Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions
The Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions meet on Friday in what they hope will be a Super Bowl preview as they each play their second preseason game of 2012. The Ravens are -3 point favorites over the Lions with an over/under point total set at 37.5.
The Baltimore Ravens got off to a slow start in their preseason opener at Atlanta but they had a strong finish as they beat the Falcons going away. QB Joe Flacco went 9 for 12 passing with a touchdown but he was sacked twice and the Ravens were down when he was in but Curtis painter looked nothing like the dud we have seen in Indy the past few years as he had three touchdown passes. Ray Rice played sparingly as Damien Berry and Bobby Rainey got long looks but Bernard Pierce returns this week and should see action as well as there is a battle in the Ravens backfield behind Rice. Deonte Thompson caught three passes including a touchdown and Tommy Streeter looked like he will contribute as well but Torry Smith and Anquan Boldin are locks to start. Defensively Corey Graham had five tackles and a sack, Ricky Brown had five tackles, and Brendon Ayanadejo had four tackles and an interception as the Ravens defense looks as deep as ever. Overall Baltimore allowed just 71 rushing yards and 273 passing yards but the bulk of those were early as Matt Ryan and Julio jones were having their way with the Baltimore D. The Ravens return several players from injury and we’ll see plenty more of players like Flacco and Rice in this game.
The Detroit Lions lost their preseason opener to the Browns after leading comfortably most of the way. The Lions starters and backups played well but as they got to the bottom of the depth chart there was a serious drop off. Starting QB Matthew Stafford saw limited action as he went 4 for 7 with an interception and he was sacked once but Shawn Hill went 8 of 12 for 83 yards and a touchdown. Detroit is still clearly in need of a big time running back with Jahvid Best still on the shelf Joique Bell averaged 5.6 yards per carry and Keiland Williams averaged 7.9 but neither appears to be a back who can be a go to back. Calvin Johnson, Maurice Stovall, and Will Heller were among those catching two passes as 10 Lions caught balls. Defensively Dean Jones had nine tackles and Carmen Messina and Doug Hogue each had seven tackles and Everette Brown had 1.5 sacks. Overall the Lions allowed 120 rushing yards and 309 passing yards, numbers they will need to improve on no matter who is on the field but expect more of the starters and increased effort after a tough week of practice.
If this were the regular season this would be a feature type of game and even in the preseason it should be at least a decent half of football. Both of these teams have plenty to work on after their week one games. I see the Ravens taking this one as we see improved play from their first unit.
Baltimore Ravens -3 Detroit Lions