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Sunday, 14 October, 2018

Offences could come to the fore as Detroit host New York Jets

Big night for young quarterback Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold is the youngest quarterback to start an NFL season
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Sky Sports Action, 12.10am Monday night

Detroit have claimed the spoils in six of their last seven opening games and they will be confident that the Matt Patricia era can get off to a winning start against the New York Jets.

The Lions are facing a team who lost nine of their final 11 games last season on the way to a 5-11 record and the Jets are embarking on a new age of their own by fielding the youngest quarterback to start an NFL season in Sam Darnold.

The pressure will undoubtedly be on the 21-year-old Darnold, who was taken third overall in the draft, but the Jets are capable of playing their part in what could be an entertaining encounter.

Detroit's offence has been centred on Matthew Stafford since he was taken with the first pick of the 2009 draft, but it looks as if he has finally been given some valuable assistance with the recruitment of veteran running back LaGarrette Blount.

The Lions had the league's worst rushing offence last season but with Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and the emerging Kenny Golladay, they have excellent receivers for Stafford to work with, so rather than representing a big change of philosophy, Blount's inclusion should complement and enhance what is already there.

The home side will be confident they can put up a few points, but the Jets proved last season with wins over Kansas City and Jacksonville that they are capable of holding their own against teams who fancy their chances of going all the way.

It would make sense for the Jets not to ask too much of Darnold - the fact that his debut comes in front of the Monday Night Football cameras could mean he make him especially edgy.

But new offensive co-ordinator Jeremy Bates should use their ground game and new running back Isaiah Crowell demonstrated on occasions at Cleveland that he has talent.

Third-year receiver Robbie Anderson is also a safe pair of hands and they are capable of causing problems against a team who were ranked 27th against the pass last season.

Recommendation
Over 44.5 points
2pts 10-11 Coral

THE LOWDOWN

Venue Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Surface Artificial
Weather Indoors
Vegas handicap New York Jets +6.5
Vegas points line 45

Team news
New York Jets
Linebacker Josh Martin (concussion) is out and wide receiver  Jermaine Kearse (abdomen), and safety Marcus Maye (foot) are rated doubtful. Linebackers Avery Williamson (hamstring) and Jeremiah Attaochu (calf) are set to play. Sam Darnold makes his first NFL start at quarterback.

Detroit
Reserve offensive tackle Andrew Donnal (knee) is out but the Lions otherwise have a clean bill of health.

Key stat
The points total has gone over the line in seven of Detroit's last nine home games.


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The Jets are embarking on a new age of their own by fielding the youngest quarterback ever to start an NFL season in Sam Darnold
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