Oddsmakers Setting Pittsburgh Steelers As Slight Favorites Over Detroit Lions In 2010 Week One Preseason

August 11th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against each other in Week One of the 2010 NFL Pre Season, with several story lines taking center stage throughout the contest.

Most notably will be Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will serve a minimum four-game suspension beginning with opening weekend of the 2010 NFL Season.  However, Roethlisberger is eligible to play in the pre-season games for the Steelers, and it is likely that Detroit will have to account for him for at least a few series in the first half before he sits.

On the Detroit side of the equation, quarterback Matthew Stafford will have more pressure on him entering into his sophomore season. Prior to his arrival in Detroit, the Lions went 0-16 in2008 and selected Stafford first overall in 2009.  Now, with a year under his belt and in the offense, the Lions will be expected to compete better in the NFC North division.

USA Online Sportsbooks believe that the Steelers will take this one, installing themas 2 1/2-point favorites over the Lions.  The over/under for the game is set at 33 1/2 points.

Pittsburgh Offense Vs. Detroit Defense-

There is no doubt that Roethlisberger will be the lead in this one, and it is not yet determined whether or not he will play, or how much he will play in this one.  The Steelers brought in several quarterbacks, including Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon to come in and replace the two-time Super Bowl winner for the first quarter of the regular season.

Head coach Mike Tomlin will want to see all three of his quarterbacks participate in this one and get some reps out on the playing field to assess who will get the edge for the starting position.  The Steelers have a solid running game with Rashard Mendenhall, who will be the starter this season.  Wide receivers Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Antwan Randle El will get some series under their belt before surrendering their spot to the back up players such as Arnaz Battle and rookie Antonio Brown.

Defensively, the Lions drafted tackle Ndamukong Suh second overall in April’s draft and expect him to make an immediate impact.  Suh will see the playing field for at least a few series as the defensive staff will want to see him in action against a solid offensive unit like Pittsburgh.

The Lions run a 4-3 base set with Suh likely anchoring the front.  Detroit cannot do much worse than in 2009, as they were last in the NFL in total defense.  They were particularly weak against the pass, surrendering 266 yards passing per contest.  The Lions drafted one corner in the league and brought in two more from teams to try and add talent and depth to the secondary.

This game will be a gauge for both team, as both the offense of Pittsburgh and defense of Detroit likely have the biggest question marks between the different units.

Detroit Offense Vs. Pittsburgh Defense-

Offensively, the Lions are led by Stafford, who has arguably the biggest arm in the NFL, and has one year in the system.  Big things are expected of this young talent as he is surrounded by young talent in wide receiver Calvin Johnson and rookie running back Jahvid Best out of California.  Best possesses break away speed and explosiveness to change a game.  The Lions are hoping Best can help balance out the offense and open up the passing game for Stafford and his receivers, like Johnson, looking at the Detroit Lions 2010 Team Preview.

On defense, the Steelers are typically solid, and that theme should continue on into 2010 according to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 Team Preview.  Pittsburgh ranked fifth in total team defense in the NFL in 2009.  from the line to the secondary, the Steelers a full of players who have ability to create plays and turnover, like Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark.  Pittsburgh runs a 3-4 set with very active linebackers in James Harrison and Lawrence Timmons.

Special Teams-

Pittsburgh Rookie Antonio Brown and Antwan Randle El will likely split time returning kicks for the Steelers this year, while reliable kicker Jeff Reed will continue to boot.

For Detroit, Nate Burlson and and Derrick Williams will return kicks while Jason Hanson will pbe the place kicker for the Lions.

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One Response to “Oddsmakers Setting Pittsburgh Steelers As Slight Favorites Over Detroit Lions In 2010 Week One Preseason”
  1. rick b. Says:

    am i the only one that thinks rothlisberger shouldnt be able to play in preseason if he cant play the first 4 or 6 games of the regular season?

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