It’s hard to say who had a worse start to the season, Jimmy Garoppolo or the Detroit Lions. Making their debut under Matt Patricia, the Lions were smacked by the Jets on Monday Night Football, leaving many fans to believe that the Jim Caldwell era wasn’t so bad. After all, the former coach had three winning seasons and two playoff appearances in his four years. The Lions must regroup for their Week 2 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy G, who chucked three picks in losing his first game as a starter.
This matchup in Week 2 of the regular season will take place on Sunday, September 16, 2018, at 4:05 p.m. ET at Levi’s Stadium.
NFL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu
Detroit Lions OFF
San Francisco 49ers OFF
Over/Under (Check Back Later)
With the Lions playing on Monday night, the line has yet to surface. You can expect Detroit to be a 3-5 point underdog on the road after a horrible showing against the Jets.
Marquise Goodwin – With the loss of his top receiver to a thigh injury in the first quarter, Garoppolo failed to sustain anything in the passing game and he was limited in his comeback effort. Goodwin didn’t have a reception before his early exit, but he led the team last season with 56 catches and 962 yards. Rookie Dante Pettis, who had a 22-yard TD catch, and Trent Taylor will get more snaps if Goodwin is unable to go.
Brock Coyle – The Niners were already thin at linebacker with Malcolm Smith injured and Reuben Foster serving a suspension, and the group took another hit when Coyle left the Vikings game with a concussion. He will need to clear the protocol before returning to the lineup. Foster is slated to miss one more game and the Lions will target the middle of a suspect defense.
Ezekiel Ansah – The oft-injured defensive lineman left with a shoulder problem in the first half and didn’t return. He’s been a force up front when healthy, recording 30 sacks in his first three seasons and getting 12 last year. The Lions are counting on him to anchor an otherwise questionable defensive line.
Player to Watch
The backbone of the Lions for a decade, Matthew Stafford had a game to forget in the opener. We rarely see him perform the way he did on Monday and there is reason to be concerned in MoTown. Not just because of the four interceptions, but also due to the punishment he took. The Jets didn’t record a sack on the stat sheet, but they got to Stafford on several occasions, twice sending him to the bench.
He got kicked in the shin and had his leg bent backwards on one play. He was sandwiched by a pair of Jets defenders on another, sending him to the turf to catch his breath. He finished the game with 286 yards and a touchdown, but the four picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown, were too much to overcome. The one thing about Stafford is that he’s tough, and he doesn’t like losing. If the Lions are to bounce back, they need Stafford to lead them and be more cautious with the football.
12 – History isn’t on Detroit’s side in this matchup. The Lions have lost 12 straight games to the Niners in the Bay Area, including one playoff encounter, dating back to 1977, and they’ve dropped nine of the last 10 meetings and 14 of the past 16. The good news is that the last meeting resulted in a Detroit victory, 32-17, at the end of the 2015 season. And the Lions get a fresh start since this will be their first visit to Levi’s Stadium.
Free ATS Pick
I’m sure Patricia is rethinking his decision to take the Lions job after Monday’s disaster. Detroit was overmatched, outplayed and outcoached in an embarrassing loss that had the home fans booing and exiting the stadium in the third quarter. Jim Caldwell is somewhere having a nice laugh about the situation.
What happened on Monday was similar to what we saw during the preseason, and that’s not supposed to happen. It makes me think the Lions have taken a step back. Patricia better do some coaching and hope Matthew Stafford can play. The good news is that the Niners aren’t much better, and that makes me believe the Lions have a chance. They can’t be as bad as they were against the Jets, can they?
NFL Betting Odds: 49ers 24, Lions 20
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