4 Detroit Lions who need to step up their game in Week 15 vs. Denver Broncos

If the Detroit Lions are going to beat the Denver Broncos on Saturday, these four players will have to step up their level of play.

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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1. QB Jared Goff

Just because it's obvious doesn't make it any less true. And even if Goff has spent the week trying to dismiss any concern about the team, his recent run of bad play is a big concern with all kinds of numbers to back it up. His struggles taking care of the ball in particular, with nine turnovers over the last four games after he was rightly credited for a fumble from a botched exchange with center Graham Glasgow last week, will not stand moving forward.

A Broncos' defense that has played markedly better during their recent run is not an ideal matchup for a struggling Goff.

The Broncos will be without their leading sacker Nik Bonitto on Saturday night, and they are broadly in the bottom tier of the league in deeper pass rush metrics. But they blitz at the seventh-highest rate in the league (31.9 percent), and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will surely keep that up (or even ramp it up) against the stationary, in the pocket target that is Goff.

Save for the Week 12 comeback against a Bears' team that actively took their best defensive players off the field late, and a couple clutch throws against the Saints in Week 13, the recent version of Goff has basically been a detriment to the Lions winning games.

It's a stretch to call Saturday night a must-win game for the Lions, but it is pretty darn close. At minimum Goff cannot keep playing like he has lately (turnovers and beyond), and a win or a loss can be separated from that to a degree.

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