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Monday, February 17, 2020

Lions Look Alive, Second in NFC North

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The Detroit Lions were listed at the very bottom of the NFC North by top sportsbooks around the world.

But look who’s laughing now. The Lions are sitting in second place with a record of 2-0-1 after getting a win over highly-touted Philadelphia Eagles. But can the Lions maintain their lossless record over the next three weeks, when they enter an inarguably tough stretch?

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Matt Patricia and his men get the Kansas City Chiefs at home and then have to head to Green Bay after their by to face a resurgent Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers.

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Even though the Lions are taking on the Chiefs in the motor city, they are still coming in as +6.5 underdogs against Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes crew. 

Kansas City vs. Detroit Matchup

This game will be a classic good offense vs. good defense showdown. Although both teams are good on both sides of the ball, the Lions hold a distinctive defensive advantage and the Chiefs hold a distinct offensive advantage.

The only defensive stat that the Chiefs own which is better than the Lions is their opponent 3rd down conversion rate which is 43.24 percent vs, the Lions’ 45.83. The Lions are better in yards per play allowed, at 5.6 vs. KC’s 6.3. They are better at opponent completion percentage which 54.76 percent against the Chiefs 63.16 percent. The Lions own the points per play number, 0.286, whereas the Chiefs allow 0.340. And the red zone scoring percentage is vastly different; the Lions are more than 10 percent better allowing just 45.45 percent versus the Chiefs 54.55 percent.

Conversely, the Chiefs put up 7.6 yards per play against the Lions 5.6. They convert on 3rd down at a clip of 54.55 percent, which is much better than the Lions 38.10 percent. Their completion rate is an insane 71.30 percent, which goes against the Lions’ solid 62.62 percent of completed passes. And the Chiefs have no trouble scoring. They put up 0.526 points per play which is nearly point-two better than the Lions 0.338. The Lions do score in the red zone significantly better, owning a 57.14 percent rating there against the Chiefs 50.00 percent mark. But, this isn’t a problem for Kansas City because they get chunk yardage scores from well outside of the red one.

Kansas City owns the No. 1 passing attack in the league. Which will be going against the Lions’ No. 24 passing defense. The bright side about this is the fact that sans Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs are No. 26 in the league in rushing yards. So, Matt Patricia and Paul Pasqualoni know to expect the pass and can adjust. Meanwhile, the Lions passing attack isn’t too shabby. They rank No. 6 in the league at the moment but are a little more well-rounded with the No. 16 rushing attack. The Chiefs pass defense is ranked at No. 20 and drops to No. 23 while on the road. The KC road defense is giving up a lot of yards and right now, they are 29th in the league. The Lions are No. 10 at chewing up yards while at home, so this won’t be an easy game for the Chiefs to win. The Kansas City crew may very well be looking at their first loss of the season. 

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