Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals: SLR Staff Predictions

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Sep 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall (29) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Now just a day away from the Detroit Lions hosting the Cincinnati Begnals, here is a look at how the SideLion Report staff sees this one playing out.

Matt Pelc – The Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals face off in a battle of 4-2 teams at Ford Field. The Bengals have been one of the best teams in the league at times, and one of the worse. They let the Bears off the mat and were not mentally in the game with the Browns for their pair of losses this season. They also got off to a fast start, tried to give the game away, but were handed it back on a silver platter in a victory over Green Bay.

This will be a battle of the Bengals’ defense against the Lions’ offense. Can that solid defense stop the Lions’ offensive attack? Calvin Johnson played last week in Cleveland but was relegated to more of a decoy role. Hopefully he’ll be healthy and fully back in the schemes to open things up for Reggie Bush and the receivers and tight ends.

For the second straight week, the Lions defensive front will play a poor AFC North quarterback. The defense should be able to ride an excited home crowd welcoming in their gridiron heroes for just the
third time this season and with a winning record and share of first place.

The Bengals have been a different team on the road than at home, winning their first road game last week in Buffalo. Look for those road woes to continue and for the Lions to open the season 3-0 at Ford Field. Lions 24, Bengals 13

Zac Snyder – This is a matchup of two playoff caliber teams and I expect a very good game. In the end, the Lions have a few more playmakers and the home field advantage. Lions win it, 27-20.

Justin Simon
The more I watch these two teams, the more similar they begin to look. They both have defenses that are opportunistic with defensive lines that keep offensive linemen up at night. I’m very interested to see how rookie Larry Warford holds up against Bengals stud defensive tackle Geno Atkins. On the other side, a great matchup will be the Bengals interior offensive line against both Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

On the offensive side, the Bengals have a wide variety of offensive weapons headlined by AJ Green, while the Lions will trot out their own set of weapons including a healthy Calvin Johnson and newfound touchdown machine Joe Fauria.

Both teams enter this week 7 matchup at 4-2 and atop their respective divisions. I think this will be a very close game, but in the end it will come down to the one spot where these teams differ, and that’s at quarterback. Matthew Stafford is coming off what may have been one of his best games on Sunday against the Browns, and I think he’ll make the difference in this one too. Throw in the home crowd and I expect the Lions to surpass last year’s win total on Sunday. Lions 31, Bengals 24