A storm came through Colorado this week and dropped about 6" of snow. The local news claims it will be gone by gametime. Here is the current forecast:
Sunday's game is set for a 2:05PM MDT kickoff. FOX will broadcast with Dick Stockton calling the play by play and former Bronco John Lynch will provide the color commentary and Jaime Maggio reporting from the sidelines. Check here for the coverage in your area.
It looks like both teams will play without their leading rushers. Willis McGahee has a broken hand and Jahvid Best is suffering from the effects of a concussion. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is ailing too and may be a game day decision.
Here is how the Lions Offense stacks up statistically with the Broncos Defense.
|38||7th||QB Hits Allowed||N/A||N/A|
The DVOA is calculated by Football Outsiders and is explained here.
Matthew Stafford leads the Lions with a 60.2% completion rate, 16 TD's and 4 INT's. He's been Sacked 14 times and his QB Rating is 95.5. Stafford dislocated his knee cap and wrenched his ankle in the Atlanta game and it isn't clear whether he will play on Sunday. Backup Shaun Hill has been getting extra reps in practice to prepare for the worst case scenario. Hill has only thrown one pass this season, a 28-yard pass to Titus Young in Week 2, but he has quick enough feet to get downfield. If he plays, the Lions will play more of a dink and dunk Offense.
As previously stated, Jahvid Best (84 Rush, 390 yds, 2 TD) isn't expected to play this week. Keiland Williams (28 Rush for 93 yds, 1 TD) and Maurice Morris (18 Rush for 70 yds) split the carries against Atlanta and if Matt Stafford doesn't play, look for the Lions to run more to help Shaun Hill. If Stafford plays, they will attack through the air. Detroit has weapons in WR's Calvin Johnson (41 Rec, 67, which is their strength9 yds, 10 TD's) and Nate Burleson (22 Rec, 222 yds, 1 TD). TE's Brandon Pettigrew (38 Rec, 352 yds, 2 TD's), and Tony Scheffler (6 Rec, 78 yds, 2 TD's) are both capable of moving the chains.
Detroit's Offensive Line is made up of LT Jeff Backus, 11th yr. (3 Penalties, 6.5 Sacks Given Up), LG Rob Sims, 6th yr. (3 Pen, 1 SK), C Dominic Raiola, 11th yr (2 Pen, 1.5 SK), RG Stephen Peterman, 7th yr. (4 Pen, 0 SK) and RT Gosder Cherilus, 4th (3 Pen, 2 SK). Cherilus is dealing with a knee injury this week and RT Corey Hilliard, 5th yr. (1 Pen, 1 SK) will fill in if needed. Raiola is their best Linemen and they should have drafted an upgrade for LT Backus right after drafting QB Matt Stafford. Backus is capable, but not the ideal choice to protect a $60 Million Franchise QB.
Here is how the Lions Defense stacks up statistically with the Broncos Offense.
|N/A||N/A||QB Hits Allowed||1st||17|
Detroit runs a 4-3 Base look on Defense and their Line is the strength of the team. They are also strong through the middle. The line has LDE Cliff Avril (14 TKL, 3 SK, 2 OD, 1 FF, 1 FR), LDT Ndamukong Suh (23 TKL, 3 SK), RDT Corey Williams (15 TKL, 0.5 SK, 1 PD) and RDE Kyle Vanden Bosch 11th yr. (17 TKL, 4 SK, 3 FF, 1 FR). The rotation at the Ends consists of Lawrence Jackson (14 TKL, 1.5 SK) and Willie Young (8 TKL, 2 SK, 1 PD).
At Linebacker, Stephen Tulloch (44 TKL, 2 SK, 1 FR, 2 PD, 1 INT) takes care of the middle, while Justin Durant (25 TKL, 1 PD) takes the left side and leading tackler DeAndre Levy (59 TKL) grabs everything coming across the right side. Bobby Carpenter (16 TKL, 1 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD) has seen plenty of action spelling Durant.
The Backfield has LCB Chris Houston (35 TKL, 8 PD, 3 INT, 1 TD) and RCB Eric Wright (32 TKL, 1 FF, 2 INT, 4 PD) starting. The Nickel back is Aaron Berry (15 TKL, 5 PD) and Brandon McDonald (10 TKL, 1 PD) plays in Dime situations. The Free Safety is Louis Delmas (38 TKL, 3 PD, 1 FR) and Amari Spievey (26 TKL, 1 SK, 3 PD, 2 INT) is the Strong Safety.
Stefan Logan is the Lions primary Return man. He has returned 18 punts an average of 8.7 yards with a long of 20 and has made 16 Fair Catches. Logan also has returned 11 Kickoffs for a 26.5 yard average and a long of 32 yards. Nate Burleson is listed as the backup Returner.
Lions LDT Ndamukong Suh vs. Broncos RG Chris Kuper -- This might just be the most interesting pair to watch on Sunday. Suh has the versatility to move around in a variety of defensive packages and formations, but will go up mainly against Kuper. Ndamukong has 13 Sacks since the beginning of 2010, the most by a Defensive Tackle in the NFL. Meanwhile, Kuper has only surrendered 12 Sacks in 63 starts, including 1.5 this season.
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