2008 Season NFL Football Past Picks

September 07, 2008

07

Detroit at Atlanta

Sunday 09/07 01:00 PM Eastern

3 units on Atlanta +3.5 (-110) (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: WIN

The Lions went to more of an air attack under offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Martz is now gone, replaced by Jim Colletto who promises greater emphasis on the running game. But the Lions will be doing the running without Kevin Jones, yet another Lion's first round bust. That leaves the running to a trio of unproven backs, and the hope is that one will emerge. That's not the best way to enter game. A bigger question for the Lions is, can they stop anyone from throwing the ball? It doesn't look like it. Coach Rod Marinelli has brought in three Tampa Bay castoffs to help in Brian Kelly, Dwight Smith and Kalvin Pearson. But guess what? They are not in Tampa Bay for a reason. The NFC South seems up for grabs every year, with each team getting a turn at winning. Not only has no team repeated since the realignment in '02, but no team that won has even finished with a winning record! Last year Coach Petrino lost this Atlanta team completely, and they will welcome Mike Smith. The Falcons now have two breakaway runners in the backfield in Turner and Norwood - both capable of going the distance on each touch. The Lions swept their preseason games, and that makes this line a bit faulty. This is a team that for years has had absolutely no success on the road. There aren't any changes to this year's version that would lead you to believe things will do an about face in 2008. How bad are they on the road? They are just 8-48 straight-up on the road the last seven years, so we are looking at a team that has managed to win one out of every six games on the road for seven years, as a road favorite? Last year the Lions allowed 34.5 points per game on the road, the highest total in the NFL. There just isn't enough change to warrant anything being different. It's hard to win on the road in the NFL, even against a team like Atlanta. I will back the Falcons here to take their home opener.

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