The Detroit Lions host the Denver Broncos on SNF tonight in downtown Detroit at Ford Field. The Lions haven’t hosted SNF in over ten years, so expect a raucous atmosphere at Ford Field for this one. They have had MNF come to down and the crowd was a large part why the Lions were so successful there. Sunday night has taken over Monday as the big game of the week, so on the national stage this is an even bigger event for the Lions. On the field the Lions have looked sluggish and all out of sync. It has been a 0-2 start that shouldn’t have been for the Lions. They just got outworked by the Vikings last week, but in week 1 they let that game slip away. Up big at halftime with a 21-3 lead, what do you think happened next?
The Lions completely squandered their lead and lost it 33-28. You would think it was just a defensive problem, but the offense was not good either. Consider that 7 of those points were scored via a late drive from the Lions against a prevent defense. Another 7 were scored through a pick-6 early in the contest. In the second-half the offense was unable to make plays when they had to.
Same story against the Vikings, where they lost 26-16. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has been largely to blame for their deficiencies. I mean, when you have a team that has Calvin Johnson at receivers, the first tight end taken in the draft last year, a dynamic rookie runner, and Matthew Stafford there needs to be results. Lombardi hasn’t been able to hone their talents to make much out of them. Lions’ fans were running Scott Linehan out of town all the way to Dallas, but now they are clamoring for his return to Detroit. If Lombardi fails to get their offense going this season, I can guarantee that he will be handed his walking papers at seasons end. The undefeated Broncos waltz into town Sunday night, with a powerhouse defense, and of course Peyton Manning is still leading Denver at quarterback. Do I feel like this could be a trap game for the Broncos? Read on as I provide my thoughts.
Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions NFL Football Pick
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Broncos vs. Lions Pick:
The Lions are going to have to do a much better job protecting Matthew Stafford to win this game and others. He looked like a walking mummy last week after getting knocked down repeatedly by the Vikings. Needless to say, Stafford has to be playing hurt tonight. His toughness was never questioned. He has played hurt his whole career. He needs to rise above and lead his team here tonight, though. The Broncos feature a furious pass rush, spearheaded by ex-Cowboy Demarcus Ware. Last week the Broncos stole one against the Kansas City Chiefs, tying the game late, and then the Broncos scored on a Jamaal Charles fumble with seconds remaining. That one will hurt the Chiefs for a while. They had the game and outplayed the Broncos.
The Broncos are 1st in the NFL, allowing only 243.5 yards per game. They are also allowing just 18.5 points per game. They have transitioned from the Denver Manning’s to a team that can rely on its defense to win games and not need Peyton to pass for 300 yards every week. On paper this game looks like a clear blowout for the Broncos. From everything we have seen thus far this season, they are superior in every facet of the game. However, I do expect the Lions to bring their best game to the table tonight. If they lose this week they will be going to Seattle with a 0-3 record. Following the Seahawks they have the Cardinals. Jeez, not the easiest schedule there. But I think the Lions understand that, and that this is a must win game against the Broncos on SNF. The crowd will be going nuts in Detroit tonight. The public is all over the Broncos, but the line moved from +3.5 to +3. Hm, seems like to me the books think the Broncos are going to have a letdown against the Lions. I am going to side with them and be in the minority, it’s the Lions and the points for me.
PICK: LIONS +3 (+100)