Rob Rubick: Lions must finish games

By: Rob Rubick
Ford Lions Report Live Analyst

Daunting task in Green Bay

The Lions travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers, where they haven't won since Harry Truman was in office. When I played in the 1980's, we played pretty well there but it's going to be a difficult task.

This is a Lions team with not a lot to play for. At 4-8 and losing last week, it puts them out of the hunt for the playoffs.

You lose 3 home games in a row, even if you run the table, you're only a .500 team. It's going to be difficult going in there and facing Aaron Rodgers.

Lions need big plays at the end of games

The Lions will have some success moving the ball, especially if Clay Matthews doesn't play.

With Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they'll get their normal 30 points or so but it still won't be enough to win with the way Green Bay puts points on the board.

With this Lions defense, 95% of the time they play well, but it's that 5% when they have the breakdowns that's killing them.

Statistically the defense isn't that bad. But as far as wins and losses, they are.

They can't get the stops when they need to, especially at the end of games. They allow teams to move the football and get back in the game.

The offense has the same problem. When they need a first down to end the game, they can't get it. If they get one first down each of the last three weeks, they probably win all three games.

They haven't been able to come up with the big plays.

If they can't get stops at home and they can't get first downs at home, how are they going to do it on the road?

If the Lions are going to win in Lambeau, they have to win the turnover battle. Not be one or two, but by three or more.

Maintaining motivation

Detroit needs to make sure it's still preparing hard.

Once you get on the field, you're going to try and win. These guys are competitors and they want to win.

You hope that the coaches and the players are preparing how they should be during the week, now that they're out of playoff contention.

Defenses can now be tougher on Megatron

Titus Young may never be heard of again in Detroit.

Nate Burleson is on the shelf.

Ryan Broyles, who was making progress, is on the shelf.

You're signing guys off practice squads now and teams can really cheat over on Calvin's side.

It comes down to tight ends.

Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew have got to get open. 

Like last week, the Lions can throw the slant to Johnson all day because the safety can't help out on the quick passes.

They'll work the five yard routes and hope that Johnson can make a big play out of it, but it'll be tough sledding because there's no support system for him right now.

Rob Rubick joins Tom Leyden and Herman Moore on the Ford Lions Report Live every Sunday at 11 am throughout the season. You can follow Rob on Twitter @RRubick


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