Detroit Lions special teams huddle and cheer as punter Jack Fox gets ready to kickoff against the L.A. Rams during the first half of the NFC wild-card game at Ford Field in Detroit

The Guide to a Lions Postseason Win

This past weekend, the Detroit Lions were blessed with another chance to move on in the playoffs after beating the Los Angeles Rams 24-23. The Lions put on a strong front during the first half of the game, scoring three touchdowns. But towards the end of the second half, that strong Detroit team we saw at the end of the game was nowhere to be found. Although ultimately, the Lions came out with a win, there is much that they need to fix before their game this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Although Detroit played the Buccaneers earlier this season, beating them 20-6. That Buccaneers team that beat the Philadelphia Eagles 32-9 is not the same team that played the Lions earlier in the season. The defense was strong, shutting down the Eagles’ offensive plays, and the offense was equally as strong, scoring 32 points. Here are three things the Lions need to do to beat Tampa Bay this Sunday. 

The Guide to a Lions Postseason Win

1. The Lions need to take advantage of a passing offense 

During the Monday Night Football game, the Buccaneers presented a solid defense, causing quarterback Jalen Hurts to be sacked three times. Detroit has an incredible running game with running backs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. But considering the pressure that Tampa Bay used this past Monday, the Lions may need to rethink their strategy and lean more on their passing game by using wide receivers Jameson Williams and Amon-Ra St.Brown and tight end Sam LaPorta. This approach, in turn, should lead to less pressure from the Buccaneers. 

2. Jared Goff needs a lot of protection

This has been a recurring problem for the Lions throughout the entire season. The Buccaneers pushed through one of the strongest offensive lines in the NFL with left tackle Jordan Mailata, right tackle Lane Johnson and center Jason Kelce. Much like the Eagles, the Lions have one of the strongest offensive lines in the league with right tackle Penei Sewell, center Frank Ragnow and left tackle Taylor Decker

Despite having some of the most talented offensive linemen, quarterback Jared Goff is almost always unprotected, leading to 30 sacks this season. After the Buccaneers’ performance this past Monday, it is clear that this defensive regime is strong, shutting down quarterback Jalen Hurts’s mobility.

Goff has far less mobility than Hurts, obtaining 21 yards rushing during the 2024 season. It is crucial that the offensive line can hold the Buccaneers’ defense, allowing him to make calculated decisions. Goff has presented time and time again that his strengths often disappear in the face of pressure and stress. When given adequate time and space, he can make more calculated decisions.

3. The Lions need to play as if they have not beaten the Buccaneers this season

It is apparent that Detroit plays its best football when they feel as though they have something to prove. The Lions presented this when playing the Kansas City Chiefs in the season’s opening game and beating them 21-20, demonstrating the overwhelming majority wrong. 

Yet many believe that Detroit beating the Buccaneers earlier this season, 20-6, will lead to the Lions winning this postseason game. The Lions have been seen to lose to teams they had beaten earlier in the season, such as the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. This could be since these teams seemingly grew stronger as the season went on, but watching Detroit’s performance on the field, it was as if they went into the game with the presumption that they would win the game yet again. 

One thing that the Lions do best is winning games when there is a chip on their shoulder. That is when they play like the powerhouse they are. It is incredibly important to Detroit’s success that they go into this game, assuming they are at a disadvantage and need to fight to win. Then, that same fire the Lions played with this past Saturday against the Rams will be seen.  

If the Lions simply wanted to end the thirty-year playoff drought, they have accomplished this, but if they want to finally bring the city of Detroit a Lombardi trophy, they must focus on these things. Using a passing offense, providing Goff more protection, and going into the game ready to fight will help them win this Sunday and beat teams moving forward.

Main Image: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

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Good article this did lead them to a playoff win go lions

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