Detroit (2013: 7-9 SU, 6-10 ATS) needed a late drive to edge Cleveland in an unimpressive, 13-12 home win to start preseason. The Oakland Raiders (2013: 4-12 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) opened with a 10-6 loss at Minnesota as their offense was non-existent. Detroit visits Ford Field O.co Coliseum in Oakland to take on the Raiders on Friday at 10pmET
Preseason Point Spread: Detroit opened as a 2.5-point betting odds favorite and moved to Oakland 2.5 in most books. The total opened at 37 and moved to 39.5 in most books.
The Lions struggled to score against Cleveland in their opener as they fumbled twice in the third quarter before Kellen Moore found Corey Fuller in the left corner of the end zone for the 13-12 lead with 1:05 to play. Detroit sealed the game with an interception of Tyler Thigpen.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played just one series and led the Lions to a 37-yard field goal from Nate Freese. Stafford ranked third in the NFL in passing yards in 2013 and the Lions had the sixth-ranked total offense (392.1 yards per game).
Expect Stafford to play more along with new receiver Golden Tate along with rookie tight end Eric Ebron, who has had issues in camp with dropped passes. Calvin Johnson is coming off another big season with 84 catches for 1,492 yards and 12 TDs, despite being hampered by a knee injury. He sat out the first game and may not play the second game.
Defensively, Detroit allowed 23.5 points per game (15th) and just 99.8 yards per game (6th) against the run. However, they struggled against the pass, allowing 246.9 (32rd) yards per game in the air.
They held Cleveland to just 89 yards on 28 carries and 193 passing yards while forcing two turnovers.
New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will have a new safeties in James Ihedigbo and Louis Delmas. They have a dominant front four led by Ndamukong Suh and DT Nick Fairley. They still have some issues at cornerback and could use a boost from Darrius Slay.
Matt Schaub completed just 3-of-7 for 21 yards in his debut against Minnesota last Friday. Maurice Jones-Drew added just 10 yard rushing on two carries and caught two passes for 14 yards in his debut.
The Raiders’ only score came when third-string quarterback Matt McGloin ran in for a 10-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Schaub is now 33 and was benched last year in Houston. He threw for over 4,000 yards in 2012 but hasn’t looked the same in over a year. He did play well in recent practices against the Cowboys, who may have the worst defense in the NFL-by far.
Oakland has had a pretty good camp with few key injuries, which is a good thing. The Raiders have had back-to-back 4-12 seasons so they hope that Schaub’s presence will at least make the competitive.
Oakland added wide receiver James Jones, running back Jones-Drew and offensive linemen Austin Howard and Kevin Boothe to an offense that scored just 20.1 points per game and passed for only 208.8 yards per game.
Defensively, the Raiders should be much-improved with the additions of rookie pass rusher Khalil Mack along with veterans Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and LaMarr Woodley.
Oakland allowed 28.3 points per game and 363.7 yards per game overall. Their pass defense was awful last season as they allowed 256 yards per game (28th) so the pass rush should help alleviate the issues in the secondary.