Remember once upon a time, when the Detroit Lions used to be a really good play on Thanksgiving? Well, there is hardly any guarantees about their efforts in recent years, and it looks as if it’s crisis time for the coaching staff.
Head coach Matt Patricia has made it to Turkey Day, but maybe the question is whether he’ll last until Christmas. The Lions go against the Houston Texans, a team that has already made a coaching change. Kickoff is at 12:30 PM ET, and if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can get reduced juice for a better deal on the odds, not to mention Sports Betting Prime, which enables real-time wagers.
HOUSTON TEXANS at DETROIT LIONS, 12:30 PM ET (Thursday)
BetAnySports NFL Line: Texans -3 (-115), Total 51
The nature of the NFL is that sometimes a team will follow up a horrible effort with something that is much more prideful. That would seem to be the best selling point for the Lions here. Detroit was shut out 20-0 last week by a Carolina squad that was missing both its starting quarterback and All-Pro running back. The Lions had only ten first downs and 185 total yards. The offensive line paved the way for only 2.4 yards per carry and gave up five sacks.
Meanwhile, the Texans were able to score a home victory over the New England Patriots, despite allowing 435 yards. Both of the teams more or less abandoned the ground game; on Houston’s side, they got only 19 yards from their running backs. DeShaun Watson had 344 yards through the air, and running back David Johnson remains out of action with effects from a concussion.
The argument can probably be made that in this duel between coaches who were assistants under Bill Belichick, Romeo Crennel’s Texans can at least say that they faced a defense (the Patriots’) that is similar to what Patricia will show them. But there is so much familiarity between these guys that it is questionable how much of a factor it all is.
We will say this: both Crennel and Patricia are part of another culture, in which former New England assistants haven’t exactly been able to bring gold dust to a head coaching position. Patricia is expected to be looking for another job before next season.
Matthew Stafford is probably capable of much more. he threw for 178 yards (on 18 of 33) against a panther stop unit that is not necessarily stout. It might make sense for the Lions to run the football, since the Texans have proven themselves largely inept at stopping it (allowing 5.1 ypc, 159.3 a game, both last in the league). But Detroit has run the ball just 38.2% of the time, as they continue to give the rushing game little more than lip service. As for Houston, they will stick mostly with Duke Johnson, who is a third down back.
Since these defenses are among the bottom five in the league as far as yards per drive allowed (Detroit 29th, Houston 32nd), and with the air route likely to be the one that is preferred, we allow for the strong possibility that we will be looking at an OVER.
Just try not to OVER-eat.
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