Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/14/12
The bye week is finally over, and the Detroit Lions are back on the road. Awaiting them are the Philadelphia Eagles, a tough NFC East opponent. The Eagles have had problems of their own early this season with turnovers, but are still a respectable 3-2. For the Lions to gain back some momentum and dignity, they'll have to play much better in a tough road environment, if not win.

 

Here's five things to watch as the Lions try to rebound and get their season back on the right track.

1. Will Detroit's Defense Find A Big Play? This year, the Lions haven't been able to intercept a single pass. They haven't gotten to the quarterback and forced a big mistake, such as a fumble or a sack for a touchdown return. This week, they play the Eagles and Michael Vick, who have combined to put a staggering eight fumbles on the ground thus far in 2012. If the Lions are to get a road win, they will need to find a way to make a few impact plays on defense. These will help them shift momentum and provide the offense with a jolt.

2. Can The Receivers Step Up Their Game? The receivers haven't been tough enough. They have dropped the easy passes and haven't helped out Matthew Stafford as much as they have in the past. This week, there has to be a rededication to focus out of the pass catchers. Much of last year, they were the only reason the Lions were able to win games. With the season in the balance, it's time for this group to turn things around and find a way to make big plays.

3. Special Teams. Was Anything Fixed? Danny Crossman made Detroit a promise that he would get things ironed out over the bye week. Fans had better hope that's the case, because Brandon Boykin comes calling this week, and he's a decent returner. Philadelphia also has DeSean Jackson at their disposal, so they don't lack for speed and play making ability. Though the Eagles haven't done well with returns this season, ranking 30th on kickoff returns and 28th in punt returns,  the Lions need to make sure they don't give up needless touchdowns and yards. 

4. The Offensive Line And Running Game. Against the Vikings, Stafford was running for his life far too often in the pocket. The line needs to pull together and protect much better against a good defensive front. If Stafford doesn't have time in the pocket when he throws, it won't matter how the receivers are playing. The running game, led by Mikel Leshoure, needs to grind out tough yardage as well. Jim Schwartz has said he wants the running game to drive the passing game forward. If that's able to happen, the line play will be much better as well.

5. Philadelphia's Turnover Issues. The Eagles do cough the ball up plenty, so the Lions have to be opportunistic and put helmets and hands around the ball. If they're able to create some turnovers, it will help them on the road. If the Eagles are sloppy with the ball and Detroit can make one or two big plays, that could help turn the season around.



Check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

TJ Ward on suspension appeal: ‘My last name’s not Brady’

Jerry Jones on Brady ruling: ‘I’m ready for us to play football’

Report: Jim Harbaugh's 'Summer Swarm' tour cost $211K

Three injured when bolt falls from roof of Lucas Oil Stadium

Utah beats Michigan 24-17, ruins Jim Harbaugh’s debut

Patriots keep Tom Brady excitement close to vest

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wayne happy about Brady verdict: 'That's my quarterback'

Markieff Morris on Twitter: ‘My future will not be in Phoenix’

Jonathan Kraft on asking for draft picks: 'Never say never'

Redskins charge non-season ticket holders $50 to use will call

Arthur Blank on Roger Goodell: ‘Change may be appropriate’

Belichick gives typical reply to question about Brady's freedom

Pats were prepared to raise Brady banner instead of SB one

Daughter unimpressed by dad playing golf with Tiger Woods

Best and worst surprises of NFL preseason

Tim Tebow shines in Eagles’ final preseason game

Minnesota loses against TCU, but shows it belongs

Trevone Boykin’s Heisman bid off to rocky start against Minnesota

Michigan lost their opener, but showed signs of improvement

Aaron Rodgers on Brady ruling: ‘It’s a good day for the players’

Jim Harbaugh uses Seahawks play card and Seattle loves it

First drive of Jim Harbaugh Era in Michigan ends in interception

Redskins fan who named son after RG3: ‘I don’t regret it at all’

Freshmen to watch in Week 1 of college football

Early returns on Manny Machado, MLB shortstop

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker