After the big win by the Spartans to remove the Buckeyes from the National Championship Game, it is time for the Lions to take a big step towards the playoffs themselves. Here are my five keys to the game for a Lions victory.
1. Pressure up front
The Lions need to get pressure from the front four on both Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy. Foles has yet to throw an interception this season and McCoy has over 1,000 yards this season on the ground. Philly is in the top ten in both passing yards (ninth) and rushing yards (second) so being able to both slow down McCoy and get pressure on Foles without having to blitz will be important for the Lions success.
2. Running attack
Detroit needs both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell to have a big game against the Eagles defense. As good as the Philly offense has been, the defense has struggled just as much as they are currently 19th against the run this season. The Lions combo of speed and power should force the Eagles to load up the box against the run, allowing for bigger passing lanes as well.
3. Throw it all over
Matthew Stafford and company should have success through the air against the Eagles as well. Philadelphia is the worst in the league against the pass and having an attack like the Lions have with Megatron along with Burleson, Durham, Fauria and the running backs Bell and Bush. If Stafford can get time in the pocket, he should be able to pick apart the spread out Eagles defense all day long.
4. Don’t fear the snow
It is looking like a snowy start in Philadelphia and the elements should help the Lions more than the Eagles. Philly has a lot of speed guys like DeSean Jackson on the outside and McCoy in the backfield, but the snow should help Detroit slow these guys down. If the weather becomes a big factor, look for even more Joique Bell in the backfield to pound the ball north and south against the Eagles.
5. Minimal mistakes
Mistakes are going to happen to both teams, it’s just human nature. But the team that is able to make the least amount of mistakes should win this game. This means turnovers, penalties and stupid mistakes. Detroit has won with a negative turnover margin, but 17 turnovers in five games is going to continue to haunt this team until they are able to clean it up.
With all of that said, I think that this will be a pretty high-scoring game even in the elements. I am taking the Lions, 27-21, in a very entertaining game from both sides.