Detroit Lions vs. New York Jets: 3 Keys to the Game

1. Establish the run.
You know it, I know it, Dan Campbell knows it. The Lions have been winning games through the air, and it’s dangerous to start slipping toward being a one-dimensional team – especially when the run game was supposed to be the heralded part of the offense. Jamaal Williams was a nonfactor against the Vikings, and D’Andre Swift hasn’t looked like himself since before his injury. This is a bad time to be lacking a ground game, as the conditions on Sunday could take the wheels off the passing offense. Wind and snow are going to force the Lions out of slinging it and toward ground momentum. The feature backs and the offensive line will need to bring their A-game.

2. Stop the run.
There are two sides to this coin. The Jets are going to try to do the exact same thing. It helps that Breece Hall is done for the season and James Robinson has been a little pedestrian in his YPC lately. However, Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight have been doing just fine, and they’re going to carry New York to a rush-filled game plan. Now, the Lions held Dalvin Cook to 23 yards last week – a monumental achievement. Replicating that success is necessary to getting a win this week. It also helps that there’s a large chance Quinnen Williams won’t play. Detroit should exploit that.

3. Put Zach Wilson under pressure.
According to PFF, the Jets O-line ranks 23rd in the league. To add insult to injury for New York, the man behind center may be the starter, but he’s definitely not the team’s preferred choice. In the elements, ball security issues will be compounded. Look for Hutchinson and Alim McNeill to get home against Zach Wilson. Maybe even Romeo Okwara can get in on the fun. Knocking Wilson down could prove to turn the tide for the Lions.

My Prediction:
Ooh boy, this will be a good one. Two young teams with rebuilds ahead of schedule. The Jets have a great defense, and the Lions have a high-flying offense. I think this is going to be a rookie showcase. Hutchinson, Kerby Joseph, Sauce Gardner, and Garrett Wilson all pop off. This one truly could go either way, and when that’s the case, always bet on Detroit. Lions win 22-21.
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