The Detroit Lions have an ugly drought going right now. You see, they have not won a playoff game in 23 years, and this spells trouble for them, at least in the opinion of some America’s Bookie customers, as they approach the NFC Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, the Cowboys were the last team the Lions beat in the postseason, but that was in 1992, when Wayne Fontes was the head coach for Detroit and Jimmy Johnson was at Dallas. The kickoff for NFL betting action is set for 4:40 PM ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
The Lions hired Jim Caldwell in the offseason, after he impressed them so much in his interview by the way he broke down all of Matthew Stafford’s throws from last year. Stafford has not necessarily had a banner season, with just 22 touchdown passes and 45 sacks, but he’s been good enough, and in fact he has compiled 4,257 yards.
What you want to keep an eye on is that Calvin Johnson is productive again, after going through a lot of ankle problems. He put together four 100-yard games over the last eight, and that was encouraging. Football bettors may recall that Johnson lit up the Cowboys last season with fourteen catches for 329 yards – the second highest one-game total in league history. Don’t underestimate the effect that Golden Tate (99 catches, 1331 yards) has on this situation, as it will be hard for the Dallas defensive unit (which allowed 4031 passing yards) to cover them both.
The most capable unit on the field here may be the Detroit defense, which ranks high in virtually every category. They have allowed just 69 rushing yards a game, which is best in the NFL, as is the 3.2-yard average on the part of opponents. They are third in the league in points allowed and 4th in yards allowed, on a per-drive basis. They have yielded just 4.9 yards per play, almost a yard less than Dallas, and their foes have scored 7.8 points per game in the second half.
One of the anchors of this defense is Ndamukong Suh, who caught a one-game suspension from the league after an incident where he stepped on Aaron Rodgers’ leg last week. But he appealed it and got it knocked down to a fine, which means the first-team All-Pro defensive tackle will be available.
NFL PLAYOFFS 01/03/15