In 1959 Berry Gordy Jr. borrowed $800 from family and friends and started a small music label called Tamia Records that soon became Motown Records, a label that has put out hundreds of hits and created a distinctive sound that brought worldwide recognition to the city of Detroit.
That was 54 years ago, and two years after the last time the Detroit Lions won an NFL Championship. The championship drought in Detroit continues, but some think the 2013 version could possibly end the dry spell. With talented players like wide receiver Calvin Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Lions aren’t lacking for talent and are currently tied for the NFC North division lead with a 6-4 record.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to the Motor City on Sunday as they attempt to continue to turn around from their disastrous 0-8 start by winning their third game in a row.
Here are this week’s Five Keys To Victory, Motown-style, that the Buccaneers must try and achieve in order to leave Detroit with the win.
1. Reach Out, I’ll Be There (The Four Tops)With safety Dashon Goldson suspended by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Roddy White, and linebacker Mason Foster out with a concussion, the middle of the Buccaneers defense will be manned with backups in Keith Tandy and Adam Hayward. And while these two are talented enough to play in the NFL, they are backups and will need their teammates to help cover any deficiencies that having these two in the lineup may present.
Hayward is experienced and knows the Bucs defense very well, but Foster was having his best season of his career before the concussion, and the Bucs will miss his pop in the middle. Lavonte David, who is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, will have to even play better without Foster lined up next to him.
Tandy filled in for Goldson for two games earlier in the season, and while he did have an interception in the Seattle game, his impact was minimal. Mark Barron will need to continue his impressive season and be a force as the Lions will undoubtedly try and exploit Tampa Bay having the second-year converted cornerback to safety in the lineup.
2. Papa Was A Rolling Stone (The Temptations)If you read Scott Reynold’s Fab 5 on Friday you learned where part of Bobby Rainey’s motivation over the last two weeks has come from. Since becoming a brand new father, Rainey has been a huge factor in the Buccaneers two-game winning streak.
Asking Rainey to repeat his 163-yard effort from a week ago may be too much, but in order to provide Mike Glennon and the Buccaneers offense the balance they seek, Rainey had to continue to gain positive yards, helping the Buccaneers stay out of third-and-long situations.
Most likely the Lions’ gameplan will be to stack the box in order to stop Rainey and dare Mike Glennon to beat them with his arm. The good thing about the small but bowling-ball-built Rainey is his ability to hide behind his offensive line and squirt through tight openings. With a stacked box, if Rainey can manage to get to the second level, he could be off to the races.
3. You Keep Me Hanging On (The Supremes)So far this season the Buccaneers have managed to blow late leads in games against the Jets, Saints, Cardinals and the Seahawks. The team could easily be in the middle of the playoff hunt with a 6-4 record, and instead of “Fire Schiano” billboards, fans would be excited for the postseason possibilities. But in all of the blown-lead games the Buccaneers seemed to climb into a shell and failed to pad their leads.
If the Buccaneers somehow find themselves up in the second half against the Lions thy must keep their foot on the gas and continue to do what got them the lead. The Lions have the ability to score from any part of the field and can do so in one play with the likes of Johnson, Stafford and Reggie Bush. No lead should make Tampa Bay’s coaching staff feel safe.
4. Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)The Johnson-Revis matchup will easily be the most anticipated battle fans from both sides will be paying attention to for three hours on Sunday. This is exactly why Revis was given $1 million a game. The two best at their positions going head-to-head, and most likely the winner of this battle will determine the winner of the game.
Johnson is averaging 18.3 yards a catch and he has had a lot of them so far this season (59). Already over 1,000 yards on the season (1,083) and having scored 11 touchdown in 10 games, the former Georgia Tech product is on pace to have a 2,000 yard, 20-TD season for the Lions.
Revis, while with only two interceptions this year, has been excellent in coverage, but for the most part teams are shying away from his side of the field. It appears Revis is finally almost 100 percent recovered from his ACL injury and it comes at a perfect time with Johnson and the Lions next up on the schedule. Revis doesn’t have to pitch a shutout necessarily, but needs to limit the explosive plays that Johnson is capable of.
5. Brick House (The Commodores)One of the most disappointing units early in the season, the offensive line, has turned into one of the best as of late. Physical in the running game, the line has paved the way for the Bucs running backs to grind out yards and help the team win the time of possession battle over the last three weeks. The best defense of the Lions offense might be just keeping them on their own sideline.
And while the run blocking has been excellent lately, the pass protection has been equally as impressive. Glennon had all day to throw for the most part last week as evidenced by his 20-for-23 afternoon against the Falcons in the Bucs 41-28 victory. The offensive line will have their hands full with the Lions front four, but if they can open a few holes and give Glennon adequate time, the Bucs could come back to Tampa with their third win in as many games.
PewterReport.com PredictionsMark Cook – Buccaneers 28, Lions 27Scott Reynolds – Lions 27, Buccaneers 23
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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