Future of Coaches in Question as Lions Meet Niners
By Charles Jay
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As the NFL season winds down, there are always those teams who are just playing for pride. So the question as it regards Sunday’s encounter between the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions might be which team is more “prideful” at the moment. Certainly Detroit, whose collective nickname is, in fact, a “pride,” harbored more expectations, having been in the playoffs last season, while the Niners seemed in “rebuilding” mode. This game kicks off at 1 PM ET at Ford Field in Detroit, and BetAnySports customers can place wagers on the game in real time, challenging the NFL betting odds through the magic of Live Betting Extra.
49ers vs Lions – BetAnySports NFL BETTING LINE:
In the NFL betting lines posted on this game at BetAnySports, the Lions are favored by a solid number:
Detroit Lions -10
San Francisco 49ers +10
Over 43 points -110
Under 43 points -110
San Francisco is just 4-10 straight-up and this 6-8 against the NFL pointspread. They started out the season with a little promise, beating Minnesota 20-3, but it has been largely downhill from there. They also benched quarterback Colin Kaepernick (later lost for the year with an injury) and replaced him with Blaine Gabbert, who has completed 62% of his passes but not in a way in which it has moved the team all that well. The 49ers have converted less than 15% of their third-down opportunities over the last two games, and they are down to minimal options at the running back position.
Detroit lost seven of its first eight games, and there were some changes toward the tail end of that string. Gone were the offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, general manager and team president. That obviously led to speculation as to the future of Jim Caldwell, they head coach, and that speculation still exists. But the Lions, coming out of a bye week, picked up a head of steam, as they won three straight, and then looked on the verge of beating the Green Bay Packers for the second time in four weeks, until Aaron Rodgers launched a Hail Mary pass that resulted in a touchdown and sent the Lions into a psychological tailspin. After losing to St. Louis, they seemed to come out of it a little last week as they defeated New Orleans 35-27.
The Niners beat the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field three weeks ago in overtime, but the last two performances have been lackluster at best. First they lost to Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns 24-10, and then Gabbert threw three interceptions in a 24-14 loss at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. This is a team that has not normally excelled on the road; the win at Chicago was their only one as a visitor, and they have now lost five road games by double digits. At the moment, no one really knows what is going to happen to Jim Tomsula, or whether ownership perceives that he fell way below expectations in his first year on the job. But we can tell you that the Niners continue to fight defensively; they held the Bengals to just 242 yards last week.
BetAnySports patrons have also engaged in a lot of speculation about Caldwell, who seemed to have more offensive weapons at his disposal this season, but obviously could not overcome some attrition on defense. Ndomukong Suh and Nick Fairley departed the team, although Ezekiel Ansah has emerged as a Pro Bowl-level performer with 13.5 sacks. Matthew Stafford has 3663 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, and he’ll be looking to do some business with Calvin Johnson, who has 1000 yards on the nose. It’s probably a good sign for Detroit that they showed an inspired effort against New Orleans, as the running game heated up as well. This backfield, with pass-catcher Theo Riddick (69 receptions) joining Joique Bell and rookie Ameer Abdullah, has potential for much in the way of versatility.
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