If a video game simulation run in Madden 12 is to be believed, Lions fans will like what they see on Sunday. Matthew Stafford will outplay Carson Palmer and he’ll do a lot of damage with the help of Calvin Johnson. The EA Sports sim named Calvin Johnson the player of the game and led to the following recap:
Ndamukong Suh returns to the Lions’ lineup, chasing Carson Palmer all around the virtual field and even forcing a fumble in Detroit’s 21-17 win. Matthew Stafford threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, including a 28-yarder to Calvin Johnson as the Lions creep even closer to their first playoff appearance since the 1999 season.
A close game should be expected and that is reflected in the outcome of the 10,000 simulations that AccuScore has run. The Raiders and Lions are separated by just a fraction of a point in the average final score with the Lions holding a 50% to 49% advantage.
The split opinion carries over from the computer world to the human realm. ESPN’s panel of experts favor the Lions by a 5-3 margin. Eric Allen, Mike Golic, Ron Jaworski, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter are banking on a win from the Lions while Merril Hoge, Mark Schlereth and Seth Wickersham favor the home team. Let’s hope the majority, albeit slight, turns out to be right.
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