May 28, 2024

On Saturday night, the

travel to Ford Field for an inter-conference showdown against the Detroit Lions. The Broncos (7-6) defeated the Los Angeles Chargers last weekend. The Lions (9-4) played poorly in a 28-13 loss to the Chicago Bears. The kick-off is at 8:15 PM ET. Detroit opens as a four-point home favorite.

Broncos Surging Through December
The Denver Broncos notched its sixth win in seven games as they sailed past the depleted Los Angeles Chargers 24-7 last Sunday. Russel Wilson completed 21 of 33 passes for 224 yards for two touchdowns, including a 46-yard TD to Courtland Sutton in the third quarter. It was Sutton’s 10th receiving TD of the year, making him the first Denver receiver since Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas to reach double digits.
Denver’s defense finished with six sacks and a pair of turnovers. They also held the Chargers to a combined 1 of 18 on third- and fourth-down conversions. “We did a good job harassing the quarterback, both of them. It was one of our better team wins this season,” Denver coach Sean Payton said to Associated Press reporters. The Broncos are one of six teams in the AFC at 7-6 and fighting for one of the last two playoff spots. They are on the outside due to a 4-5 conference record, but three of their final four games are against AFC opponents. Guard Quinn Meinerz left the game due to an elevated heart rate at halftime and linebacker Nik Bonitto had a knee injury in the first half. Both are doubtful on a short week.

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Lions Mamed on the Road
The Lions have lost two of three, looking ugly again in a tough 28-13 road loss to the Chicago Bears. Jared Goff threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Chicago scored 15 points in about seven minutes to break open a game that was tied at 13 late in the third quarter. “Look, I know that everybody’s trying to grasp straws, what are we, what is this,” coach Dan Campbell said. “I know exactly what we are. We’re a team that will fight. We got to do things right because any little mistake, man, it throws us off now. That’s just the type of team we are.” Goff was 20 of 35 for 161 yards in another inefficient outing. He struggled mightily the week prior in a win against the Saints.
The Lions scored two touchdowns late in the first half to grab a 13-10 lead, only to get shut out the rest of the way. Former Bear David Montgomery ran for 66 yards on 10 attempts in his first appearance at Soldier Field since signing with the Lions in the offseason. Montgomery played his first four seasons with Chicago. They did not suffer any notable injuries. Kindle Vildor developed cramps during the game but he is ready for Saturday.

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Rating:
The Broncos and Lions will play a crucial primetime game on Saturday night. Denver is hoping to keep the momentum rolling in its quest for a playoff spot. They are in a logjam in the AFC with several other teams holding a 7-6 record. Detroit is on a quest for its first division title in forever, hoping to get a home playoff game. Jared Goff was horrible outside in the elements on a windy afternoon in Chicago. He threw two interceptions and was sacked four times, only throwing for 161 yards. I expect a much better showing from the offense and Goff in the friendly confines of Ford Field. Detroit is fifth in rushing, and Denver has allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL. They will lean on David Montgomery and the rushing attack to carry them, giving Goff his familiar play-action pass, something they did not do enough of in Chicago. Take the Lions to win by four or more.

Prediction: Detroit Lions -4 (-110)
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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:
The Detroit defense has been riddled with injuries throughout the year, and it showed last week when they allowed the mobile Justin Fields to scamper for 58 yards. He could have run for a lot more but the Bears threw the ball at will against them. They are missing Emmanuel Moseley James Houston and Alim McNeill. Russel Wilson is not as mobile as Fields but the Lions have had issues with running quarterbacks. Lamar Jackson carved them up in a 38-6 blowout win earlier this season. I expect Detroit to win, but this will be a shootout with both clubs having an efficient day offensively. The total number has gone over in four of Detroit’s last five, and four of five against the Broncos. They are much better inside, and at home, and this will be a high-flying game. Take the over with confidence.

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