We’ve finally made it!
After an offseason which seemed like forever, Detroit Lions football is back!
The Lions will kick off their 2018 season on Monday Night Football at Ford Field against the New York Jets. As you know, it’s a new beginning of sorts for the Lions as Jim Caldwell is out as head coach and former New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will be leading the way.
So, what can we expect from the Lions in their opener against the Jets? Will they come out with a bang or will they lay an egg like multiple other teams did in their first game?
Here are three reasons why I believe the Lions will beat the Jets on Monday Night Football, along with a final score prediction.
Matthew Stafford vs. Sam Darnold
The biggest reason why the Lions will defeat the Jets on Monday Night Football is due to the advantage they have at the most important position on the field, quarterback. Matthew Stafford is heading into his 10th season as the Lions signal-caller and he is very comfortable running the offense. The Jets, on the other hand, will trot out rookie Sam Darnold. Darnold was the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft and he looks to have the skills and demeanor to be a solid NFL quarterback down the road. Unfortunately, he is charged with the task of playing his first professional game on the road on Monday Night Football and it will be too much.
Special Teams advantage
With Detroit Lions have one of the best special teams units in the NFL and the Jets may have one of the worst. In a game that could come down to the little things, having Sam Martin to handle the punting duties and Matt Prater to kick field goals could make all the difference. For the Jets, special teams s another story. Their punter, Lac Edwards averaged a net of just 40.5 yards per punt in 2017 and kicker Jason Myers is new to the team after connecting on just 11 of 15 field goal attempts with the Jaguars last season.
Matt Patricia knows the Jets well
Playing the New York Jets at Ford Field on Monday Night Football is the best case scenario for new head coach Matt Patricia. Coming from the NFC East, Patricia has faced the Jets plenty of times over the years and he knows them well, especially when it comes to defending them. The last four times they played the Jets, the Patricia-led Patriots defense allowed just over 10 points per game. The Lions defense is not the Patriots defense but Patricia knows how to put his players in position to succeed and that is exactly what he will do on Monday night.
If you think this is a gimmie game for the Lions, you are wrong. Just ask the New Orleans Saints, the biggest favorite of Week 1, who lost at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon. The Jets are a below average football team but the Lions are not exactly the greatest thing since sliced bread. New York has a good enough running game to take advantage of a weak Lions’ front seven on defense and that will be enough to keep them in the game. That being said, the Lions have Matthew Stafford and the offense should be able to put up enough points to get it done.
Lions 27 Jets 20