Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Lions Center Dominic Raiola
Well, what slideshow about keys to the Lions winning a game would be complete without mentioning the Lions' offensive line—or lack thereof?
In the first five games of the season, not counting the Minnesota game, Matt Stafford was sacked three times. (In Minnesota, he got sacked five times, but Jared Allen is arguably the best defensive end in the game.) In the past two games, however, it's a tale of two teams. Stafford's been sacked at least eight times in the last two games.
The offensive line has been an integral part in both the ups and the downs this season. During the 5-0 stretch, they did an admirable job of keeping Stafford upright and giving him time to throw, and he rewarded them with touchdowns and winning. The past two games, however, they've nearly let him get killed. It's gotten so bad that when San Francisco defensive lineman Aubrayo Franklin sacked him and laid on top of him, the linemen didn't even try to help him out.
The Lions' offensive line must keep Stafford upright in order to maintain any consistency on Sunday. It's hard to throw touchdown passes when you're flat on your back. Also, the Lions cannot afford to have Stafford get hurt again.
Through it all, however, I still think the Lions come away with a win in this game. Final score: Lions 34, Broncos 24.