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NFL Detroit Lions

5 Things Detroit Lions Need to Win the Thanksgiving Day Classic

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5 Things Detroit Lions Need to Win the Thanksgiving Day Classic

Detroit Lions
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions take center stage this Thursday to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day Classic at Ford Field. In a must-win scenario against the Green Bay Packers, the Lions have one last shot at not spoiling a winner to bag the NFC North. Detroit has yet another opportunity in front of their home crowd to deliver the most important win of the year and seek redemption for the past performances. Historically, the Lions are 33-37-2 during the Thursday classic; can they win the NFC North?

In summary, the Lions' success is the equivalent of self-sabotage plus the losses of the Chicago Bears and Packers. It is truly a sad situation when you think of Detroit because the Bears and Packers are still in the playoff run without their starting quarterbacks. In my opinion, there is absolutely no way the Lions can come out victorious on Thursday if they play the way they did against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Playing mistake-free football has got to be the top priority on both sides of the football; failure to protect the ball and poor execution will set up the Lions for another act of self-sabotage. There is plenty of individual potential on the Lions team, and big games call on big playmakers for a change of momentum at any given moment. Detroit's defense has gone unnoticed for most of the year, and there is an urgent call to action; the reappearance of Ezekiel Ansah has added extra spice to the lacking front four, and they can only get better.

As the clock ticks down to game day I leave you with a list of things that must go in favor of the Lions if they are to walk away triumphant on Thanksgiving Day.

Luis Vilanova is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. Follow him/her on Twitter, “Like” him/her on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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5. Special Teams

Detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have made huge mistakes this year on special teams. Rookie Sam Martin has been involved in a few costly mistakes throughout the year and David Akers can either hit or miss. This unit has to be flawless on Turkey Day.

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4. TE Brandon Pettigrew

Detroit Lions
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Pettigrew finally broke into the end zone against Tampa Bay, and he looked good. He has been criticized for his sloppy catching in the past, but during Nate Burleson's absence he has been a solid target for Matt Stafford.

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3. Megatron

Detroit Lions
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Johnson comes up big during big games. Who can forget the game against the Dallas Cowboys? If Stafford can target Megatron at least 15 times for over 125 yards and a score then half of the battle is won.

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2. Ndamukong Suh

detroit Lions
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

This is Ndamukong Suh's game! If he plays smart, avoids the penalties and fires up the rest of the defensive line then the rest of the Lions' defense clicks. It's a huge day and he's on national television; look for Suh to come up big.

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1. Matt Stafford

Detroit Lions
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

When Matt Stafford plays to win there is no stopping the Detroit Lions. If Stafford is on fire he can easily amass 350 passing yards and four touchdowns on any given day. Look for Matt to bounce back solid after the Tampa Bay game and be the game's MVP.