Don’t expect any of the regular starters to see any action in Friday’s preseason finale between the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts.
Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich had planned to give his starters some action, but after speaking with Detroit head coach Dan Campbell, has decided against it. For interested NFL bettors, the season opens on Sept. 9. The Colts and Lions play their first games on Sept. 12.
“I was on the fence,” Reich said. “I was prepared to play the guys a little bit, not much but just a little final tuneup. And then when I find out they weren’t playing theirs, that kind of made the decision easy for me.’’
That leaves Friday’s matchup as the last chance for fringe players to make the roster or solidify spots further down on the depth chart. DraftKings MI has the Lions listed as two-point MI sports betting underdogs. For interested Lions bettors, they are +110 on the moneyline. The Colts are –130 moneyline favorites, while the total is set at 33.5.
Here is what to watch for in Friday’s preseason finale in Detroit.
Blough Making Case for Backup QB Spot
When Detroit signed quarterback Tim Boyle from the Green Bay Packers on a one-year, $2.5 million contract, it was assumed he would take over the backup quarterback role from David Blough. But in the last two preseason games, it was Blough who has performed the best out of the two vying for the backup job.
In Saturday’s 26-20 preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Blough entered the game down 23 but managed to rally the offense to three touchdown drives. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 143 yards and one touchdown, in addition to 26 yards rushing on two attempts.
"It's always fun, always good, when you can go out and score points," Blough said. "It was ugly at some points, it wasn't always perfect, but I think it says something about the guys that want to go out there and fight."
In the 16-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Blough was efficient, converting on 5 of 6 passes for 76 yards to lead all Detroit quarterbacks. Boyle was 8 for 15 for 38 yards against the Bills and completed 7 of 15 passes for 44 yards against the Steelers.
“I would say this, I like both of our quarterbacks," Campbell said after the Steelers game. "I think, ultimately, you’re looking for: Can I trust the guy that’s behind Goff? Do I know this guy’s going take care of the ball?”
"More than anything, it’s about trust. I would say, really, just because we’ve been with these guys so long in camp, I really do trust both of them; I like them. I think they’re both very different in the way that they go about how they do things and the way they play."
Sewell Likely to Play for Lions
One starter who could see action Friday is rookie offensive tackle Penei Sewell. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is going through the preseason getting accustomed to the speed and skill of NFL-quality defensive linemen.
Sewell has surrendered a sack versus the Bills and allowed two pressures on 14 dropbacks against the Steelers. For him, it’s about getting more reps.
"I think the more that he gets, the better it is for him," Campbell told reporters. "He got beat a few times, but yet, I’m not discouraged and neither should he be. The important thing is that he learns from that."
Lions Blackjack, Roulette
Earlier this month, BetMGM Casino released the two popular table games featuring Lions branding and colors. The MI online casino games take place at tables placed inside an immersive three-dimensional rendering of a suite inside Detroit’s Ford Field.
Detroit Lions Blackjack allows players to bet in up to five seats and features two popular side bets: 21+3 and Any Pair. The Lions Roulette game includes realistic ball animations, section bets and a full results statistical interface.