Lions vs. Titans: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
The Detroit Lions are coming off a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, who look like the best team in the NFL at this point.
The Tennessee Titans are coming off a predictable thrashing at the hands of the San Diego Chargers.
Something's gotta give.
The reality, of course, is that the Lions faced an improved squad in the St. Louis Rams in Week 1 and were forced to face a superpower in Week 2.
The Titans, well, just need some serious help (and probably some counseling).
Here's a look at the Week 3 matchup on Sunday.
Where: LP Field, Nashville, TN
When: Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
Spread: Lions -4 (via Bovada)
I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I first saw this line.
Despite some of the Lions' struggles to start the season, the passing attack alone should boost it to a blowout of the Titans on Sunday.
There are simply too many holes in the Tennessee secondary to expect this to be a close game. Plus, "the Chris Johnson we used to know" has apparently vanished into thin air.
Over/Under: 47 (via Bovada)
Detroit's passing attack, combined with the fact that the team has allowed 25 points per game so far, figures to see this game barely gets past the Over/Under of 47.
The Lions offense will get into the 30's for the first time this season, and the Titans will eclipse their season high of 13 points (well, whoop dee doo).
Injury Report (via USA Today)
WR Calvin Johnson - Ankle - Probable
CB Chris Houston - Ankle - Probable
TE Tony Scheffler - Leg - Questionable
LB Travis Lewis - Quadriceps - Questionable
CB Bill Bentley - Shoulder - Questionable
S Louis Delmas - Knee - Questionable
CB Chris Greenwood - Abdominal - OUT indefinitely
RB Jahvid Best - Concussion - OUT indefinitely
DB Drayton Florence - Finger - IR
G Bill Nagy - Ankle - IR
RB Javon Ringer - Elbow - Probable
OT Mike Otto - Knee - Probable
G Leroy Harris - Knee - Questionable
DT Mike Martin - Foot - Questionable
LB Colin McCarthy - Ankle - Questionable
DT Sen'Derrick Marks - Knee - Questionable
S Markelle Martin - Knee - OUT until at least Week 7
WR Marc Mariani - Leg - OUT indefinitely
C Eugene Amano - Tricep - OUT for season
DE Dave Ball - Concussion - IR
LB Gerald McRath - Knee - IR
Fantasy Big Plays
Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB
Matthew Stafford likes throwing the ball a lot. The Titans' pass defense sorely misses Cortland Finnegan.
That adds up to looming clouds for Tennessee headed into its matchup with Detroit.
The Titans have given up 8.3 yards per attempt so far this season (25th in the NFL) while allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 74.6 percent of their passes (worst in the league). Last week, Philip Rivers went 24-of-32 for 284 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Start Stafford with absolute confidence.
Titans: Javon Ringer, RB
Picking the "Fantasy Big Play" of the Titans is like picking the lesser of all evils at this point, but given Chris Johnson has been struggling, and Javon Ringer is expected to get more carries in Week 3, I'll go with the four-year pro out of Michigan State here.
Ringer will likely see the majority of the third-down work in the backfield and could even steal some of Johnson's carries on early downs.
Given Johnson has struggled mightily this season (19 carries, 21 yards) and basically threw his offensive line under the bus after Week 2's dismal performance, I'm guessing Tennessee is getting pretty fed up with their highly paid back.
Key to Lions Victory: Take Care of the Ball
The only way I see the Lions losing this game is if Stafford and Co. start coughing up the ball left and right.
Stafford has four interceptions in two games so far, so that number has to go down. He was better in the turnover department against the San Francisco 49ers last week, though.
Key to Titans Victory: Get to the Quarterback
Let's be frank: The Titans secondary has no chance against a high-powered passing attack featuring Calvin Johnson if it is left out on an island.
That's why it's critical the Titans get pressure on Stafford. Otherwise, this could be an ugly affair.
It is worth noting that the Titans posted four sacks and two QB hits on Rivers last week. The defensive line was impressive, led by right defensive end Kamerion Wimbley.
On the other hand, if the secondary doesn't at least improve marginally, that won't matter. Beyond the poor coverage, there were several missed tackles in the secondary last week.
Who will win?
Prediction: Lions 33, Titans 17
How the Lions are only favored by four points is beyond me.
The Titans have looked downright terrible lately. They are averaging a league-worst 11.5 points per game. Their poor play on defense and home-field advantage didn't seem to help them much in their 34-13 loss to the New England Patriots.
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