Following their 12th straight loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos find themselves at 6-6 and at risk of yet another season without a postseason appearance. They’ll all but have to win out to give themselves a shot at the playoffs, which means there’s no time to overlook a 1-10-1 opponent. With the Detroit Lions riding high after their first victory of the 2021 season, it seemed like the perfect time to ask Pride of Detroit’s Mike Payton about the upcoming contest.
The Lions have very little history with the Broncos. They’ve played each other 13 times. They once went nearly 10 years without facing each other in the 90’s. That’s wild to me.— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) December 8, 2021
1st and 10
What do you expect Aaron Glenn to shut down the Broncos’ offense? What matchups concern you most?
Payton: Lions fans should be concerned about Teddy Bridgwaters ability to get mobile. He doesn’t seem to do it as much as he once did, but Bridgewater can move if he needs to. The Lions are going have to keep him in the pocket and force him to try to beat them with his arm. Along with that, the Lions are going to have to stop this Broncos run game. Both Gordan and Williams have been tearing it up this year. I think if the Lions can stop the run and keep Bridgewater from getting mobile, they could have shot to win this game.
Javonte Williams with a nice run on 2nd and long. pic.twitter.com/3BflVfh0CA— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 6, 2021
2nd and 14
How will Dan Campbell try to move the ball on the Fangio defense? What matchups do you like most?
Payton: This is going to be tough. The Lions offense is not good. Jared Goff showed some confidence for once last week, but his repertoire is still quite small. If the Lions try to run the usual short pass offense against this Broncos defense, they’re going to get beat and beat badly. The other issue is the Lions will probably not have D’Andre Swift in this game. He’s been the shining light of this offense all season long, even if the Lions were able to win last week without him. I like the Lions tackles against the Broncos. I know that’s not the sexiest of answers, but Decker and Sewell have been playing really well lately and that could help give Goff enough time to maybe get some confidence again.
had the pleasure of joining @JoRo_NFL to preview lions-broncos talking about teddy bridgewater, javonte williams and how jared goff is actually average when not pressure but just really bad under pressure (pictured below)— Tej Seth (@tejfbanalytics) December 9, 2021
spotify link: https://t.co/tDARzPHKZ9 pic.twitter.com/Qk5aGWByzm
3rd and 3
The Lions quietly have a good special teams while the Broncos have one of the worst in the league with their weekly blunders. How could Detroit turn that edge into points Sunday?
Payton: This could really help the Lions. The Lions special teams unit has been the one area that Lions fans haven’t had to worry about in 2021. Jack Fox might be the best punter in the league and new kicker Riley Patterson has been decent in his first two starts. The Lions special teams could get them into a good starting position. But, what’s better is that the Lions could burry the Broncos offense deep early and often with Fox’s punting.
4th and inches
At 1-10-1, it’s perfectly reasonable for Detroit to have an eye on the offseason. Do you have any hopes or a wish list for the Lions? What do you think of this upcoming QB class?
Payton: Right now the Lions biggest needs are on the offensive side of the ball. They need multiple receivers, a new quarterback and a right guard would be nice too. The hope is that the Lions throw a lot of resources at the receiver position. At this point, the quarterback class in 2022 seems like the better route to go and with Jared Goff’s contract, the Lions won’t be able to move on from him until then anyhow. Maybe Goff flips the script by then. That’s a really big maybe by the way. With that in mind, let’s see what Goff can do with actual receivers and a little more time to throw to them. As for the first pick, Aidan Hutchinson or Kavon Thibodeaux are 100% in play for the Lions.
Aidan Hutchinson was two steps upfield before the OL got out of his stance. His burst of the line is unreal.— Damian Parson (@DP_NFL) December 9, 2021
What’s your prediction for the game? Broncos win if....? Lions win if...?
Payton: I think the Lions offense gained a lot of confidence last week and they will be willing to throw the ball more. If they get Swift back they might have an actual balanced offense for the first time this season. Defensively the Lions can roll with just about any team most weeks. So the game should be low scoring. Ultimately though, I think the Lions aren’t good enough to put two back to back wins together right now. The Broncos defense is tough and they should have no problem stopping this offense. The Broncos win 21-17.
Will the Broncos beat the Lions?
This poll is closed
Nah, they’re hopeless.
Lions going to leave Denver 1-10-2 aren’t they.