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The Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions meet at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday morning. We talked with Jeremy over at SB Nation Lions blog, Pride of Detroit, to learn more about the Lions. Read my answers to Jeremy here and read below for Jeremy's answers to my questions.
1. What are the top 3 things wrong with the Lions?
POD: Number one with a bullet is the offensive line. The Lions have a front five full of young players, but they just haven't melded together very well so far. Some blame scheme, some blame talent, but there is a big issue along the front lines and it has caused a huge breakdown both in pass protection and the run game. Secondly, the Lions have really struggled with defending the passing game. They are doing an okay job at pressuring the quarterback, but there are no play-makers at the second level of this defense right now. Darius Slay hasn't progressed as hoped and Rashean Mathis is finally showing his age this year. Finally, coaching issues have really haunted the Lions this year. The Lions have come out strong in several games this year, but have not been able to adjust once things go awry. Consider this: even though the Lions are 1-6, they are outscoring their opponents 35-16 in the first quarter. That shows to me the Lions are completely failing at in-game adjustments.
2. The Chiefs o-line finally had a good game last week. Which pass rushers will cause them problems this week?
POD: Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah has been the best pass rusher for the Lions and it hasn't even been close. Ansah has 6 sacks on the season, just a half sack behind the league leader. From the inside, Haloti Ngata returned from injury last week and finally looked like himself, tallying his first sack of the year and almost picking up a few others.
3. Let's assume the Chiefs shut down Calvin Johnson (not a good assumption but whatever). Who else is beating KC in the passing game?
POD: The Lions actually have a myriad of weapons at Matthew Stafford's disposal. Golden Tate, while having a slow start to this season, was absolutely pivotal in the passing game last year. Additionally, tight end Eric Ebron has really started to blossom in his sophomore year. Heck, even Lance Moore has an 100-yard game this season.
4. Who is a player on offense and defense we don't know but probably should?
POD: If you're in a fantasy PPR league, you may have heard of Theo Riddick, and it is no fluke. Riddick came into the season as the Lions' third-string running back, but when Joique Bell when down with an injury and rookie Ameer Abdullah struggled with fumbles, Riddick became a big part of the offense. Riddick specialty has been catching passes out of the backfield. If you see the Lions in a two-minute drill type of situation, expect Riddick to catch at least one ball out of the backfield that drive.
On defense, look out for Josh Bynes. Bynes has been playing in relief for the injured DeAndre Levy. While he's not nearly the playmaker that Levy is, Bynes is a solid run-stuffer in the middle of defense and a reliable tackler.
5. What's your prediction for the game?
POD: While my prediction doesn't officially go up until Friday, I think this is going to be a very competitive game. The Chiefs' weaknesses (passing game, pass defense) match up nicely with the Lions' weaknesses. I think the most interesting matchup, and possibly the one that decides the game is the Chiefs running game against the Lions run defense. The Lions have been good, but inconsistent at stopping the run. While it's hard to know what to expect from the Chiefs running game without Jamaal Charles and a shaky offensive line. In the end, I expect this to be a low-scoring game decided by a field goal. You'll have to wait until Friday for the official prediction. UPDATE: Prediction: Lions 16, Chiefs 23