Lions vs. Commanders: Five Keys To Victory

The Detroit Lions need to win the game Sunday versus the Washington Commanders so as not to start the season winless (0-2). For head coach Dan Campbell, this feels like a must-win game to keep the fanbase and players believing in what he brings as head coach.

This article breaks down five keys to victory for the Lions vs. the Commanders.

Run D’Andre Swift

The Lions must commit to running back D’Andre Swift as the primary offensive weapon. In Week 1, Swift ran 15 times for 144 yards. The yards are great, but the number of carries is not (15).

The Commanders have a weak linebacking corps and can be had on the ground. If the Lions commit to Swift for around 25 carries, the Lions should have long sustained offensive drives that give the Lions’ defense rest while tiring the Commanders’ defense.

Pressure Carson Wentz

The Lions must pressure quarterback Carson Wentz. Under pressure, Wentz is well known for throwing off-target passes resulting in incomplete passes and turnovers.

Unlike QB Jalen Hurts of the Eagles, Wentz is not a mobile QB and can get flustered under center. Edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and Austin Bryant must be able to take Wentz to the ground multiple times in this game.


The Lions’ defense needs to step up and get turnovers. Throughout his career, Wentz has shown the ability to toss interceptions. Last week, Wentz threw two interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

With pressure from the defensive line, cornerbacks Amani Oruwariye and Jeffrey Okudah must take advantage, giving the football back to the Lions’ offense.

Efficient Offensive Drives

Multiple three-and-outs will not cut it Sunday for the Lions’ offense. To maintain a lead, QB Jared Goff must distribute the football evenly, resulting in numerous first downs.

Wide receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, and Josh Reynolds cannot continue to drop passes. Goff and his weapons need to get on the same page consistently, or the Lions will lose.

Shut Down The Big Play

The Commanders have speed on offense. Rookie WR Jahan Dotson and WR Terry McLaurin can burn any defense at any time. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn cannot allow these two players to get behind the secondary. Glenn must force Wentz to throw short to intermediate routes resulting in a lack of big chunk plays.