5 things Lions must do to beat the Chiefs
Five things the Lions (1-0) must do to beat the Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) on Sunday at Ford Field:
1. Keep the upbeat tempo on offense that they used in the first half in the win at Tampa. Unbelievably they had 49 snaps in the first half. Matthew Stafford reduces his chances of getting hit by getting the ball out quickly. He’s done it in preseason and the opener, all he needs to do is continue the pace. Expect to see plenty of no-huddle.
2. Get the ball to Calvin Johnson. It’s so obvious, but doesn’t always happen. The Stafford-Calvin connection is off to a good start with a pair of TDs in the first game. Johnson had a half-dozen catches for 88 yards.
3. Run the ball well just like last week. Coach Jim Schwartz isn’t looking for a balanced offense, he’s just looking to score whichever way. Still Jahvid Best, Maurice Morris and Jerome Harrison must find success for the sake of the passing game. And Morris, who is usually good with ball control, must hold onto the ball. He fumbled twice at Tampa.
4. Stop the Chiefs’ running game. It’s their bread and butter with Jamaal Charles leading the way and Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster chipping in. Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham calls it “very, very different. It’s not normal; it’s a lot of one back stuff and the problem that they present — it could be second-and-15 and (Charles is) going to run the ball and try to gain it.’’
5. Take advantage of the strong safety who will be replacing Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry who was lost for the season early last week. He was one of their top three defensive players without question. The Chiefs’ defense will be getting used to playing without him, so the Lions know the weak spot.
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