Inside the Article:
The Detroit Lions look to keep their playoff hopes alive as they welcome the 3-12 Chicago Bears to Ford Field in week 17. The Lions bested the Bears 31-30 in their previous matchup this season, and with the playoff dreams hanging on by a thread, the Lions are hoping to replicate that result on Sunday.
What are the keys to victory for the Detroit Lions?
Stop the run
Although the Lions won the first matchup, the Bears were able to do anything they wanted to in the running game. The Bears ran for 258 yards on a whopping 7.4 yards per carry against this Lions' defense in week 10. Bears quarterback Justin Fields accounted for 147 of those yards and added two rushing touchdowns. If the Lions let Fields have a similar game on Sunday, they might not be so fortunate to walk out with a win.
Get Pressure on Justin Fields
Fields is a fantastic runner but is a much different quarterback when forced to stay in the pocket. Completing only 62% of his passes, it is imperative that the Lions make Fields drop back and make him uncomfortable. In 14 games played this year, Fields has thrown 10 interceptions and has fumbled the ball a baffling 15 times! It is important to note that Fields has only lost one of those 15 fumbles, but if the Lions can get Fields to put it on the carpet a few times, I like their chances of jumping on it.
Just Do What You Do At Home
This one might feel like a copout but I promise it's not. The Lions are a much better team at home, especially offensively. The numbers below you can see courtesy of Statmuse.
What jumps out to me is the Lions have nearly twice as many touchdowns at home than they do on the road, leading to a massive point differential of 13. They are better on third and fourth down and as a result, have more first-down opportunities.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff is also a much better quarterback in the friendly confines of Ford Field. In just *one* more home game than road game, Goff has 14 more touchdowns and one less interception when playing in Detroit and his QB rating is nearly 20 points higher.
The Lions are a better team than they were seven weeks ago when they beat the Bears. The Bears hopefully lay down a little easier trying to secure a top 2 spot in the draft. This is a game the Lions need to win, and if they follow these simple keys to victory, they will.
Come back next week for our keys to victory for the Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers.