Not only do the Lions need a win to help boost their fading playoff hopes and perhaps keep the heat off their staff for another week, the team is searching for some consistency at home that simply hasn’t come during the 2020 season. The Lions haven’t found winning at Ford Field easy, and they will have to buck that trend in order to get back to 4-5 and give themselves any hope at a second half run.
What are the key elements to watch this week as it relates to the team being able to do that? Here’s a look at
Can Adrian Peterson Manage His Revenge?
Last week, Everson Griffen talked a lot about managing to get his own revenge on Minnesota and make them pay for his release. All he did was come up with a measly 2 tackles on the afternoon and not touch the quarterback. As revenge games go, it fell pretty darn flat for the Lions. This week, Peterson is talking up being motivated for revenge on Washington himself. One problem? The running back hasn’t seen the field consistently in recent weeks and is beginning to be out rushed by D’Andre Swift. If Peterson is going to get his revenge, he’s going to need a ton of touches. We’ll see if the Lions are accommodating this week, and if Peterson can churn for yards like he hasn’t done since Week 1 this season.
Does Detroit’s Offense Get Anything Going?
The Lions offense as a whole isn’t in a great place. Kenny Golladay isn’t likely to play again this week, which puts the pressure on everyone else to make plays and put up touchdowns. Detroit’s wideouts are dropping the ball far too much this season, and the team’s offense has looked lost without their best wideout. The Lions need to come up with a good game against a defense which is sneaky strong this year. If they cannot execute, it will be another bad sign moving forward.
Will the Defense Make Yet Another Substitution Error?
It’s not something that should be on anyone’s radar week to week in the league, but the Lions could make it 3 weeks in a row with substitution mistake this week. The last 2 weeks, they’ve only had 10 men on the field leading directly to bad plays in the game, something which is a glaring mistake that the team’s defensive coordinator is frustrated with yet struggling to explain. Players are now saying they will take the responsibility to make sure things are right. It’s clear there is major disarray on the Detroit defense right now, and it could lead to another 10 man mistake. If the error happens 3 weeks in a row, that would become very bad news for Matt Patricia and company.
Can Matt Prater Hit From Distance?
Prater and the Lions have been dismissing the kicking problems that have crept up this season the last few weeks, but the reality is, it’s never good to see a once reliable veteran kicker start blocking kicks from distance. If the Lions can get Prater a kick from 45 yards or more early in the game, it would be nice to see him nail it for his own confidence sake. Prater has been a rock and will remain one until proven otherwise, but he has been oddly shaky from distance this season. Just another oddity that 2020 has provided the team.
Who Steps Up and Provides a Takeaway?
Detroit’s defense is hurting again, and the team badly needs to find a way to not only get after the quarterback but force more mistakes. When the Lions were at their best during their modest winning streak, they were stepping up for key stops, making big plays and forcing turnovers. The last few weeks, all of that has gone away and they have been pushed around on defense. Someone has to step up and make a few plays on defense if the Lions want to find a way to win this week and not suffer what would be an embarrassing loss.
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