Jared Goff Monday Night Football
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) is pressured by Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Foyesade Oluokun (23) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Raiders Take On Lions in Monday Night Football Showdown

Monday Night Football is back with an intriguing matchup. The Las Vegas Raiders (3-4) head north to take on the surging Detroit Lions (5-2) in primetime.

The season so far

Las Vegas: The Raiders have been a confusing team thus far. They’ve had a less than spectacular start, going 3-4 including a blowout loss to the Chicago Bears, arguably the worst team in football. Vegas has played only two teams over .500, and they’ve looked less than convincing in their seven games. A win tonight, however, would be huge. They’d bump themselves up to second in the AFC West and put themselves in the early season playoff picture.

Vegas has struggled mightily offensively, as they rank bottom five in the league in both points and yards per game. They rank dead last in rushing yards per game. Josh Jacobs averages just 2.9 yards per carry. Throwing the ball hasn’t gone too well either, as Jimmy Garoppolo has more interceptions than touchdowns and they feature just one receiver with more than 400 yards in Davante Adams.

Defensively, the Raiders aren’t great either. The defense has forced the fewest turnovers in the NFL. They rank in the bottom half of the league in points conceded per game, defensive penalty yards per game, percentage of drives ending in an offensive score and sacks.

The Raiders do have two of the better players in the NFL, luckily. Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby are bona fide stars. Robert Spillane has seemingly come out of nowhere to have a nice season as well, as he leads the team in tackles and has two interceptions and a sack from his linebacker spot.

Detroit: The Lions are finally good. This squad is one of those rare teams that seems to be universally liked, as Dan Campbell and Co. have turned things around in the Motor City.

Despite being on the receiving end of a 38-6 beat down by the Ravens last week, the Lions are still tied for second overall in the NFC. The Lions rank top 10 in the league in yards and points per game, thanks in large part to the Jared Goff-Amon-Ra St. Brown connection. David Montgomery has been an underrated weapon out of the halfback position. He ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (6) and fifth in rushing yards per game (77). Unfortunately for Lions fans, he’ll be out tonight.

The defense has been decent but not great. But you can’t define this Lions team with stats. The culture just feels different this year. Detroit leads the NFC North and looks to be on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Multiple players have spoken in public about the culture shift since Dan Campbell came in, and the Lions have been steadily improving since he became the head man. Super Bowl contenders? We don’t know about that yet. One thing is certain, though. And that is that the Detroit Lions are finally good at football.

Key info

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m.

Betting: DET -7.0, OU: 46

Key injuries: 

DET: C.J. Gardner-Johnson (OUT), David Montgomery (OUT), Jonah Jackson (OUT), Frank Ragnow (DOUBT), Amon-Ra St. Brown (Q), Josh Paschal (Q).

LV: Divine Deablo (OUT), Nate Hobbs (Q), Daniel Carlson (Q)

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