Take Detroit -3 home vs. Carolina
Detroit got a tough road win last weekend, taking down division-rival Minnesota 14-7. The defense really stole the show for Detroit in week 4, as they recovered 3 fumbles, got 2 sacks, and allowed under 300 yds of offense in Minnesota. Carolina was able to pull a shocking upset against powerhouse New England, squeaking out a road win on a last-second field goal 33-30. QB Cam Newton finally got the breakout game he was looking for as he went 22-29 for 316 yds and 3 TD while adding 44 yds on the ground for an additional TD.
Although both of these teams currently sit at 3-1 in the standings, that may be a bit deceiving. If it weren’t for a reversed TD call as time expired against Atlanta, Detroit would be 4-0. Carolina’s offense has basically been non-existent until they played New England this past week, who through the first 4 games has the worst defensive DVOA seen since 2008. They also lost S Kurt Coleman to a sprained MCL and he will be out at least a month, which creates a void on defense. One big factor to consider in this game is the turnover differentials of both teams. Detroit currently leads the NFL with a +9 turnover differential, while Carolina ranks 31st with a -5 differential. Both defenses have the ability to slow an opposing offense, but if Detroit can limit their mistakes (only 2 offensive turnovers thus far) and capitalize on Carolina’s mistakes (Newton has INTs in 3 of his 4 games) this one will be easy for them. Matthew Stafford has been consistent all season, with his passer rating ranked 9th in the NFL vs Newton who ranks 23rd even with his last performance. Also playing at Ford Field in Detroit won’t hurt their cause either. Carolina may have gotten a huge win last week, but let’s not forget how weak their opponent’s defense was. Detroit will secure the home victory in the one, take them here.