Not yet eliminated from the playoffs, the Detroit Lions are playing meaningless football
The Detroit Lions losing to the Green Bay Packers seemingly squashed any hopes of a slim run at the playoffs under a new coach since the firing of Matt Patricia. At 5-8, a lot will have to happen over the next few games to get the Lions into the playoff picture.
This week, they take on the Tennessee Titans on the road. This article will take a look at the matchup history between the Lions and Titans, their last matchup, what to watch for, what needs to happen for Detroit to win the game and a prediction.
The Lions and Titans have played each other a total of 12 times with one of those games going into overtime. The Lions have three wins and nine losses in those 12 games against the Titans.
The last time these two teams played against each other was Week 2 of the 2016 season where the Titans just eked out a win with a 16-15 score. Quarterback Matthew Stafford went 22 for 40 with 260 yards along with a touchdown and interception.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr caught eight catches for 118 yards. Linebacker Tahir Whitehead led the Lions defensively in tackles with 10 and all but three of those were solo.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 75.8% of his passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 89 yards on 12 attempts. Running back Derrick Henry got nine carries for 40 yards. Tight end Delanie Walker caught six passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
What to watch for
How will quarterback Chase Daniel perform? Stafford is viewed as a long shot to play this week due to a rib injury. Daniel has only started five games in his career that dates back to the 2010 season.
Can the Lions stop the Titans underrated offense? Henry is one of the top running backs in the league while they have two solid wideouts in A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. Tight end Jonnu Smith can’t be forgotten either.
Keys to the game/What the Lions need to do to win
They will need to do a lot. Daniel will need to step up and drive the offense in Stafford’s absence. Running back D’Andre Swift will need to have a big game to help the offensive attack and there’s a good chance he’s relied on heavily.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions need to find ways to stop Henry. While they were able to limit running back Aaron Jones to 69 yards last week, Henry is much better, more dynamic and is a lot harder to get to the ground.
They will also need to cover their wideouts tightly in Brown and Davis. Both of them can beat out cornerbacks to the ball and can also jump to high heights to reach for balls in the air. An all around team effort is needed to win this game.
As the Lions will be without their quarterback in Stafford which is the most important position in the game, it will be a tough win to get. Even if Stafford was healthy, it still would have been a hard game as the Titans have a potent offensive attack that will be hard for a poor Lions defense to stop. Final score: Titans 37, Lions 18