It's time for our Detroit Lions: 5 bold predictions as the hometown team looks to rebound from an ugly loss against the Ravens. Adding to the fun is the fact that the Lions will be on Monday Night Football for all the world to see. The Las Vegas Raiders will be coming into a rockin' Ford Field to face a team that is all but ready to bounce back.
Detroit Lions: 5 Bold Predictions for Monday Night Football
The best thing that happened last Sunday was the final play of the game. It meant the disaster was over and the Lions could turn their attention to an extra day's worth of rest and a matchup with a team they should beat. But this is the NFL and nothing is guaranteed. Yet, here we are ready to make some bold claims for the showdown.
1. Maxx Crosby will not leave Motown after the game
We're swinging for the fences here, but alas these are predictions. The Lions' pass rush is struggling to get home to quarterbacks this season, grading about 21st in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. This puts extra stress on a depleted, and barely improved secondary, which reared its ugly head in Sunday's loss. Crosby is a coveted trade piece for contenders and will instantly improve the Lions' pass rush. He's tied for sixth in his pass rush grade this season (90.6) and would be scary lined up opposite Aidan Hutchinson. Brad Holmes needs to wine and dine the Raiders GM and not let Crosby get on the plane back to Vegas.
2. Jameson Williams will make a huge, game-changing play
Look, Jameson Williams's career in Detroit has not gotten off to the best start. We're not going to sit here and call him a victim, because there have been some self-inflictions, but what we are going to do is keep supporting this kid to be what he was drafted to be. The reason: he is dynamic and can make this offense D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S. In a primetime game, expect Jameson to make a play, whether on a deep ball or reverse, that sets the tone for the game and shows those flashes of how talented he really is and can be for this Lions team.
3. Jahmyr Gibbs will run wild, finally
Gibbs had a bit of a coming-out party against the Ravens, where he scored his first touchdown of his career. With David Montgomery out, once again the bulk of the carries will fall to Gibbs. It's a perfect opportunity, against a meddling defense, to get Gibbs plenty of touches. With the offensive line struggling against the Ravens, the Raiders aren't the same defense. The offensive line should be able to rebound and create running lanes for Gibbs to get his first 100-yard rushing game of his career. The cherry on top would be getting him more involved in the passing game to highlight his playmaking ability.
3. The Lions' offense and defense will have 5 players grade out over 90 on PFF
Last week the offense didn't have a single player grade above an 85 on PFF. The defense was worse, with not one single player grading higher than 69.7. That isn't good, in case you were wondering. But, Dan Campbell has even said that the team that played in Baltimore, wasn't the most prepared and he shoulders that blame.
The Lions will be much better prepared for this game against the Raiders and won't waste the opportunity to get back into the win column and not waste the loss that's now in the rearview mirror.
4. Jack Campbell will put his stamp on this game in primetime
The Lions' second first-round pick in this past year's draft has been solid, but we're looking for him to break out in this game. Having started three games, and pushed Charles Harris to the bench, it's time for Jack Campbell to start being a force. Watch in this game as the former Hawkeye places his mark upon it. Whether it's tackles for loss, sacks, or interceptions Jack Campbell will be a force in this game. The Raiders run blocking is atrocious and Josh Jacobs hasn't even had a 100 yard game yet. That won't change this week, not if Campbell has anything to say about it.
5. Dan Campbell will hold true to his promise
The Lions were not ready to play against the Ravens, Dan Campbell even said as much and took the blame for it. He also plans to use the opportunity as a moment for teaching and growth for his team, nearly guaranteeing that they'll rebound from it.
The Lions' head coach has all but promised that the team will be ready for this matchup with the Raiders, noting that they weren't ready physically to play the Ravens. There's going to be a backyard brawl, instigated by the Lions, within the first quarter of the game and it will set the tone for the rest of the game. They'll come up flying around and laying the pads to the Raiders to let them know they're not going to get an inch to breathe during the game. They'll leave no doubt in this game, punishing the Raiders for what the Ravens did to them and it'll be over by halftime.
The Big Picture
This is a game the Lions need to win. Not for security in the playoffs or within the division, but for their own psyche and morale. They should be ready too, with the extra time off and it being their last game before a bye week. Heading into the bye week the Lions will be sitting at 6-2 and getting healthy for their post-bye push toward the playoffs and an NFC North division title.