3 Things for the Lions to win
1. Be physical on defense. The Lions had a successful season last year due to their stout Top 5 defense. The loss of defensive superstar Ndamukong Suh will be hard to replace but the defense cannot lose their identity with the departure of the big man. The defense is still plenty good enough with the addition of Haloti Ngata replacing Suh, Ziggy Ansah, and Stephen Tulloch returning from his knee injury. The injury to last season’s defensive star linebacker DeAndre Levy will be missed in Week 1 but the defensive unit will still need to be physical to come away with a road victory.
2. Ameer Abdullah needs to touch the ball. The second round rookie from Nebraska in my opinion can turn this good Lions team into a great Lions team. I think the kid is special and with the game breaking weapons the Lions have on the outside in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate this will free up plenty of space for Abdullah to operate. Get the ball to Abdullah anyway you can, especially in space as he has the ability to take it to pay dirt on any given play.
3. No bad decisions for Matt Stafford. Stafford at times can get the Jay Cutler gene and get sloppy with the football. Play smart football with no turnovers and you should come away with a victory. The Lions have plenty of weapons at Stafford’s disposal so there is no reason to force passes to anyone in the offense. Take what the defense gives you even if you have Megatron on your team.
3 Things for the Chargers to win
1. The running game needs to help Phillip Rivers out. Far too often in Rivers’ career he is forced to put the Chargers on his back and bail the offense out. This should not be the case anymore if Melvin Gordon is the guy they thought they drafted. The first round rookie needs to take pressure off his quarterback and put the offense in manageable situations.
2. Where are you Keenan Allen? After a sensational rookie season WR Keenan Allen went through a sophomore slump last season. He had almost 300 fewer receiving yards and half the TDs from year one to year two. Rivers needs a reliable number 1 weapon in the offense with the suspension of his security blanket Antonio Gates not playing. Allen needs a bounce back season and it will go a long way if it starts this week against the Lions.
3. Where are you Melvin Ingram? The health of pass rusher Melvin Ingram will be the key to the Chargers’ success this season. The former first round pick has not yet lived up to the lofty expectations set for him mainly because of his time spent in the trainer’s room. This will be his make or break season as he is one of the most talented defenders the Chargers have and the best chance they have to make Stafford transform into Cutler. Ingram should be hungry in this game to prove to the league that he should be a feared pass rushers.
What to watch for…
Golden Tate. Let’s see how he plays with Calvin Johnson on the field at the same time with him. The knock on Tate last season was that he disappeared once Megatron came back in the lineup. If this continues to happen it will not be a good sign for the 2015 Lions.
The Front Office Says…
The San Diego Chargers win.