Free Press sportswriters predict Detroit Lions vs. Washington Commanders game Sunday at Ford Field (1pm, TNZT):
The Lions are dealing with many injuries from key players and their participation could affect the outcome of this game. If D’Andre Swift can’t go, that’s a huge loss for a foul that relies heavily on his game-breaking ability. Up front, Frank Ragnow’s absence will affect both run game and pass protection, forcing the Lions to resort to a more of a short passing attack. Washington is well-built on its defense line, but the commanders are mediocre at best, pairing their cart with an erratic quarterback who tends to give his opponents a chance at one or two takeaways per game.
This is an important game for the Lions. They cannot afford to start 0-2, with two home defeats, and have fans jump off their feet again early in the season. I foresee a big game for Amon-Ra St. Brown, and if the Lions win the battle for revenue, they could even be their record heading into next week’s NFC North showdown with the Minnesota Vikings. The choice: Lions 28, Commanders 24.
Okay, lions. Those pure, chaste souls of the Las Vegas sportsbooks have put their trust in you as their favorite for the first time in nearly two years this week. Don’t disappoint them with conservative play-calls, off-target passes, bad time-out decisions, a leaky secondary and the failure to fire Carson Wentz. And let’s be real. This is your best shot at making sure you don’t start 0-5…or 0-9. The choice: Lions 27, Commanders 25.
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The Lions are favorites to win this game. They should win this match. But Lions coach Dan Campbell has yet to prove he can win close games. He is 2-6-1 in games decided by seven points or less. My head says the Lions will win simply by beating the commanders. But my gut says they’re going to lose. Simply because this is so new – they have long since ceased to be a favorite. So I go with my head. Only because the game is at home and Ford Field has to give the Lions a huge boost on Sunday. The choice: Lions 35, Commanders 27.
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The Lions start again quickly, only this time they disappear for two quarters of an hour. Jared Goff and the attack led the way to a crucial early season win. The choice: Lions 31, Commanders 24.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions Predictions vs. Washington: how big are injuries?