NY Jets (0-0) at Detroit (0-0)
When: Monday, September 10th 2018
Where: Ford Field,
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Lions -6.5/43.5
The New York Jets and Detroit Lions are both beginning new eras and one of them will take a step forward with a Week 1 win as they meet on Monday Night Football. New York drafted quarterback Sam Darnold No. 3 overall from USC to be their future, but he impressed enough during the preseason that he has earned the starting nod for the season opener. Darnold beat out Josh McCown and the since-traded Teddy Bridgewater for the job and will make history in his NFL debut, becoming the youngest Week 1 starting quarterback at 21 years, 97 days. The Jets are coming off back-to-back five-win seasons and are still lacking star players in the skill positions. The Lions will be playing under the leadership of first-year coach Matt Patricia, who spent the past six seasons as the defensive coordinator for New England. Patricia inherits a team that has posted back-to-back nine-win seasons and features All-Pro quarterback in Matt Stafford, but also one that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991. This will be the first regular season meeting since Stafford threw for 293 yards and two scores in a 24-17 at New York in 2014.
Darnold finished the preseason with solid numbers by completing 29-of-45 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Like I mentioned above, he really has no weapons to throw to. Robby Anderson, who led the team with 941 yards and seven touchdowns last season is the top target, followed by Jermaine Kearse (team-high 65 catches), Quincy Enunwa (58 catches in 2016) and quarterback-turned-receiver Terrelle Pryor. New York brought in power back Isaiah Crowell, who appeared in all 16 games in each of his four seasons in Cleveland, while Bilal Powell will serve as the third-down back. New York does have a strong secondary, but the pass rush is weak, ranking 28th last season with 28 sacks and is led by defensive end Leonard Williams.
Stafford, who has thrown for at least 4,000 yards for seven consecutive years, needs help from the running game, so Detroit went out and drafted Kerryon Johnson from Auburn in the second round and signed LeGarrette Blount, who is one year removed from leading the league with 18 rushing touchdowns. The Lions ranked dead-last in the NFL in rushing a year ago, averaging a meager 76.3 yards a contest. Marvin Jones anchors the receiving corps and led the Lions with 1,101 yards and nine touchdowns on 61 catches last season while fellow wideout Golden Tate also surpassed 1,000 yards on 92 receptions. The defense has two solid leaders in defensive end Ziggy Ansah (12 sacks) and cornerback Darius Slay (eight interceptions), but ranked 27th in the league overall last season, including 27th against the pass.
I don’t see much improvement from this New York team and they will struggle with a rookie quarterback early-on. Detroit doesn’t have the best defense, but should be able to disrupt Darnold into enough mistakes to win this by a touchdown.
Pick: Lions -6.5
- Jets are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on fieldturf.
- Jets are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
- Jets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
- Jets are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.
- Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1.
- Under is 4-1 in Jets last 5 Monday games.
- Over is 5-2 in Jets last 7 games on fieldturf.
- Under is 7-3 in Jets last 10 road games.
- Over is 10-1 in Lions last 11 games in Week 1.
- Over is 7-2 in Lions last 9 home games.
- Under is 9-4 in Lions last 13 Monday games.