Detroit Lions Week 3: Lions at Red****s Preview
In Week 1 of my “picks” column (against the spread), I had a bad week to start the season. And as I expected, Week 2 was much better. As the NFL season goes, we learn more about each team. We’re learning which teams are ready for a championship (Seattle, Denver) and which teams are ready to go lay down and die (Pittsburgh, Cleveland). We’ve got surprises (Kansas City). And then we have teams that we have yet to figure out. Two of those are playing this week. And I have to somehow predict what is going to happen?
That’s fucking bullshit. How can I win?
We’ve got Washington, who I picked as my Super Bowl champion (ugh). Nearly everything I liked about them has gone wrong. However, I find it hard to believe that the team we have seen so far is playing up to its own capabilities.
And then we have our Lions. I would just like to know who is healthy. Last week’s game-time scratch of Nick Fairley was a big game changer. Fairley and Bush really need to play if the Lions are to win in Washington for the first time EVER.
So let’s review the match-up.
Lions Offense vs. the Derogatory Skin Tone Defense
Lions Passing Offense
Last week, Megatron had his first big game of the season. Of course, that was mostly in the first half when Reggie Bush was still on the field. As much as I love Joique, Reggie needs to be on the field as a receiving threat to make this offense the machine it wants to be.
Stafford has been playing pretty well. He’s getting a lot of dropped balls from his receivers, but when speaking to reporters earlier this week, he took some of the blame. Still, he’s getting rid of the ball quickly and has been as accurate as he’s ever been.
This week, it appears that Patrick Edwards may be out, but Ryan Broyles may be in. That’s an exchange of talent I’ll accept any week.
Skins Pass Defense
It’s not easy to explain the Redskins in a statistical manner so far this season. Currently, they give up the most yards per passing attempt (just over 10 yards), and they have allowed 6 TD passes and have no interceptions.
However, this is based on playing the Chip Kelly experiment in Week 1, and then Green Bay last week.
Maybe DeAngelo Hall is overrated and past his prime (probably and yes). Maybe Bacarri Rambo is just a dude with a cool name. I don’t think they’re great against the pass, but anyone can get shredded by Aaron Rodgers.
And they’ve got 7 sacks in two games this year. Five from the linebackers, the other 2 from the secondary (they run a 3-4 formation). The Lions will need to be aware of the blitzers.
Lions Rushing Offense
Is Reggie healthy? That’s all I need to know. The Lions couldn’t do a damn thing last week versus the Cardinals without Reggie. If he plays, the Lions can be effective running the ball. Without him, I don’t believe Bell or Theo Riddick are going to provide much of a punch.
Skins Rush Defense
Allowing over 200 yards a game, and 5.5 yards a carry, this is where the Redskins are being exposed. While they faced 49 rush attempts for 263 yards against Philly during Week 1, the Packers, not known for their running, ran the ball at a clip of 5.8 yards a carry.
While the return of Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan from injury was the reason I thought the Redskins defense would be improved this year, those two guys are edge-rushing, 3-4 linebackers, not run-stoppers.
Advantage: Lions by a good margin
The Racially Insensitive Offense vs. the Lions Defense
Skins Passing Offense
Yet another question mark. I guess I had gotten use to these ACL tears being something everybody is going to come back from without an issue. But things aren’t looking so great for Robert Griffin III. While not having an awful year statistically, he is getting those stats in garbage-time in losing efforts. His mechanics are also being questioned (a lot of QB coaches writing articles nowadays, huh?).
I will say this; what kind of receiving corps does Griffin have? Pierre Garcon is your primary receiver? Pfft!
Lions Pass Defense
Fairley needs to play to make this defensive line dynamic. If not, you just double Suh all day like the Cardinals did, and then the QB has time to work.
And if the QB has time, he can just target whoever Bentley is shadowing. God, he sucks. Not that Houston and Slay are looking like Pro Bowlers.
Skins Rushing Offense
Alfred Morris appears to be the real deal. He’s rushing for over 6 yards a carry. The Lions may want to approach this game similarly as the Vikings game. Just neutralize Morris, make RG3 beat you with his arm.
Lions Rush Defense
The Lions have been pretty good against the run this year. Big credit for that goes to the linebackers. Levy is having a very good year, so far, and Ash Palmer has been decent, as borderline starters go.
Of course a bigger credit to this success goes to the defensive line. Suh and Fairley have been killers up the middle, and the ends, particularly Ansah, have been effective against the run.
I was assuming the Lions would forfeit this category because of David Akers. However, upon further review, the Redskins appear to be WORSE than the Lions, based on kicking and punting stats. There is also some injury concern with their kicker, Forbath.
Based on the analytics, this game should go to the Lions. At this time, I’m going to make this prediction with the idea that Fairley is playing and Bush is not (which it feels like, based on reports). If that is the case, the Lions could struggle offensively. They have also never won in Washington.
Let’s hope I’m wrong.