Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs CAR

Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs CAR

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs CAR

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Prediction: DET 16, CAR 23 (Line: CAR by 2.5)

UPDATE: DeAngelo Williams is likely to miss the game this week and will be replaced by Jonathan Stewart.

Hate when this happens. A great offense meets a great defense. Almost never ends up with a lot of points.The Lions come off their easy win over the Giants while the Panthers return home after squeaking past the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay without the use of Cam Newton. This is an odd matchup since the Panthers have almost no offense and yet the Lions on the road will be below average on defense. All we can hope is that they take care of Megatron and keep him healthy.

Detroit Lions

1 NYG 35-14 10 MIA —–
2 @CAR —– 11 @ARI —–
3 GB —– 12 @NE —–
4 @NYJ —– 13 CHI —–
5 BUF —– 14 TB —–
6 @MIN —– 15 MIN —–
7 NO —– 16 @CHI —–
8 @ATL —– 17 @GB —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 250,1
RB Stevan Ridley 30
WR Jeremy Kerley 4-50
WR Golden Tate 6-50
TE Timothy Wright 4-50

The Lions had a fun win over the Giants when most everything worked and Jim Caldwell’s first game was a big win. OC Joe Lombardi called a great game. Granted this all happened at home against a Giants team that look like they lost the playbook to the offense and are all going by what they sort of remember. This week will be a far better measurement of what the offense can do on the road against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL.

QUARTERBACK : Matthew Stafford had moments of struggle in the preseason but that went away last week when he threw for 346 yards and two scores and ran in a third one. He committed no turnovers and was never sacked. What makes the offense a bit harder to gauge is that Stafford had such a deadly connection with Calvin Johnson that hardly anyone else mattered. That won’t cut it in Carolina.

RUNNING BACK : The same duo returns with Joique Bell (15-51, TD) as the primary runner and Reggie Bush (9-15) doing his damage more as a receiver. He turned in six catches for 49 yards. Theo Riddick is there in case someone gets hurt but this two-headed backfield can be productive every week even if they limit each other from having a monster game.

WIDE RECEIVER : Calvin Johnson (7-164, 2 TD) started the year out with a bang but it was also encouraging to see Golden Tate with six catches for 93 yards. He looked as good as any #2 has in Detroit for a long time but then again this was the same secondary that Johnson toasted at will. No other wideouts were thrown a pass. Easy game and cannot draw too much but very encouraging to see Tate come to life in the first game as a Lion.

TIGHT END : Their time will come later. Only one catch for both Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew while the rookie Eric Ebron missed his pass. For now I will not project them until the show separation and production worthy of a fantasy start. That will come at some point at least for Ebron.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is where it will be interesting. Aside from one run by Jorvorskie Lane, the Panthers held Bobby Rainey and Doug Martin to a combined 13 runs for 21 yards. Rainey scored on a reception but there was basically no rushing allowed and that will ruin at least Bell in this game. Bush will rely on receiving for his value. Josh McCown threw two scores but was at home in a new offense never seen by the Panthers. Johnson is always a start – no matter what. Stafford, Bush and even Tate could produce moderate numbers here but they will be risky. The Panthers never allowed more than one passing touchdown to a visitor last year. They only allowed one rushing score by a visitor in total last year. This will be much different than last week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 5 13 2 26 12 17
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 17 11 7 15 31 2

Carolina Panthers

1 @TB 20-14 10 @PHI —–
2 DET —– 11 ATL —–
3 PIT —– 12 BYE —–
4 @BAL —– 13 @MIN —–
5 CHI —– 14 @NO —–
6 @CIN —– 15 TB —–
7 @GB —– 16 CLE —–
8 SEA —– 17 @ATL —–
9 NO —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 10 230,2
RB Jonathan Stewart 60 3-20
WR Kelvin Benjamin 5-80,1
TE Greg Olsen 7-80,1
PK Graham Gano 3 FG 2 XP

The Panthers made it past the Buccaneers even without Cam Newton who was a game time decision and nearly suited up before being scratched. The defense looks great and back for the home opener should be even better. Derek Anderson was able to generate a decent passing game but that was against the Buccaneers and has much less correlation to this first start by Newton.

QUARTERBACK : Cam Newton sat out with sore ribs but HC Ron Rivera named him the week two starter on Monday. He may not be completely over his rib fracture but that should only affect his rushing. He’ll be primed in his home opener.

RUNNING BACK : No changes here. DeAngelo Williams (14-72) ruins Jonathan Stewart (9-20) ruins Mike Tolbert and in the end they all watch Cam Newton take the rushing score anyway. Until one or more injuries occur, there is no chance that any of these running backs merit a fantasy start beyond a play for some marginal yardage only.

WIDE RECEIVER : The quarterback will be different this week but the rookie Kelvin Benjamin did not disappoint when he caught six passes for a team-high 92 yards and one score when the lanky wideout literally grabbed it out of the air from the defensive back who was in front of him but behind the ball. It was just one game but for a team with shaky receivers outside their star rookie, he was as good as good as could be hoped. Jerricho Cotchery (4-32) pitched in as the minor player he will remain all year.

TIGHT END : Just as encouraging as Benjamin was Greg Olsen picking up the pace with a team high 11 targets for eight receptions and 83 yards with one score. The Panthers may not have much but if they can get anywhere near as much from Benjamin and Olsen every week this passing attack will do just fine. Newton may be the starter now but the play calling will remain the same.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Another defense that is hard to gauge because they were at home against Keystone Kops from New York. The Lions were one of the worst teams against wide receivers last year and that should help Benjamin. Even at home starting Williams is shaky because of the committee he heads up. Newton is a moderate play this week and won’t be 100% healthy. Benjamin and Olsen are also both worth starting. This is the same defense that gave up 56 yards and a score to Larry Donell (consult your game program).

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 11 26 20 5 13 7
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 3 14 1 25 29 4

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