Lions Return Home to Face the Chargers




The odds makers have predicted that the San Diego vs. Detroit game on Christmas Eve will be even. Norv Turner’s teams traditionally perform at a much higher level during the latter portion of their seasons. This year is no exception, leaving fans of both camps wondering what will transpire at Ford Field.

The Lions have a 9-5 record heading into the last two weeks of play in the regular season. Even though the Green Bay Packers lost last week to the Chiefs, they still will be the champions of the NFC North. That leaves Detroit’s sights still firmly on the wild card possibilities. The team’s biggest obstacle offensively will be trying to run the ball.

Jahvid Best’s health has been a question all season and the cast of characters that has replaced him has been suspect. Schwartz shouldn’t even try to run on a regular basis unless he wants to milk the clock with a lead. Both teams have elite quarterbacks taking the ball from center and they should realize this when coming up with their respective game plans. Spreading the ball around to a plethora of receivers is a must for Detroit to have success on the offensive side. There are so many weapons, that San Diego must have their heads on a swivel to have a chance at defending their opponent.

The Lions must also attempt to pressure Rivers on a regular basis. The line is the strength of the defense and it should be utilized with constant penetration through the middle and on the edges. If Rivers has time inside the dome, he will dissect the secondary of Detroit. He hasn’t really had the ability this season to get in a consistent groove; disrupting his timing is a necessity for this to continue.

Kicking the ball into the end zone is a factor for the Lions. This opportunity to make the Chargers play on a long field will allow the Detroit defense to bend, but not break. This philosophy takes away the big play chances down the field for San Diego’s wide receivers. It is much more difficult for a team to matriculate down an eighty yard field over eight minutes than to drive half that yardage in a fraction of the time. The same could be said of the punt hang time and placement. Fair catches and punts out of bounds are just what the doctor ordered this time of year. The health of the special teams unit can even be guarded from these scenarios arising.

Red zone efficiency is the primary factor in the winner of this game. This is where Stafford and his weapons could be the difference. I am thinking of touchdowns rather than simply field goals. Going for it on fourth down on the opponent’s side of the fifty isn’t utilized enough in the NFL. If a coach is walking on egg shells in his decision-making, then his team will lack the faith from him. Attempting first downs instills confidence in the unit.

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