Week 2 NFL Preseason Picks: Detroit vs. Baltimore: August 17th 2012
Week 2 NFL Preseason Picks: August 17th 2012
Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens
Current line: Baltimore (-2.5/39)
Detroit visits Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland on Friday at 8pmET. Detroit is coming off a 19-17 home loss to Cleveland, laying 3. Baltimore is coming off a 31-17 road win over Atlanta, getting 1.
Weather: 81 degrees, 50% chance of Thunderstorms.
Detroit is coming off a 10-6 SU season, and they were 7-7-2 ATS and 10-6 Over. Last year, they went 4-0 ATS in the preseason. Jim Schwartz is 10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS and 5-6-1 Under in preseason. Baltimore is coming off a 12-4 season that ended with a dropped pass in the end zone against New England in the conference semifinals. They also went 8-7-1 ATS and were 9-7 Over. Last year, they went 2-2 in the preseason and John Harbaugh is 11-5 SU, 9-7 ATS and 5-11 Under in the preseason.
Baltimore lost LBs Jarret Johnson in free agency and Terrell Suggs to an Achilles’ tendon injury (might be back by November). But the Ravens are still considered to be a favorite in the AFC with Ray Rice back and Joe Flacco showing improvements. They were also second against the run last year (92.6ypg).
The Ravens came into last week’s visit to the Georgia Dome somewhat banged up, and the injury total increased following the team’s 31-17 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons that kicked off its 2012 schedule. Two offensive starters, wide receiver Torrey Smith (sprained ankle) and tight end Ed Dickson (shoulder subluxation), were forced to exit early, while reserve defensive lineman Ryan McBean suffered a fractured left ankle that could sideline him for the entire upcoming season.
Baltimore was already without 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs until at least November after the standout pass rusher tore his Achilles tendon during the spring, while Dickson’s injury further depletes a tight end position that’s also minus No. 2 option Dennis Pitta, who’ll miss all of the preseason after breaking his hand early in camp.
The Ravens also got good news this week on two other ailing players that sat out the Atlanta game. Veteran center Matt Birk, who’s been dealing with recent back spasms, has resumed practicing this week and is expected to go against the Lions, while rookies Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) and Bernard Pierce (hamstring) may be ready to make their anticipated debuts after missing portions of camp.
Upshaw, Baltimore’s second-round selection in April’s draft, is ticketed as the replacement for free-agent departure Jarret Johnson at strongside linebacker, while third-rounder Pierce is competing with second-year pro Anthony Allen and undrafted rookie Bobby Rainey to be the primary backup to star running back Ray Rice.
Rainey helped his cause with a good showing against the Falcons, rushing for 36 yards on 12 carries and adding 28 yards on three catches, including an 18- yard touchdown grab from quarterback Curtis Painter.
Painter, an eight-game starter for Indianapolis last season, threw for three second-half scores to help the Ravens score 24 unanswered points over the final two quarters and overcome a 17-7 deficit to the Falcons. He’s battling athletic youngster Tyrod Taylor, who led Baltimore with 51 rushing yards on five scrambles in the opener, to be the No. 2 signal-caller on the depth chart.
The Lions have had a tumultuous offseason, which included several arrests and the release of starting CB Aaron Berry, after another incident. They do have an outstanding qb combination of Matthew Stafford (5,038yds) and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Don’t expect those guys to play much in preseason period. They do need RB help as Jahvid Best (concussion) may never play again and Kevin Smith is the unexpected leader. Mikel Leshoure is talented but can’t stay healthy or out of trouble. Look out for RB Stefan Logan, who is 5-6, 180. They also need to improve a pass defense that allowed 239.4ypg. Losing Berry won’t help that cause.
The Lions have health issues at running back and the secondary. Best and Leshoure, Detroit’s projected top two ball-carriers, will both be held out a second straight week. Best still yet to be cleared from a lingering concussion and Leshoure just getting back from a hamstring injury. In addition, starting free safety Louis Delmas won’t play at all in the preseason following a knee procedure earlier this month.
Strong safety Amari Spievey, who was inactive for the Lions’ 19-17 home loss to Cleveland due to headaches, is slated to participate in Friday’s test, however, as is defensive end Cliff Avril. The talented pass rusher wasn’t in uniform against the Browns after reporting late to camp because of a brief contract dispute.
Key Injuries: Detroit: RB Jahvid Best (concussion) is out. RB M.Leshoure (ham) is out. S Louis Delmas (knee) is out indef. WR Ryan Broyles (knee) is out. DL Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee) is out. . Baltimore: LB Terrell Suggs (Achilles) who is out until at least late October. TE Dennis Pitta (hand) and TE Ed Dickson (shldr) are out for the preseason. WR Torrey Smith (ankle/knee) is dbtful.
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