The Detroit Lions have gotten off to a bad start and head into their game against the Denver Broncos at 0-2. Losing several key pieces of their defensive line has exposed a shaky secondary that’s allowing offenses to score at will. Playing the Lions could be exactly what Peyton Manning needs after posting the worst passer rating in the league through two weeks of action. The point spread is currently favoring the Broncos at -3.
Sunday Night Football: Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions
Point Spread: Broncos -3 Over/Under: 44.5 Date: Sunday, September 27, 7:30pm ET Location:Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
The Broncos squeaked by again in Week 2, with the defense forcing five turnovers; the last of which was a fumble recovery returned for the game sealing touchdown. Defense will lead the way yet again against the Lions, who have struggled to score or even get their playmakers involved. With a ferocious pass rush and stingy secondary, they’ll have no problem getting in Matt Stafford’s face and blanketing receivers Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson.
Denver won’t have many issues facing Detroit’s defense. While Manning has certainly struggled, he found a way to turn it on against the Chiefs last week and could pick apart the Lions this week, often targeting Emmanuel Sanders. C.J. Anderson will be used heavily and could run rampant against the soft center of the Detroit defensive line.
The +3 underdog Detroit Lions found out just how much they miss Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley and Ndamukong Suh, as they can no longer identify as a defensive power house. What’s even more troubling is that their offense seems to have taken a step backwards as well going just 9/23 on third down conversions in two games and putting up just 625 total yards on offense. It won’t get any easier against the Broncos.
Ziggy Ansah could be the lone bright spot on the defense, notching two of the Lions three sacks on the year. Without much help, he’ll see double coverage from Denver while the rest of the line tries to pressure Manning. The key for the defense will be to make Manning uncomfortable, as the Chiefs did early and often, to force Peyton into some bad throws. With time, the Lions secondary simply won’t hold up and the game could get away from them early.
Sunday Night Prediction
The lack of playmakers on defense is what will sink the Lions. Going up against a complete team like the Broncos doesn’t work unless you’re able to give your offense enough chances to score. Expect Manning to have a big game and for Stafford to have a day to forget. Getting down early will force Detroit to throw into a gauntlet of Bronco defensive backs with incredible ball skills. It could be time for another multiple interception game for Stafford.