As we gear up for the upcoming matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it's time to discuss the Detroit Lions keys to victory. The Bucs come into the game 3-1 and coming off of their bye. Last season, teams were 22-14 after bye weeks, including the playoffs. In 2021, they were 18-15-1, which is a combined total of 40-29-1 over the last two years. So, there's no real threat for the Bucs having an extra week of prep, but it does emphasize playing a clean game for the Lions.
Detroit Lions keys to victory vs. the Buccaneers
When we look at this game several things stick out that will lead to a Lions' victory. The Bucs' defense could slow down our offense while the Lions' defense should be able to contain Baker Mayfield and the offense, which is going to emphasize points, penalties, and turnovers.
Key #1: Jared Goff has to control the game
Jared Goff is going to be the difference in this game. In a battle of former #1 overall picks, Goff is the better quarterback. He plays on a better offense and that means he's going to need to set the tone for this game. He's done a great job this year of spreading the wealth around to his receivers, but now it needs to continue. Ideally, that includes getting Jameson Williams involved as often as possible. If he can command and control the offense, getting first downs and keeping their defense on the field they will wear down and he can capitalize on that.
Key #2: Penalties and Ball security are the top priority
This game is a winnable game. But unlike the Panthers' game where they could afford some mistakes, the Lions need a clean game this week. They have to avoid costly penalties and must take care of the football. The Bucs' defense can create turnovers, so no untimely possession swaps will serve them well. See Key #1 if you need a refresher. The other thing is penalties. Each team gets roughly 11 per game, about six on the offensive side and five on the defensive side. Whichever team can minimize their mistakes is going to walk out victoriously.
Key #3: Capitalize every opportunity
When there is an away game, against a team you're supposed to beat on paper, you have to capitalize on every opportunity throughout the game. Every tackle for loss needs to be completed, every fourth and short (within reason, Dan Campbell) converted, and every drive needs to end in points of some kind. Taking advantage of opportunities is what the good teams do and the Lions are still proving to everyone just how good of a team they are.
The bottom line
The Lions head to Raymond James Stadium to take on an opponent that they can beat. It will be a game that will take a full team effort to down the Bucs. The Lions are in a primed spot to take another leap up power rankings and solidify their place atop the NFC North. These three keys are the focal point for a winning afternoon on Sunday. Another opportunity to celebrate a Victory Monday.