This matchup has been highly anticipated for some Detroit Lions fans. It marks the return of their former head coach, Jim Schwartz.
Mr. Handshake himself wasn’t a very popular coach by the end of his tenure, and rightfully so, after ending with a career win-loss percentage of .363 percent (29-51).
Though Schwartz had a rough go with the Lions, he’s gone back to his roots as a defensive coordinator, and he’s doing a solid job for the Bills. Currently, the Bills’ defense have given up the third least amount of rushing yards per game, and according to Football Outsiders and their DVOA formula, they are the ninth most efficient defense in the NFL right now.
Despite having such a stout run defense, the same cannot be said about the Bills’ secondary. Sound familiar? The Bills are currently giving up an average of 266.2 yards per game, which ranks 25th out of 32 teams.
On the flip side of the ball, the Bills have yet to find a rhythm on offense, and average just 19.8 points per game (25th), including only 198.5 passing yards per game (31st) and 112.2 rushing yards per game (13th).
The bruised and battered offensive line for Detroit will have their work cut out for them when they face off against Buffalo’s star-studded defensive line led by defensive tackle Kyle Williams. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams is having an incredible year so far. They have him graded as the number one DT in the NFL.
Williams is currently dealing with a knee injury and remains “Doubtful” on the injury report, so that may be huge for the Lions if he isn’t able to suit up.
If the Lions want any success running the ball or keeping Stafford safe, they will need right tackle LaAdrian Waddle to recover as soon as possible.
WR Marquise Goodwin – Concussion – Probable
WR Sammy Watkins – Ribs – Probable
CB Ron Brooks – Shoulder – Probable
LB Randell Johnson – Knee – Probable
LB Nigel Bradham – Knee – Doubtful
WR Marcus Easley – Knee – Out
OG Chris Williams – Back – Out
DT Kyle Williams – Knee – Doubtful
The Detroit Lions are favored by 7 points via Vegas Insider.
Keys to Winning
Most importantly, the Lions have to play a clean game on all phases of the ball. They are one of only a few teams to not give up a play over 40 yards this year, and have done a better job at keeping penalties to a minimum over the last couple of games.
If the Lions can play clean and disciplined football while forcing Kyle Orton to beat them, then I’d say it’d be hard for them to lose at home to the Bills.
Once again, the Lions will be facing one of the top rush defenses in the league, so pressure will be on Matthew Stafford to get the job done for the second consecutive week. The Bills’ secondary leave a lot to be desired, so Stafford shouldn’t have a very difficult time there, but we’ve seen crazier things happen.
Chalk me up for another Lions victory.
Stafford throws for 400 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Eric Ebron, and the secondary holds Kyle Orton to under 160 passing yards.
Lions win by over two touchdowns.
Final Score: Lions 28 – Bills 13