, throw and do a little bit of everything in Minshew. Since coming into the league, Minshew has been a revelation at quarterback and the Lions have to work hard defensively to get in his face, force mistakes and generate sacks. Minshew is capable of wrecking the game at quarterback, but is also capable of making some big mistakes. The Lions will need to prevent the big plays from happening in order to have a chance to win.

Will Lions Actually Win a Winnable Game?

The Lions and Jaguars are similar in terms of record, which is a testament to how bad Detroit has been at closing games to start the 2020 season. On paper and on the field, the Lions are much better and deeper than the Jaguars and this is a game that Detroit should win most of the time. Problem is, in the NFL, the motto ‘any given Sunday’ so often rings true. The Lions are capable of losing the game, so they have to constantly be on guard and find a way to step up and beat lesser competition. That hasn’t happened much under Matt Patricia, so it’s time for a change.

Does Detroit’s Offense Finally Step up?

When last everyone saw Detroit’s offense, the team was busy falling asleep at the wheel and struggling to take care of business in the second half against New Orleans. Detroit flexed their muscle early on, but never had the type of consistency needed to win on the ground or through the air. This week, the Lions need to find some much needed balance in order to help things out and keep their foot on the gas pedal. On offense, they need to pull away from the Jaguars and score enough points to get the job done. With Detroit’s defense inconsistent as well, it’s on the offense to put together a winning effort.

How Bad Does It Get for Matt Patricia?

Anything short of a dominating win and Lions fans will be flipping out again and calling for heads to roll. The news cycle through the bye wasn’t ideal for the coach, who saw all kinds of attacks coming from outside the team. He’ll say the outside noise doesn’t impact him, but the truth is, this feels like another tipping point for the coach. A win out of the bye will keep the pink slip away for another week, but a loss and a sloppy effort could only hasten its arrival. Patricia needs his best effort of the year a few weeks after he and his staff were flat out miserable against New Orleans.

READ NEXT: 5 Games Lions Must Win for Second Half Turnaround

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