Detroit Rock City? Might be more like Detroit Lock City tonight (LOL). Chicago is going to find out what it’s like to be thrown into the Lions’ dens. The Lions have a strong defense, a quick strike offense and they look like they could cause real problems for Jay Cutler and friends on Monday Night Football.
I’m writing this a few hours after that Eagles clusterf*ck in Buffalo and I started wondering what other team’s bandwagon I should jump on. I’m a Birds fan through and through, but I can’t get my heart broken week in and week out. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be there for the Eagles. I’ll still watch the games and cheer, I’ll still follow the stories, I’ll still listen to Merrill with the TV sound off. None of that will change. But I need a side piece.
Ryan is chronicling his entry into Birds fandom this season (follow his story here) mainly because he is new to the area and his girl is an Eagles fan (which pretty much makes him an Eagles fan, according to the logic of Jules Winnfield), but I’m doing this out of desperation.
Since the Birds dropped to 1-4 and they look like they really have no idea how to play the game (Yo, Parker. Everyone, including my dog, knew that the Bills were trying to draw you offsides) I’m thinking of having a “Team 1A” to complement my “Team 1”, the Eagles. But it’s a tough choice and not one I will take lightly. So I thought it through and decided that my rules for mid-season bandwagon jumping are simple:
- Rule 1: It can’t be a team that is a perennial contender (Patriots, Packers, Steelers). You can’t jump on a teams bandwagon if it’s been filling up for 15 years. No fun cheering for the lead dog.
- Rule 2: It should be a team with an interesting story. So you can maybe like the Texans but they don’t have anything interesting to latch onto. Matt Schaub went to West Chester East High School? Arian Foster basically told fantasy football players to get a life? There’s really not much there.
- Rule 3: When you tell people who you’re rooting for, 50% of the time they should say “Really?”
So after giving it careful consideration (for like, a whole 2 hours) I am officially announcing my new team for the remaining 12 weeks… the Detroit Lions.
Yes, the Lions are turning into the media darlings, so this isn’t a unique pick. Everyone is getting in on this one. But that’s cool with me. Enough people are still doubters, so I think it’s ok. I mean they’re only three years removed from going 0-16.
They have a talented young defense, with Ndamukong Suh leading the front line. Top draft pick Nick Fairley is also back tonight off of a foot injury. They have a potent offense with Matt Stafford and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. They have tons of cool celebrity fans like Tim Allen and Kid Rock and ……. Bob Seger? What’s not to like?
And this week, after 10 long years, they are finally back under the bright lights of Monday Night Football to take on the Chicago Bears. Detroit comes in at 4-0 and leading the NFC North. Chicago is 2-2, but with losses to Green Bay and New Orleans, so nothing to be ashamed of.
Vegas has the Lions as a five point favorite, with an Over/Under of 47.5. And I’m leaning to the Lions in this one.
You just have to wonder if the Bears can stop the Lions offense. The Bears defense is ranked 31 (out of 32 teams) in defensive yards per game allowed. They’ve been outgained in all 4 games this season.
Calvin Johnson is on a pace to break Randy Moss’ record for receiving TD’s in a season.
After four games he already has eight TD’s. I’m expecting the Lions to score and score alot. Green Bay is the only team to score more points than the Lions after 4 weeks and the Packers put up 27 points on the Bears in Week 3.
Detroit is averaging 301 yards per game through the air so far this season, and the Bears are giving up 301 passing yards per game so far this season. So let’s go out on a limb and say Stafford will pass for…. 301 yards.
I think the Bears will counter with alot of Matt Forte with a plan to slow down the Lions and keep the score down. But the Lions D should be up for the challenge. FootballOutsiders.com has the Lions as #3 in overall defensive efficiency (who’s #32, you ask. Why it’s our own Philadelphia Eagles) and #8 in rushing defensive efficiency. So it could be a long night for Forte. Don’t expect Jay Cutler to have it any easier in the pass game. He is the #26 rated passer, going up against the #4 rated pass defense. Good luck with that.
I think the combination of home field, Detroit’s strong defense vs. Jay Cutler and the potent Lions passing game vs a weak Bears pass defense makes this one look like a win and cover for the Lions.
If you are a trends bettor, the recent ATS trends all point in the Lions favor (see below).
I’ll be sitting on the couch in my newly purchased Matthew Stafford jersey cheering on my boys. I don’t want to get cocky, so I’ll keep it conservative and say Lions 31 Bears 17.
The Line: Detroit -5; O/U 47.5
The Pick: Detroit -5
Game Trends (via Covers.com)
- Chicago is 4-10-1ATS in their last 15 games as a road underdog
- Chicago is 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall
- Detroit is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games
- Detroit is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite
- Detroit is 16-5-2 ATS in its last 23 games overall
(oh, and after the way the Phillies went out, I might become a Tigers fan too).
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