5 things to watch: Lions vs. Bengals

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Detroit Lions
18 Oct 2021, 00:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

The Detroit Lions are inactive looking for that elusive archetypal triumph of the play arsenic they big the Cincinnati Bengals contiguous astatine Ford Field.

Here are 5 things I'll beryllium looking retired for contiguous successful this interconference matchup:

1. TAKE CARE OF THE BALL

In losses to Chicago and Minnesota the past 2 weeks, the Lions person turned the shot implicit successful positive territory 4 times. If you adhd the 2 failed fourth-and-goal situations successful Chicago, that's six opportunities to travel distant with points heavy successful hostile territory that Detroit got thing from. Those are killers successful adjacent games.

The Lions person 7 giveaways connected the play and six takeaways for a minus-one differential. Cincinnati has immoderate big-time weapons connected discourtesy and they tin people points quick. The Lions can't springiness distant scoring opportunities with turnovers again today.

2. LIMIT CHASE

Cincinnati rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is disconnected to a stellar commencement to his NFL career.

He's got 23 catches for 456 yards and 5 touchdowns done Cincinnati's archetypal 5 contests. He leads each rookies with 5 receiving touchdowns and is conscionable the 3rd rookie since 1990 with five-plus receiving touchdowns successful a team's archetypal 5 games of the season. Chase leads the NFL successful receptions of 40 oregon much yards (4), and is tied for seventh successful receptions of astatine slightest 20 yards (7).

The Lions participate today's contention having allowed a 100-yard receiver successful each crippled this season. Detroit's defence has fixed up a 40-plus-yard walk successful 4 of its 5 games this season, and has allowed 22 walk completions of 20-plus yards, which is tied for the 5th astir successful the NFL.

Bengals backmost Joe Burrow volition instrumentality shots, and erstwhile helium does, Chase is usually the receiver. The Lions volition person to person a bully program for Chase contiguous due to the fact that helium tin wreck a crippled if allowed to.

3. START STRONG

Lions moving backs manager and adjunct caput manager Duce Staley talked this week astir wanting much from Detroit's tally game. The Lions person done good moving the shot done 5 games. They're averaging amended than 100 yards connected the crushed per contention and averaging 4.3 yards per carry, but Staley made a bully constituent that they haven't been capable to usage their tally crippled arsenic a limb successful the 2nd fractional of games due to the fact that of circumstance.

Detroit's trailed by treble digits successful the 2nd fractional of each crippled this year. When that happens, it's hurry-up mode for the discourtesy and the passing crippled becomes featured with the crushed crippled an afterthought. Detroit's been outscored successful the archetypal fractional this play 82-33. Head manager Dan Campbell and co. volition beryllium looking for a amended commencement contiguous against the Bengals. Start fast, play with a pb and usage the tally crippled successful the 2nd fractional arsenic a weapon. That's a bully look for occurrence contiguous astatine Ford Field.

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4. WHO STEPS UP

Running backmost D'Andre Swift leads the Lions successful receptions (29) done 5 games. While that's not wholly surprising, fixed Swift's quality to marque plays successful the passing game, the Lions request different limb oregon 2 to emerge.

Rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has provided a spark the past 2 games with 13 catches for 135 yards, but with nary Tyrell Williams (concussion) oregon Quintez Cephus (collar bone) today, who other volition measurement up?

Campbell said this week getting choky extremity T.J. Hockenson going again has been a priority. After catching 8 passes and a touchdown successful each of Detroit's archetypal 2 contests, Hockenson has conscionable 8 combined catches and nary touchdowns the past 3 weeks. He's been battling a genu injury, but he's got to beryllium much productive.

Can KhaDarel Hodge, Kalif Raymond, Trinity Benson oregon Tom Kennedy instrumentality vantage of the accidental they'll person to marque plays today? Detroit's a amended discourtesy erstwhile they get immoderate equilibrium betwixt the tally and the walk with immoderate large plays successful the passing crippled mixed in. That's been lacking of late.

5. FINISH

Lions peculiar teams coordinator Dave Fipp joked this week that teams person the 11th worst made tract extremity percent against the Lions this season, but cipher would conjecture that fixed the mode Detroit mislaid vs. Baltimore and successful Minnesota to game-winning 66 and 54-yard tract goals, respectively.

Give Detroit a batch of recognition for battling backmost successful some contests, but present it's astir finishing. Campbell said young teams similar the Lions person to larn however to triumph adjacent games. After 2 devastating defeats late, you'd similar to deliberation this squad has learned thing astir what it takes to decorativeness and get themselves connected the different broadside of the scoreboard.

If it's adjacent precocious today, person the Lions learned from the archetypal 5 contests, and tin they beryllium the ones to find a mode to marque the winning play?

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