Cincinnati Bengals vs. Detroit Lions
The Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions begin their campaigns for the 2011 NFL season as they meet for a preseason game in Detroit. The Lions are -5 point favorites over the Bengals with an over/under point total set at 36.5.
After drafting well for the past few seasons, the Detroit Lions are one of the top choices to be improved this season. Of course the Lions play in the same division as the defending Super Bowl Champs, the Green Bay Packers, along with the Bears and Vikings but still the expectations are high. At QB Mathew Stafford has looked good but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy so it’s even more important that backups Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton get reps and they should get plenty. With Mikel Leshoure already out for the season look for Detroit to go out and get help but until then it’s Jahvid Best, Maurice Morris, and Aaron Brown. At Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson may be the best in the NFL and opposite him it looks to be Nate Burleson but look for Titus Young to make a splash and the Lions also picked up Rashied Davis and Maurice Stovall. At Tight End it figures to be Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Schefler. Where the Lions have been spending their focus is defense and after last seasons’ bonanza with Ndamakung Suh, Detroit swung for the fences on the defensive line again drafting Nick Fairley from Auburn who many thought was the best college football player in the nation last season.
It’s a new era in Cincinnati for the Cincinnati Bengals as Carson Palmer has retired rather than play for the Bengals any longer and Cincinnati answered his threat by drafting a QB this season. Marvin Lewis will hand the reigns to Andy Dalton but Bruce Gradkowski, Jordan Palmer, and Dan LeFevour will all see time. Little has changed in the Bengals backfield as it’s Cedric Benson, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard, Cedric Peerman, Jay Finley and a few others. At Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco is gone so A.J. Green walks right into a starting job opposite him will be Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell, Quan Cosby, Ryan Whalen, and Jordan Shipley will all compete for playing time. Cincinnati is loaded at Tight End with Jermaine Gresham, Chase Coffman, and Bo Scaife. The Bengals defense wasn’t very good last season and they haven’t done much to upgrade it or reinforce it and while on paper Leon Hall and Nate Clements look to be a nice set of corners, Clements isn’t quite the player he once was.
I don’t like the Bengals QB situation nor really the situation of their team and while I think the expectation for the Lions may be getting a little ahead of themselves, they should have no problem with a team like the Bengals who are probably headed for a top five overall draft pick this season. Take the Lions minus the 5.
Detroit Lions -5 Cincinnati Bengals