Here are three reasons the Detroit Lions will get their first win of the season Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Detroit Lions are 0-5, and as Bill Parcells used to say (and probably still says) “you are what your record says you are.” But the Lions have had spurts of good play in each of their first five games, before falling short in one way or another. They are the only team in NFL history to lose twice in a season on a 50-plus yard field on the final play of regulation.
Some will say it behooves the Lions to lose as many games as possible this year, to improve the position of their own first-round pick next April. They also have the Los Angeles Rams’ first round pick next year, acquired in the Matthew Stafford trade.
Dan Campbell’s team will get a win or two this season. It’s just a matter of when effort is matched by results, and the right breaks go their way. The coaching staff has surely learned from its shortcomings in some situations, and thus they’ll put the players in better situations going forward.
The Lions will host the 3-2 Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field on Sunday. Here’s how the home team will pull an upset and get its first win of the season.
3 reasons the Detroit Lions will beat the Cincinnati Bengals
3. Pass Rush
Believe it or not, the Lions are second in he league in hurry rate (17.2 percent) and fourth in pressure rate (29.3 percent), with a blitz rate that is also top-12 (27.4 percent). Getting home has been the issue, with a bottom-tier knockdown rate (5.9 percent) and 11 sacks. Multiple sacks in three of their last four games has come with allowing less than 20 points in two of the last three.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked a bunch last year before tearing his ACL (32 times in 10 games). His sack rate through five games this year is actually higher (8.8 percent; 7.3 percent in 2020), despite improvement to the offensive line.
The Lions are generating heat on opposing quarterbacks. Getting around Burrow regularly on Sunday will be vital to helping a young secondary hold up, and the expectation here is they’ll get it done.