Andrew Luck and the surprise Indianapolis Colts head into Motown to take on Matthew Stafford and his Lions today from Ford Field in a battle of former No. 1 picks which should boost some nice offensive numbers through the air.
The Colts come into this game playoff bound looking to pretty much lock up a wild card in the AFC. Indy however is the only team over .500 with a negative -43 point differential with most wins being close and three of four losses being blowouts. The Colts are also 2-3 on the road so this is actually a good match up for Detroit.
Andrew Luck is piling up yards much like Detroit’s own Matthew Stafford but his stats over all aren’t very impressive. He has 13 TD’s with 13 INT’s and a QB rating of 76.7 versus the 96.6 the Colts are allowing. The Lions however will have to be very cognizant of Reggie Wayne as he is having a career year entering what is usually the twilight of many receivers careers. Wayne has 84 receptions on the year and is the only wide out close to Megatron in receiving yards. He also has 19 catches over 20 yards and is clearly Lucks’s top target.
The Colts though are extremely beatable as the offensive line will give up sacks, the defense is league average and there is no real ball hawk in the secondary. Yet Indy is 7-4 and have done enough to win seven games by doing the little things the Lions have not come through with. The Colts are playing with a ton of heart and are well disciplined. Head coach Chuck Pagano, who’s been out battling cancer, has been a tremendous inspiration for his team as they are playing above and beyond what anyone expected.
Detroit is going into this game with some extra rest after losing another heart breaker to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving. The Lions are also trying to move past a lot, coach Schwartz’s blunder, Titus Young being sent home, to a Jason Hanson missed field goal in overtime to win the game.
This however isn’t 2008 or even 2009 as Lions fans are tired of the moral victories and what if scenario’s. Despite the playoffs being an afterthought the next 5 games are huge for Detroit. Either win out and play up to the talent on this roster or find your way into 12 loses and get a high pick in April’s draft.
Personally I think the Lions have the kind of offensive talent to put up the points to win out but realistically I see the Lions more so in the 6-10 range. With all the outside things going on for the Lions, this is a chance to bury themselves into the task at hand.
The key though is Matt Stafford.
He needs to back up that highly touted arm, settle in early and find the open man. Calvin Johnson is quietly having a monster season and leads the NFL in yards and catches over 20 yards. Johnson however was plagued by a few drops a couple weeks ago only to be unstoppable most recently. In fact, Megatron has been on such a tear he has a chance to break Jerry Rice’s receiving yards record leaving Lions fans saying “what Madden curse”?
Lions 28, Colts 23