An NFL receiver that’s 6’1 and only 165 pounds shouldn’t have DeVonta Smith’s abilities.
After a spectacular Heisman-winning senior year at Alabama, where he recorded over 1,800 yards and 23 touchdowns, Smith has shown flashes of greatness this year. The current NFL betting odds show the Eagles as small favorites against the Lions this week. Neither team has been very impressive this year, but the Eagles have looked like the better team.
With the Lions’ secondary struggling, could Smith be poised for a breakout game on Sunday?
DeVonta Smith’s Rookie Campaign
As the tenth overall pick in the draft, Smith has been living up to the hype and putting up decent numbers. But, surprisingly, this hasn’t translated to touchdowns.
Smith only has one touchdown this season despite 32 receptions totaling 406 yards.
Even accounting for the lack of point production, Smith has looked like one of the best rookie wide-outs, second only to Ja’Marr Chase.
He mainly works as the deep ball pass-catcher, running routes down the field instead of underneath the defense.
His explosiveness, coupled with his ability to change directions, allows him to create loads of space between him and defensive backs on these routes.
This is one of the reasons he’s on pace to break DeSean Jackson’s all-time Eagles’ rookie wide receiver record.
Holes in the Lions Defense
The Lions extended their losing record to 0-7 on the season this past week vs. the Rams.
Many people might point the finger at Jared Goff, but winning games is hard to do when your defense is giving up a whopping 28.6 points per game.
The main problem with the defense is in the secondary. They’re allowing opponents to complete an average of 67.96% of passes each game.
With an average completion percentage that high, even low-tier quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts can have success through the air.
Another issue is that the Lions’ starting cornerbacks Romeo Okwara and Jeff Okudah, have been ruled out for the season.
If the Lions can’t make a trade for some decent defensive backs, teams will continue to be able to throw all over this secondary.
Smith’s Outlook vs. Detroit
Against a banged-up secondary, Smith should rack up a lot of yards on Sunday and maybe even get one of those touchdowns that have been eluding him all season.
In his past four games, Smith has averaged 72.8 yards a game. I think he can demolish that number vs. the Lions and maybe have the best performance of his young NFL career.
The only thing that could ruin Smith’s chances at a big game is Jalen Hurts and his suspect throwing ability. But, lucky for Smith, Hurts should have plenty of time to find him downfield as the Lions’ defense only manufactured a single sack last week.
Can Smith Breakout vs. The Lions?
If you agree with me and think DeVonta Smith will feast on the Lions’ secondary, consider betting on his player props.
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