By Abraham Gutierrez
Coming off their biggest win of the 2015 NFL season, the (2-7) Detroit Lions will try and string together their first winning streak of the year when they welcome the struggling (4-5) Oakland Raiders for a Week 11 showdown in Motown. Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan will be the site for this interconference clash, which is scheduled for Sunday morning at 10 a.m. PT live on CBS Sports.
Detroit went into last week's game at Lambeau Field listed as 12-point underdogs versus the mighty Green Bay Packers. However, what took place was something no one could have predicted, as the felines stunned Aaron Rodgers and the cheese heads to the tune of 18-16.
Lions 2015 NFL Season Record
Last week's win over the Packers marked the Lions first win at Lambeau Field since the 1991 NFL season. And while it was only Detroit's second win, head coach Jim Caldwell hopes the momentum transfers over into this week against a Silver and Black team that's lost two straight games.
On the year, the Lions are 1-3 at home, 1-4 on the road, 2-2 against divisional opponents and 2-4 versus intraconference foes. Detroit is also winless against the American Football Conference this season at 0-3, and have lost three of its last five games played.
Lions On Offense
Lions offensive coordinator is Jim Bob Cooter, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach to OC after Joe Lombardi's firing. In addition, the organization also got rid of offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan following the Lions 28-19 home loss to the Vikings.
Since then, Detroit has gone 1-1 with the bye week sandwiched in between. When taking on the Lions, Jack Del Rio and his staff will have to contend with an offense that ranks towards the bottom of the league in all but one category. Detroit kicks off Week 11 ranked ninth in passing (265.2), 27th in total yards (332.1), 29th in points (18.6) and a whopping, last place in rushing yards per contest (66.9).
Lions On Defense
The Lions defensive coordinator is Teryl Austin, and by the looks of it, he might have to start thinking about updating his resume should this team continue to struggle on this side of the football. Entering Week 11, Detroit is among the worst defensive units in the National Football League, ranked 23rd against the pass (260.1), 25th in total yards allowed (384.2), 28th against the run (124.1), and 31st in points allowed per game (29.0).
Nevertheless, Oakland must find a way to contain the NFL's seventh-best sacker in the league, as defensive Ezekiel Ansah will be pinning his ears back going after Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. In his third season out of BYU, the 26-year-old from Accra, Ghana, has registered seven sacks to go along with his 27 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Lions Players To Watch
Anytime the Detroit Lions step on the field, the offensive players to watch are quarterback Matthew Stafford and his favorite receiver, Calvin Johnson. In his seventh season out of Georgia, the Lions signal-caller comes in having completed 64 percent of his passes (217-337) for 2325 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 84.5.
Meanwhile, the man simply known as "Megatron" has 54 receptions on the year for a total of 740 yards and three scores. In his ninth season out of Georgia Tech, Johnson is 11th in the league in grabs, 10th in receiving yards, and is always a deep threat against any secondary in the league.
Raiders vs. Lions NFL Point Spreads (Week 11)
If NFL Week 11 oddsmakers are on their game, the Silver and Black should be able to get back on track away from the East Bay this week. According to NFL Week 11 spreads, the Oakland Raiders [-1½] are currently listed as one-and-a-half point favorites against the hosting Detroit Lions [+1½]. And finally, all indications are that defense will not be the deciding factor in this one, as the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 48 points.
Abe Gutierrez's (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, aExaminer.com and other online publications.
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