Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos: What To Watch For


The Detroit Lions have not started the season how anyone thought they would. Fans and analysts alike had the Lions starting out with wins coming into these next two games that are slated to be very tough. If you looked at this schedule on paper that was printed in 2014, you likely circled Denver and Seattle and chalked both these games up to losses based on name value alone. Now these to games don’t look like the vaunted showdowns they once did.

Let’s take a look at what need’s to happen for the Lions to get their first win of the 2015 season.

Aug 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view of Ford Field before a preseason NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Ford Field should be rocking

Sure the season has been a disappointment so far. But that doesn’t mean Lions fans won’t be packing Ford Field to the brim on Sunday night. This could end up being an advantage for the Lions as this team is 11-4 at home since 2013 and lost on Brush Street just once in 2014.

With a raccous crowd, the Broncos 32nd ranked offense could have some trouble getting off the starting block and the Lions as a whole could feed off the city of Detroit in efforts to grab their first win.

Can the Lions get the offense rolling?

This is it right here folks. This is what the Lions need to do to win this game. The Lions must not shy away from running n up tempo and balanced offense. The Lions could easily stunt the progress of the Broncos vaunted defense by taking a page out of their opponents books.

If the Lions go up tempo and get the ball out of Matthew Stafford’s hand quickly, the Lions can not only keep the defense on its toes, but also keep them honest which could open up the field for deep throws and big plays. Above all, this type of scheme will keep Matthew Stafford out of the dirt.

Can the defense shake off the bad start?

It’s quite obvious from my spot on the couch at home that every offense the Lions have gone up against is playing the same type of football against this defense. Short passes and screens is what exposed the Lions defense last year and the Lions had a lot of trouble stopping it, especially against the Patriots and Cardinals.

In an effort to combat this the Lions may have to loosen up on the blitz calls and try to keep everything in front of them. If the Lions can’t stop something that every team does to them, they will be in big trouble.

Will the Lions utilize their running game correctly?

Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (21) rushes with the ball as he stiff arms Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Gerald Hodges (50) in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Stafford was the leading rusher for the Lions last Sunday. I can guarantee that the Lions will lose every time that happens. The Lions must get their ground attack going if they hope to balance out the offense and win this game. It’s imperative that Ameer Abdullah carry’s the ball more than seven times and it wouldn’t hurt to work in Zach Zenner a little as well. Joique bell proved on Sunday that he may not have what it takes to be the Lions number one back anymore. Joe Lombardi must adjust accordingly.

Mike Payton is an Editor at SideLion Report. He is from Holland, Michigan by way of Warren, Michigan. He considers himself to be obsessed with the Detroit Lions. Mike’s work has been featured on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio and Mike is also a weekly contributor on It is what is with Sean Baligian on ESPN 96.1 and a contributor for The Holland Sentinel. Follow Mike Payton on Twitter@SLR_Mike

Next: Lions vs Broncos: Injury Report

More from SideLion Report