Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: What to watch for in week 14

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 3: Quarterback Matthew Stafford
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 3: Quarterback Matthew Stafford /

The Detroit Lions are in a slump at the worst part of the year. Let’s look into some keys to this week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Detroit Lions played a horrible game against the Baltimore Ravens. Everything went wrong from a playing standpoint, and even worse Matthew Stafford let the game injured. So let’s look into some keys to this week’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, starting with Stafford.

1. What’s Up With Stafford?

So as I mentioned before, Matthew Stafford had to leave last week’s game with a hand injury. And there really isn’t a worse injury for this team to have. I mean do you remember the days without Stafford? I’ve suppressed those memories and I do not want them coming back.

Still, it looks as if Stafford is going to be able to go on Sunday. Hopefully, he’s playing at a level that doesn’t hinder the offense though. I mean I would rather have a 50% Stafford than a Jake Ruddock. This season has again proved that this team goes as far as Stafford can take them. So his level of play is going to be on watch all game.

2. Who’s stepping up defensively?

The Lions defense has been rough these past few weeks. Tampa Bay has a lot more weapons that the Ravens do, so they better be ready. Outside of Glover Quin and Darius Slay, there hasn’t been a much dependability on the defense.

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Even if this season does end on a sour note, somebody on the defense needs to show some shine. Jarrad Davis was looking good at the start of the year, but recently he’s fallen into some rookie struggles. I still think he’s going to be successful, but it might take a little more time than I originally thought.

Another rookie is starting to step up though. Teez Tabor was a healthy scratch for most of the season. Now due to injuries, he’s found himself getting into the game. He’s made some mistakes, but he’s also making some plays. I think as the weeks go on so do his snaps, and this week could be the first that he shines.

3. Slay vs. Evans

This matchup is going to be awesome. Darius Slay has been great this season, and Mike Evans is one of the best wide receivers in the league. Selfishly, I hope that Evans get thrown to a lot without success.

If I were to make a prediction I think Slay will play well, but Evans will make at least one highlight catch over him. And for a bolder prediction, I’ll say these two swap jerseys post-game.

Next: Lions injuries? Check the report!

If you have this game on your television on Sunday I highly recommend knowing where these two are at all times. With a struggling Lions defense and a shaky Buccaneers offense, you’ll need something exciting to keep your eye on.