DETROIT LIONS (0-0) @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-0)
WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
KICKOFF: 4:25 p.m. EST
WEATHER: Partly cloudy. High 75F. Winds NNE at 4 mph.
TV/RADIO: WJBK-TV FOX 2/News Talk 760 | WJR-AM
LINE: Colts -3, Over/Under 51
Three things to watch for:
- Can the Lions pick up where they left off last season? – Everyone one knows what went down with the Lions in 2015. High expectations after an 11-5 playoff year were met with one of the most abysmal starts in recent memory. Detroit started 1-7 and the Ford Family decided to clean shop in the front office. Something clicked after that, as far as on-field performance is concerned, as the Lions finished the year as one of the hottest teams in the league at 6-2. Matthew Stafford, especially, looked elite in offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s scheme and he went on to toss 19 touchdowns and help the Lions score over 26 points per game in that second half. We will find out if Jim Bob has solidified his pawprints on the Lions offense Sunday afternoon in Indy.
- The Revenge of Jim Caldwell – Sunday’s game in Indianapolis will be Lions coach Jim Caldwell’s first time back in Lucas Oil Stadium to face his former team since they canned him in 2011. Coach Caldwell had a 0.541 winning percentage in three seasons as head coach of the Colts including starting his rookie coaching season an NFL record 14-0 and eventually losing Super Bowl XLVIII to the New Orleans Saints. The next year he went 10-6 with the Colts including an AFC South division title but lost in the wild-card game. In his third and final season in Indy, Peyton Manning’s neck went out and so did the rest of the franchise which would include Caldwell’s job. It seemed really cheap the way they cut him loose after such early success and I’m sure (although he would never admit) it will be on the back of his mind on that Lucas Oil sideline today.
- Will the Lions’ offensive line hold? – Probably the number one question as it pertains to rather the Lions succeed or fall flat this season. We all know rookie first round tackle Taylor Decker will have his bumps in the road. But other questions heavily beacon. Can Riley Reiff and Larry Warford form an imposing right side? Will Travis Swanson hold up at center or will the Lions have to throw the other rookie, Glasgow, in the mix? Does Laken Tomlinson show competency in Year 2? Three big questions right there. Here’s the layout. If three are answered yes – then the Lions can and will contend for an NFC North division crown. If none are correct… the Lions might just have a top five pick in next spring’s draft. A mix of yes and no’s? Who knows? But we’ll see pretty soon. If the Lions o-line struggles against the Colt’s below average pass rush then we’re looking at a long season ladies and gentleman.
Lions 35 Colts 10