Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 12/18/11

The Carson Palmer acquisition is a disaster for the Oakland Raiders; at a time when success at that position is needed more than ever. And Darren McFadden is not bailing out the quarterback any more. The Raiders precipitous fall from grace is especially hard to swallow for their passionate fan base after the passing of their iconic owner Al Davis.

The paragraphs that follow outline the reasons why the Detroit Lions will defeat the Raiders on Sunday.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returns to the field. He has had some issues in Portland since he was suspended on Thanksgiving for his extra-curricular activities. This pent up hostility should add to his play this Sunday. Many players on the offensive line will be banged up for Oakland, while he will come into the game well rested with a substantial chip on his shoulder.

Matthew Stafford doesn’t have to play in a cold weather game this week. The high on Sunday afternoon looks to be around sixty with little to no wind. The ineffectiveness of his counterpart will only make his efficiency that more noticeable. He is demonstrating this season why he was the first overall selection. In a quarterback rich division, he has had the second best season behind Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. This is especially impressive when considering his lack of a consistent running back to aide him.

Calvin Johnson is on a quest to achieve one hundred receptions this season. He already has over eleven hundred yards under his belt and fifteen touchdowns. He certainly has the talent to attain everything that he has in his sights, but many of his numbers depend on the defenses that his opponents employ. Stafford must also decide how often that he wants to force the ball to him. I would argue that he shouldn’t do it at all outside of the red zone. There are so many other options in the line-up that are viable.

The Lions are fortunate because they had the ability to make all of their holiday plans at home this season. Having Thanksgiving and Christmas at home doesn’t sound like a major component to success, but it allows other things on their minds. An all consuming game is not beneficial this time of season. They already realize that a Wild Card is at stake. Thinking about it every second will only make the players walk on egg shells. Being loose and comfortable is at a premium. How does this help the team have success against Oakland? While it’s true that the Raiders have hard core and passionate fans, they don’t have many of them. Playing home games in a stadium that isn’t sold out takes away the advantage for the home team.

Jim Schwartz is impressive in his tenacity and game time decisions. He will have a kicking deficiency in the game on Sunday. This should enable him to go for it on fourth and short yardage situations. It could ultimately provide the opportunity for more points if the offense converts these opportunities.

 

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