Detroit Lions: How to beat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 13

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Matthew Stafford
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Matthew Stafford /

Win out, and the Detroit Lions might have a shot at reaching the playoffs. A loss will drastically decrease any chance of postseason play.

Entering with the same record (6-5), the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens are very much in the playoff hunt in their respective conference. The Lions will likely not win the NFC North, so every win will help them get that wildcard spot.

Make the Flacco win the game

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t been the same player since winning a Super Bowl title. Inconsistencies and turnovers have plagued him routinely.

In 11 games, Flacco has only 1,875 yards passing, 9 touchdowns to 11 interceptions and a measly 5.3 yards per attempt. Holding back the Ravens the most is their quarterback play. Putting the game on Flacco’s arm has resulted in more losses than wins.

Baltimore is the worst passing team (164.3) in the NFL, but in terms of rushing yards (116.8) they are the tenth best. Even against a struggling offense, the Lions need to stop the run more effectively than recent weeks or it could be mean a second straight loss.

No slow start

Could you imagine the Lions record if they played more than three quarters? Fourth quarter comebacks are not a winning recipe for championship teams every game. It’s good to see it accomplished but winning convincingly is necessary.

Coaching is heavily to blame with the struggles associated with Detroit’s offense. Subpar play calling and questionable scheming has really held back the Lions. There’s no way with all the money the Lions poured into the offensive line that it’s all on them.

Health has hampered that position mostly but there’s a possibility the additions of TJ Lang and Rick Wagner are slightly over overrated signings. Chemistry takes time to build but it shouldn’t take this long to turn around poor pass and run blocking. If the coaches continue their stumbling ways, this won’t be the year the Lions stumble into the postseason.

Stafford must be kept healthy

Under unfortunate circumstances, the Lions saw their quarterback limping after a tough Thanksgiving loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Matthew Stafford hurt his ankle and says he’s feeling okay, but okay could mean the difference between making magic and getting sacked.

With how the NFC is playing out, I doubt the Lions get in losing anymore games, especially now that Stafford is dealing with a bum ankle. Detroit wouldn’t be foolish enough to reveal how serious the injury is nor would the NFL’s highest paid player miss the game. Stafford is as tough as they come at any position.

Next: Fire Jim Caldwell or waste Matthew Stafford?

30 sacks is how many sacks the Ravens have accumulated in 2017. Not a good sign for the Lions who yield 36 sacks of their own to their opponents. Without a proven backup at quarterback, Stafford exiting the game would be the end of the Lions and their season.