Detroit Lions: Keys to success against the Chargers
By Ryan Russell
The Detroit Lions have a tall task in their 2019 home opener in the form of the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday. Here is how I think the Lions can win…
On Sunday, September 15th the Detroit Lions are set to kickoff their home opener when the Los Angeles Chargers head to town. This game will be a mighty challenge for Detroit, but they certainly can win. Let’s take a look quick look at how, shall we?
The Lions played an excellent ball game against Arizona in the season opener for much of the way. Unfortunately, the offense had some struggles in the fourth quarter and the defensive line grew very tired. Detroit lost an 18 point lead and ended the game with a tie in over-time.
The Arizona game does not define these Lions though. This game should not make the fan-base lose hope. It was a week one match-up and there are 15 games left to be played. Detroit showed how good they are going to be and from what I saw in this game, once these following flaws are under control, the Lions are going to roll.
In order to get that first mark in the win column against the Chargers this Sunday, the Detroit Lions defensive line must be able to play a full game without getting gassed. The offense needs to get Kerryon Johnson more involved and Jamal Agnew needs to play better. The Lions coaching staff also needs to be better late in games.
The offense needs to be able to run the ball better against the Chargers in order to eat up the clock. With a talented stable of running backs, this shouldn’t be a problem. It is important to run the ball in any game, it will help the defensive line out as far as conditioning. In fact, it helps the whole defense. The less they are on the field, the fresher they will be throughout the entirety of the game.
Agnew is so talented that it is hard to believe the struggles he has had since his rookie season. His latest, a muffed punt against the Cardinals inside the five-yard line. He got lucky and the Lions defense kept them out of the end-zone, but that’s not the point here. His ball carrier vision doesn’t seem to be what it once was either.
Honestly, I have felt that it is time to move on from Agnew since training camp, but I understand how hard that can be given the talent we have seen. For now, the young return man just needs to work hard and play better.
The Lions coaching staff got quite conservative in Arizona on both sides of the ball at about the halfway point of the third quarter. The Lions need to learn how to close out games. There was also an issue with timeouts and clock preservation. I’m not going to condemn any team after one game, but this is unacceptable. The Lions need to solve this problem immediately.
Now, some may believe that I should include the offensive line to this list of things to improve. I don’t agree with that. The line may not have been perfect throughout the game, but they did very well for a Week One matchup. I expect them to play even better against the Chargers. The offensive line will get better with every week that passes. They are not going to be the best line in the league, but they will be good enough to help win a lot of ball games.
I suspect that the Lions offense can hang with any team. The offense looked very good for most of the Cardinals game. The defense looked very good as well, until they got gassed that is. If these issues that I have pointed out are addressed, the Lions can beat any given team at any given moment. This is a good football team and with time they will be much better. I don’t foresee it to be a long stretch of time either.
Keep your heads up OnePride nation, these Detroit Lions are going to make you proud. The season is just beginning and you haven’t seen what this Detroit team is even capable of yet. As I’ve said before, it’s going to be a fun season for the fans of the Detroit Lions!