The New York Jets will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions this week in the first of 2 Monday night games. Both teams are coming off disappointing seasons and are looking to usher in a new era with the Lions naming a new head coach and the Jets naming a new starting quarterback. The Jets have decided that rookie Sam Darnold will be their starter after beating out both Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the job. At just 21 years and 97 days old, Darnold is the youngest starting quarterback in the history of the NFL. He will have his work cut out for him in turning this team around as they finished 5-11 the previous two seasons. Detroit hired Matt Patricia to be their head coach replacing Jim Caldwell who led the team to a 9-7 record last season but missed the playoffs. Despite not making the playoffs their offense was the 7th highest scoring team in the NFL with 25.6 points scored per game. The former Patriots defensive coordinator only knows success and is looking to bring that winning attitude to the Lions.

New York’s offense will be led by wide receiver Robby Anderson who had a nice year last season with 941 yards and 7 touchdowns. Jermaine Kearse, Terrelle Pryor and Quincy Enunwa round out their receiving corps. In the offseason they signed running back Isaiah Crowell to a 3-year deal. Crowell started all 16 games for the Browns last season and will share the carries with Bilal Powell.
Their defense returns after finishing 25th last season where they allowed their opponents to average over 352 yards per game.

Matthew Stafford is back under center for the Lions and is coming off a successful year, which included 29 touchdowns and 4,446 yards passing. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones have both returned and each caught over 1,000 yards last season. They also bolstered their running game in the off-season with the acquisition of LeGarrette Blount and the drafting of rookie Kerryon Johnson. Blount is just one season removed from leading the league in touchdowns with 18 in 2016. These two should be a big improvement as last year, the Lions finished last in the league with just 1,221 rushing yards. Their defense is coming off a poor season where they finished 27th in the league with 355.8 yards allowed per game. One bright spot for the defense is Ziggy Ansah who had 12 sacks in 2017.

The Lions have home field advantage for this game and are favored by 6.5 points. Patricia’s experience in New England makes him very familiar with the Jets offense and they had a lot of success. He had to formulate a game plan against them twice a year for the past 12 years. Last season the lions forced 31 turnovers, which included 8 interceptions by cornerback Darius Slay. The Jets success will depend on whether Darnold can produce in his first ever NFL game ever behind a not so great offensive line.

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