Following yet another NFL winner on Thursday Night Football with the Buccaneers prevailing with the outright victory, we’re back at it again with a busy slate of Sunday NFL action.
In the early games, we’ll head to the Motor City where the Detroit Lions will look to keep afloat in the competitive NFC North division as they host one of the league’s premier squads in the L.A. Chargers. Detroit had a tough result last week, drawing the Cardinals and letting the victory slip away late. Things won’t get any easier with the Chargers coming into town, though their injuries might prevent them from truly hitting their stride.
The visitors have some early season challenges. Melvin Gordon is still holding out, though Austin Ekeler is more than capable of filling the void after a dominant Week 1 showing. That said, Hunter Henry is out for the year at the tight end position. That’s a huge loss for Philip Rivers and the passing attack. The Chargers have weapons, but with an onslaught of injuries – it won’t be easy to continue their winning ways.
This should be a fascinating game, as indicated by how tight this will be on the spread. Can the Chargers shake off the injury bug and continue their quest to succeed in the post-season? Read on below the odds for game analysis and a betting prediction.
Chargers vs. Lions Betting Odds:
L.A. Chargers -1.5 (-109)
@ Detroit Lions +1.5 (-111)
Over 47 (-110)
Under 47 (-110)
Chargers vs. Lions Pick:
One of the bigger surprises of Week 1 was just how well Matt Patricia’s side played in their first game of the season. Their offense was flat-out clicking against the Arizona Cardinals and likely deserved to close out that match-up with a victory.
The Cardinals’ defense has been improved and still, the new-look Lions attack thrived through three quarters. This is surely a good sign going forward, and should be able to continue at home in Week 2 against Los Angeles.
One of the big weapons the Lions now have is a legitimate tight-end in T.J. Hockenson. The first-rounder was elite in every sense of the word in Week 1, as his blocking, pace, and pass-catching ability couldn’t be contained. Expect more of the same vs. the Chargers.
Los Angeles is definitely battling injuries, and as a result will likely get exploited on the field when it comes to covering Hockenson. With Derwin James still out injured, there’s nobody within their defensive group that can effectively shadow him. Beyond this, the Chargers are weak in the secondary – likely meaning Matt Stafford should be able to connect with the likes of Kenny Golladay or Marvin Jones with some regularity.
This is a depleted defensive group and after seeing what Marlon Mack and the Colts did to the Chargers last week – look for the Lions to mimic that approach. Both Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson should be able to ram the ball down the Chargers’ interior, and keep those chains moving.
For the Lions on defense, it’s all about the pass rush for Detroit. They’ll be led by the likes of Trey Flowers and Devon Kennard and that tandem should be able to bully the Chargers’ offensive line, forcing Philip Rivers into many hurried situations. Austin Ekeler had success last week and single-handedly spearheaded the Chargers’ attack, but the Lions will be ready for the ground game. Detroit possesses a legitimately elite run defense, led by the big Snacks Harrison. Room to run will be scarce, and Detroit should control the trenches.
The Chargers are still an elite team, but their injuries and the cross-country travel to play in an early game does not bode well for them this week. Detroit has shown that its better than the market thinks at the moment, and their offense is well-positioned to take advantage of Los Angeles’ weaknesses. Expect the Lions to take a convincing home victory on Sunday afternoon.