Last week was a big chance for the Lions to earn a big win at home. Thanks, in part, to some special teams miscues, they ended up losing to the Bengals in the battle of big cats. Still, not that bad of a loss, not a huge issue. However, this week, the Lions have another big chance, and this time they may not be able to squander it if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Detroit is hosting the Dallas Cowboys, an NFC opponent. If the Lions win, they finish the first half of their season 5-3, putting them in a good position for securing that final wild card spot. A loss, however, and they are 4-4, and the Panthers are looking intriguing and, well, you know...
So far, the Lions have been strong on offense and, at best, mediocre at defense. The Cowboys have been similar, so this could be a shootout, especially since the Cowboys are banged up on defense and they are bad against the pass. This should be a big day for Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and company. Also, hopefully Reggie Bush. He struggled last week running the ball, and perhaps if he had been better the Lions would have won. We shall see if Bush can have a nice game. When he has this season, Detroit has won.
On the other hand, there is reason to be concerned about Detroit's offense, because of their line. Corey Hilliard has already been ruled out, and both Riley Reiff and Jason Fox are healthy. Even if Fox manages to make it into this game, can he be relied upon to finish it? Maybe the Lions end up shorthanded on the line and Stafford is pressured and Bush can't find any holes and the offense is held in check. That will mean a loss.
I do not think the Lions will have a good day against Dallas' offense. Tony Romo is a very good quarterback, and he has a lot of weapons at his disposal. Dez Bryant is a great receiver. Jason Witten is a very good tight end. Terrence Williams has really emerged, rendering Miles Austin, who has been good in the past, nigh irrelevant. Plus, DeMarco Murray is expected back healthy. Perhaps the Lions can get after Romo and cause a couple of turnovers. That is their best bet.
Also, not having field goals blocked, and not having refs making errors, and not having shanked punts would be nice. I expected this game to be close, just as I expected from last week. I don't think Dallas is quite as good as Cincinnati, and the Lions will likely be a bit more fortunate here. I would not be surprised if Detroit loses, especially if Reiff and/or Fox can't play, but I will give the Lions the edge for now. Final Prediction: Lions 34, Cowboys 28