Skip to main content

2021 season preview: Lions at Broncos

Opponent: Denver Broncos

Location: Empower Field at Mile High

Week/Date: Week 14, Sunday Dec. 12 at 4:05 p.m.

TV/radio: FOX/97.1 FM

Previous matchup: Dec. 22, 2019: The Broncos defeated the visiting Lions 27-17.

Why this game matters: The Lions travel out west to face the Broncos in what will be the first of three road games over the next four weeks for Detroit. This is a game of unfamiliar opponents in an AFC vs. NFC matchup. Denver, like Detroit, won just five games last year.

This is a great opportunity for Detroit to go on the road and steal a game against a team in a similar rebuilding mode. – Tim Twentyman

Crucial matchup: The Broncos' offense has a threat at all three levels -- running back (Melvin Gordon), tight end (Noah Fant) and wide receiver (Jerry Jeudy).

Job one for the Lions' defense is to not let whoever plays quarterback -- 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater, acquired in an offseason trade with Carolina -- use those weapons.

In his first season with the Broncos last year after six with the Chargers, Gordon returned to the form of his early career by rushing for 985 yards and nine TDs with an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Jeudy had 52 catches for 856 yards, three TDs and 16.5 yards per catch. And Fant chipped in 62 catches for 673 yards, 10.9 yards per catch and three TDs.

That's a high-powered trio. The challenge for the Lions' defense is to make the quarterback the weak link. – Mike O'Hara

Rookie watch: The Lions drafted a cornerback in the Top 10 in 2020 by selecting Jeff Okudah No. 3 overall. Denver did the same this offseason with the selection of Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II No. 9 overall.

Cornerback is one of the toughest positions in the NFL for rookies because they're on an island in most cases against some of the best athletes this league has. Can the Lions find a way to exploit the rookie? – Tim Twentyman

WEEK 14 · Sun 12/12 · 4:05 PM EST



Denver Broncos

Empower Field at Mile High