We are going to find out Exactly What The Detroit Lions Are Made Of On Thursday Night Football

Heading into the 2023 NFL season, the hype surrounding the Detroit Lions was as vibrant as any team in the NFL. Fans in Detroit have longed for a winner for decades and many believe this is the regime to take the Lions to the top, but they are still in the process of establishing their presence as a winning franchise in the NFL.

After finishing last season with a win in Green Bay capping off a remarkable 8-2 finish to the season, general manager Brad Holmes added several key players this offseason through free agency and the Draft. The new additions solidified some of the team’s prior weaknesses and have played pivotal roles in helping the Lions start the season 2-1.

The Lions have sent the message they are for real, but something still feels off in the Lion’s fairy tail season and the team faces a major challenge on Thursday night.

The Lions find themselves in the national spotlight for the second time this season as they head to Lambeau to face the Packers on Thursday night football. The divisional showdown is setting up to be a classic as each team looks to be the lone threat against each other in the division. Led by new quarterback Jordan Love, Green Bay has also started 2-1 and is playing with confidence at the moment.

While the Lions are favored in Lambeau, this is the hardest test they have faced, especially with the pressure of a divisional opponent. The question is, are we going to see the new look Lions from the end of last season, or will history repeat itself in Detroit?

I believe Thursday night is going to tell us exactly what kind of team the Lions are going to be for the rest of the season.

The season kicked off on a high note for Detroit in Week 1. The Lions showcased their toughness and took down the defending champion Chiefs in Arrowhead, setting up a much anticipated home crowd for week 2.

The atmosphere at Ford Field for Week 2 was electric, but unfortunately, the Lions stumbled, allowing the Seahawks to secure a 37-31 overtime victory. The loss was compounded by the unfortunate injury to C.J. Gardner-Johnson and other key players. Week 3, however, saw the Lions bounce back with a convincing 20-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

As the Lions prepare for Week 4, they face a completely different challenge in the resurgent Packers, who have emerged as legitimate contenders in the NFC. The upcoming Thursday night clash promises to deliver a playoff-like atmosphere at Lambeau Field. Yet, in the season that was supposed to see everything click for Detroit, something is amiss and it’s time for them to have another statement win in order to prove to the league this is a legitimate NFC contender.

Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn has struggled with pass defense in his two seasons with the Lions, and this year seems no different. While the Lions contained Patrick Mahomes in Week 1, the Chief’s were missing Travis Kelce and Chris Jones on the field. Week 2 saw them struggle as Geno Smith was efficient in the air by completing 32 of 41 passes and on the ground, often scrambling for big gains on third downs.

Despite their strong run defense, inconsistency and lack of preparation in pass defense have put the team at a severe disadvantage in a pass-oriented league. While they shut down the Falcons in week 3, that is Desmond Ridder for crying out loud. It’s also important to note the Lions have continuously struggled with mobile quarterbacks, a more common style seen in the league these days.

It’s evident that if the Lions continue to perform abysmally in pass defense and fail to stop running quarterbacks, they won’t go far. The lack of consistency and preparation from Aaron Glen has put this team at a severe disadvantage in a league where passing is everything.

Jordan Love has delivered in his first 3 games and I expect him to have his best stuff against Detroit. This is a huge test for Glenn and his team.

It’s now or never for Aaron Glenn’s as his job may hang in the balance if they continue to demonstrate an inability to prepare for quarterbacks going forward.

Shifting focus to the offense, the Lions are led by Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson, a young and respected coach who declined other team’s head coaching interviews this off season choosing instead to stay with the team. The second year OC must find ways to reignite the spark.

The Lions have traditionally relied on a top-tier offensive line and a consistent running game, but this year, the introduction of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs hasn’t yielded the expected results. While Montgomery was injured in Week 2, Gibbs has yet to find his groove. It’s time for Johnson to unleash Gibbs, who was touted for his versatility, and inject creativity into the offense, a facet that seems to be lacking compared to the previous season.

It is noteworthy that Johnson received much praise from the play-calling at the end of the Lions Packers game last season. Johnson had his best stuff that night showcasing just how imaginative the young offensive mind can be.

The Packers have an elite pass rush, lockdown corners, and a potent offense led by a strong-armed quarterback. If the Lions want to take charge in a division they were favored to win before the season, they must come out with a different level of fire than Green Bay. Well, if there is anyone who can get the most out of his players and ignite that fire, it’s head coach Dan Campbell.

Thursday night’s game could be a defining moment for the Lions’ season. These are the types of victories that affirm status in the ultra competitive NFL and the games circled on the schedule before the season. Dan Campbell and his team want to set the tone not only in this game, but for the rest of the season.

The Lions aren’t used to this kind of pressure, and the Packers consistently welcome it. On Thursday, we are going to find out if the same old Lions curse still looms over Detroit as the Lions continue their quest for the Detroit dream season.

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