VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Lions steady themselves after poor start

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) The last time the Detroit Lions entered their open date with a losing record, they fired the general manager.

Advertisement

This year, the break in the schedule has been a bit quieter.

The Lions are 2-3 and have certainly had their problems during the early part of this season, but after winning two of their last three games, they appear to have achieved some stability. At the very least, there's no sense of panic - and that's noteworthy given how poorly Detroit's first couple games went.

''We just know what we have. The games that we lost, we had a lot of mental mistakes,'' receiver Marvin Jones said. ''When we're a team that doesn't do that and has less penalties, and can keep a sustained drive and stuff like that, it's completely different. That's all we have to do is keep doing that.''

It was hard to imagine a more distressing beginning for the Lions than their 48-17 loss to the Jets in their season opener. That was new coach Matt Patricia's first game, and Detroit let a bad stretch in the third quarter snowball into a rout. A loss at San Francisco the following weekend had the Lions staring at a possible 0-5 start, since their next three games would be against New England, Dallas and Green Bay.

Detroit did start 0-5 back in 2015, and at 1-7, the Lions fired GM Martin Mayhew. After that, Detroit produced back-to-back 9-7 seasons, making the playoffs in one of them, but the Lions wanted more and made a coaching change last offseason, bringing in Patricia to replace Jim Caldwell.

''Coach Caldwell and Patricia are completely, totally opposite as people. It will be some changes, but with anything, you get used to them,'' receiver Golden Tate said. ''You've just got to adjust.''

After the first two games, Detroit seemed in danger of taking a big step backward this year. That may still happen, but the past three games have given the Lions reasons to be hopeful. Patricia's first win came against his former team when Detroit beat New England . Last weekend, the Lions held off Green Bay 31-23 in Patricia's first game against an NFC North opponent.

''Hopefully we are getting better. I think we are,'' Patricia said. ''I would say there are still some things that, after getting done watching all the tape, that I'm probably going to make sure we get corrected pretty quick here coming out of (Sunday's) game. It wasn't really all perfect.''

Detroit had some good fortune last weekend when Mason Crosby of the Packers missed four field goals and an extra point, but the Lions have improved in some tangible ways. Matthew Stafford threw four interceptions in the season opener but has only one since, and Detroit's long-dormant running game has at least become serviceable with rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. The Lions are ranked 21st in rushing offense this season after finishing 28th, 32nd, 30th and 32nd the past four years.

''When you break the huddle and you're at the line of scrimmage and the defense really isn't sure if it's a run or if it's a pass, that's a pretty good position for an offense to be in,'' offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. ''If you're making yards on the ground, you're making yards throwing the ball, you're a little bit of a dual threat there for the defense, it can put them in some difficult situations.''

The Lions have plenty of issues they still have to deal with. They're ranked 27th in total defense, and defensive end Ziggy Ansah - back this season on the franchise tag - has missed four straight games with a shoulder injury. Detroit hasn't won away from home, and three of its next four games are on the road, starting with a matchup at Miami on Oct. 21.

Still, the Lions have kept their season from falling apart after a terrible start. If they can make it to the halfway point in decent shape, then Patricia will have every opportunity to turn his debut year into a success.

''It's early in October, so hopefully we can keep progressing,'' Patricia said. ''But I think, I hope we're moving in the right direction.''

---

Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

---

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
· Rogers: Sunday Blitz - Week 7
· David: Total Talk - Week 7
· News: SuperContest Picks - Week 7
· Akins: Gridiron Angles - Week 7
· Roberts: Vegas Money Moves - Week 7
· YouWager.eu: SNF - Cincy at Kansas City
· BetOnline.ag: Week 7 Best Bets - Teasers
· YouWager.eu: Value Plays - Week 7
· YouWager.eu: Games to Watch - Week 7
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
16-7 L3 Sun, 11-2 L6 Thurs, +1,976
5-0 +555 Sunday, 6-1 G-Plays TY
14-7 Sun., 37-17 Oct., 8-3 G-Plays
14-6 L20 Picks, 15-5 L4 Sundays
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 15-7 L22 Picks
5-0 Win Streak, 2-0 L2 Guarantees
3-0 Sunday, 6-1 Record L2 Sundays
10-4 L14 Streak, 6-2 L8 G-Plays
12-4 L4 Sundays, 17-7 NFL Streak
11-2 G-Plays TY, 8-4 L12 Totals
7-2 L9 Picks, 4-1 L5 Guarantees
6-3 Sunday, 4-0 Totals, 2-0 G-Plays
4-2 Sunday, 10-5 Over/Unders TY
2-0 Sunday, 8-3 Run, 6-2 G-Plays
10-3 Streak, 21-11 (66%) +899 TY
5-2 L7 Guarantees, 9-4 L13 Picks
60%, +995 This Season
3-1 Last Sunday, 13-7 L20 Totals
4-1 L5 Thursdays, 18-9 L27 GPlays
8-4 Last 3 Sundays
4-1 L5 Guaranteed Plays
11-5 NFL Guarantees TY
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 8-4 L2 Sundays
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks - Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers
2018 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1976
Hank Goldberg + 995
Doc's Sports + 899
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 776
John Fisher + 555
Zack Cimini + 400
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Doc's Sports 66 %
Micah Roberts 64 %
Paul Bovi 63 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 880
Bruce Marshall + 700
Gary Bart + 550
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 538
Scott Rickenbach + 468
Paul Bovi + 450
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1070
Doc's Sports + 679
Stephen Nover + 490
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership