After watching that Thursday Night Football game, I am very excited for football to start this week. With already one division rival victory, as the Green Bay Packers beat the New Orleans Saints 42-34, it just makes every game mean more for the Detroit Lions.
Many things have to happen for the Lions to be successful this year, but here is five keys to success for the Lions against Tampa Bay this week.
Josh Freeman is clearly one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. Some people even have him rated as a better starting quarterback than Matthew Stafford. With a full season under his belt and 3,451 yards, 24 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 95.9 QB rating last year, it's hard to make an argument against them.
At 6"6' and 250 lbs, Freeman is a beast and is very hard to take down. If they want to win this week, the Detroit Lions have to have multiple guys get in the backfield and disrupt his timing.
In the last matchup, the Lions sacked Freeman three times and it proved well as they were victorious. If they want to win this week, they have to do the same thing.
The Detroit Lions so-called weakness has been their secondary. With the addition of Eric Wright they look to be much improved this season. They have much to prove this week as they get a stud receiver right off the bat.
Second-year receiver Mike Williams is looking to build on his great rookie season, and it all starts Week 1. In the last matchup, he torched the Lions for six catches, 96 yards and a score.
If the Lions want to win, they need to shut him down and prove to the league they have an improved secondary.
LeGarrette Blount went off last year against the Lions, and if they want to win this week, they cannot let that happen. After getting full-time duties last year, Blount went on to average over 88 yards and a score in every other game.
Against the Lions last year, he rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, but this year has to be different if the Lions want to be successful. With the signings of Justin Durant and Stephen Tulloch to go along with DeAndre Levy, the run defense for the Lions should be much improved.
If the Lions can hold Blount under 100 yards and not allow him to score, it would be a tremendous lift and lead to a Lions victory.
Maurice Morris had his best game of the season last year and led the Lions to a victory with 109 yards and a score against Tampa Bay. If they want to be successful this week, they have to have another 100-yard rusher.
After being hampered with injuries last year, Jahvid Best looks to redeem himself this season. He is finally healthy and not on the injury report for Week 1. He only rushed six times for 12 yards against Tampa Bay last year, but look for him to have more of an impact this week and lead the Lions to a victory.
All the weight is on Matthew Stafford's shoulders this season and we all know how weak his shoulders are. It is imminent that Stafford stays healthy for the Lions to have any kind of success this season. He was leading in every game that he left last year, so the raw talent is definitely there.
Stafford has all the weapons with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler and Jahvid Best all healthy. Let's see if they all can put it together and lead the Lions to a Week 1 victory.