The Jets have a better defense than we do. They don't allow teams to score a lot of points on them and hold them to low yardage on the ground. Luckily for Detroit, we aren't a run oriented team. We like to spread the ball around through the air and with a quarterback like Matthew Stafford who has an absolute cannon for an arm and wide reciever Calvin Johnson, who is a mismatch for any cornerback in the league one on one, they both can exploit any weakness that other teams may have on defense.
Most people including Las Vegas, think we will lose to the Jets on Sunday. While I do believe that in some areas the Jets do have better talent than we do, we have better talent then them in some areas as well. I think the sold out crowd with the positive vibes in the air and a little luck will get us the win at home.
The Jets like to blitz alot out of that 3-4 formation, usually stunts and a wide variety of exotic blitzes to confuse the offense. They have a very good front 7 and it will be a big test for the Lions offensive line to contain the blitz and keep Stafford on his feet. They have the 4th ranked run defense in the league so I'm not expecting a big day for Smith/Best on the ground. I do expect a lot of screens, draws, misdiretion plays, etc to throw the the defense off guard and slow the pass rush of the Jets aggressive front 7. They will throw everything they got at Stafford with those blitzes.
The Lions defense is a bend but don't break type that forces a lot of turnovers and get's a lot of sacks. They give up yardage both through the air and on the ground, but usually do a pretty decent job of forcing a three and out so the offense can get back on the field and score more points. They have a pretty decent secondary and a dominant defensive line that can penetrate any offensive line to stop the run and sack the QB. The Lions don't blitz much, but than again, with 23 sacks it's not necessary. The Jets need to find a way to slow the pass rush and the run game needs to take off this week to have a chance. Sanchez cannot be counted on to win the game with his arm.
The Jets offense, however, leaves a lot to be desired outside of the run game in my opinion. They have an excellent running game with both L.T and Shonn Greene back there, but if their run game stalls and they have to rely on Sanchez, they usually sputter and put more pressure on the defense to win games, though that D is good enough to do that. Sanchez is a game-manager type QB, not a game changer like Stafford is for Detroit. They are like the opposite of each other, one keeps them in the game long enough to win while the other one is the factor on whether or not the team wins. Though the Jets have offensive weapons for Sanchez to use, it's the run game that is their bread and butter.
The Lions offense is dynamic with their passing attack. They have an elite #1 receiver to go along with a great yards after catch #2 and two pro-bowl caliber tight ends. The running backs just add to their ability of catching the ball because both Best/Smith can catch the ball pretty well. The Lions offensive line has done a terrific job of pass blocking and if this offense keeps it up, it will be hard for any team to stop. They don't have the greatest run game, though Best/Smith do get yards when it's needed. They are a competent combo out of the backfield as well as in the passing game.
The game will rely heavily on the special teams unit. The field position battle is very important for the Lions because they are facing one of the best defense in the league and need good field position to have a chance. Stefan Logan might end up being a probowler this year with his play and the special teams unit in general for Detroit is top-10 in the NFL. Jets have a decent special teams unit, but it's not as good as the Lions. This will be key if the Lions want to win, to get good field position, cover well, and make the filed goals when needed while kicking the punts high and far enough to get them backed-up on their own goal line.
Overall, the Lions have the better passing offense, a defense that turns the ball over more and get's more sacks, and have the better special teams unit while the Jets have the better running game, offensive line, and better overall defense in terms of yards/points that are given up. I think the 10 deciding factors in this game are as follows:
1)Protection for Matthew Stafford (He can't get hurt again!)
2)Have a somewhat decent running game
3)Sack Sanchez and force errant throws
4)Stop their running game from taking off
5)Field position, Field position, Field position
6)Slow their pass rush down
7)Calvin needs to be targeted 15-20 times
8)Force turnovers to get the ball back to the offense
9)No stupid penalties at the worst times
10)Play smart, sound football and don't get too many major injuries
If the Lions can do these 10 things we will win. My prediction for the game?
Jets 23 - Lions 26
Last minute win either a Hanson field goal or a Stafford touchdown.