Coming off a dominate, take-care-of-business win against the Carolina Panthers, the Detroit Lions set their sites to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Our Detroit Lions 5 bold predictions will set the tone for how this game should shape up. The game has been shifted to the afternoon slot, which means there will be a lot of eyeballs on this game watching our Lions. And while this game isn't one that is simply a take-care-of-business game, the Lions have an opportunity to move to 5-1 on the season and extend their winning streak to four games.
Detroit Lions 5 Bold predictions vs. the Buccaneers
There are a lot of ways that one could go about predicting what will happen Sunday afternoon. Whether that's they decide to slam the Kool-Aid and predict a multiple-touchdown win or something much closer, the beauty of predictions is they are shots in the dark. Based on the numbers this looks like it'll be a much closer matchup than originally thought, but there should be some playmakers that set the Lions apart. Let's start there.
Jameson Williams will make a statement
Look, it needs to be said that the Detroit Lions fanbase isn't exactly pleased with Jameson Williams. For many, it was a frustrating pick when it was made, but there was also a lot of excitement. Then the NFL-induced gambling suspension that was nuts didn't help his case. But, one thing that we're forgetting, this kid is barely a rookie. Yes, he's been in the league for “two years” but he only has a grand total of 106 snaps as a professional. By comparison, here are some snap counts of 2023 rookie receivers:
Maybe we've been giving Jameson the Spencer Torkelson treatment? Expecting so much from first-round picks, but not understanding the context surrounding them. Torkelson missed an entire year due to COVID and is finally coming into his own hitting 31 home runs this season and being a key piece moving forward. Jameson needs time and this week he's going to prove all the haters wrong with at least three big plays, finding paydirt at least once and helping to open up the field for all his offensive counterparts.
David Montgomery will continue his dominance on the ground
David Montgomery has been the perfect replacement for Jamaal Williams and D'Andre Swift. Montgomery did miss one game this season, but since then has ripped off two straight 100-yard performances and has scored at least one touchdown in each game he's appeared. Not to mention, in one less game, he's been as productive as Swift, who arguably rushes behind a better offensive line.
While the Bucs do have a decent run-stopping defense, the Lions' offensive line should be better. Expect Monty to continue his 100-yard performances, which will beat the Bucs per game average allowed and to find the endzone for his fifth consecutive game.
The Detroit Lions' secondary will make the difference in this game
The Buccaneers rushing attack is putrid. Which places the ball squarely in the hands of Baker Mayfield. Over the last few years that would have played right into the Lions' hands, however, Baker's been more what he was expected to be than what he's been in recent years. The focus here though is going to be the back end of the secondary and our safeties, Tracy Walker and Kerby Joseph. Both of them are playing well, each around a 70 PFF Grade, and their ability to quarterback the defense is going to go a long way to ensuring a victory. One of them will provide a game-changing play, via turnover or stop that will secure a Lions victory in the Sunshine State.
Dan Campbell will outcoach Todd Bowels
This may not even be a good prediction, because Campbell is the better coach. But it will be on full display on Sunday. There will come a point in this game where a decision made by one of these two is going to flip the script of the game entirely. The odds of this being Dan Campbell is higher since he's the more aggressive coach. Whether it's a fourth down call or some other type of game-changing decision, watch for Campbell to take the bull by the horns and take an opportunity to bite a kneecap in order to put his team on top.
Jack Fox will get a break this Sunday
Punters never really get their love. And the Detroit Lions have one of the best. Jack Fox is has been fantastic at switching field position, averaging 45.4 yards per punt. The nice thing too for Fox is that he plays on a team with a very efficient offense that doesn't require his services all that often. On average, he's punting roughly four times per game. Because of the necessity of points in what will be a tougher matchup than in recent weeks, the Lions will need to keep Fox off the field as much as possible. Jared Goff and company will only require the services of Fox once during this matchup, which will bode well for the outcome.
The bottom line
The Lions are looking to get to their fourth straight win and move to 5-1 on the season. This isn't a matchup that really feels comfortable but is winnable. We've already predicted a score of 31-17, with the Bucs not having an answer for the Lions offense. With these predictions, it fits that thought process and we'll be celebrating another victory Monday in short order.