Watchtower REview: Lions at Cowboys

>> 11.23.2010

I cannot believe I’m about to do this after the past two weeks. I projected the Lions to beat the Jets, and they blew a 10-point 4th-quarter lead and lost in overtime. I projected the Lions to handle the Bills, and they completely failed to show up. If the Lions are the Lions we saw all year up until last Sunday, they’re a better team than the Cowboys and should win. If the Lions are the Lions we saw all decade, forget about it. Interestingly, though, I think the shoes from last week are on the other foot: the Cowboys are fresh off a fantastic performance, feeling their oats, thinking they're way better than the lowly Lions they're about to face--even though both teams have putrid records. After mailing it in last week, the Lions ought to be revved up to prove they are who we thought they were. All that aside, though, the numbers show these two teams to be very evenly matched, but with a definite offensive edge for the Lions.

Hesitatingly, gulpingly, and with an extreme chance of heartbreak, I declare that the most likely outcome of the game is a 27-24 Lions win. Heaven help me.

Heaven help DENIED.

Given no systemic advantage or disadvantage, Jason Garrett’s implementation of the Air Coryell offense should meet expectations against Gunther Cunningham’s aggressive 4-3, scoring 21-24 points, averaging 8.0-to-9.0 YpA, and 3.5 to 3.75 YpC. I have low confidence in this projection.

For the record, the Cowboys scored 28 offensive points—despite being held to just 6.13 YpA through the air.  The Cowboys did rumble for 4.67 YpC, though.

Expectations would hold that the Lions score better than their season average against the Cowboys, and that the Cowboys allow slightly more than usual against the Lions. There, theoretically, is a mild scoring advantage for the Lions, but the defense did play markedly better in its first game under Pasqualoni—so I’ll call those two factors a wash. I project the Lions’ offense to match expectations against the Cowboys, scoring 25-to-30 points, averaging 6-to-7 YpA, and 3.75-to-4 YpC. I have medium-to-high confidence in this projection.

Well . . . the Lions netted 6.15 YpA, and exactly 3.75 YpC—so, I got that bit right.  The offense was working as we’d expect on a per-play basis; it just didn’t translate into any more than 17 points.  Again, at this point, I have nothing to say here.  The Lions just didn’t execute on offense—and their insistence on playing Jahvid Best when he clearly has nothing in the tank isn’t helping.  The defense—until the final two series—did its job, and the offense wasn’t that too bad either.  It’s just the mistakes, the breakdowns, the penalties, the turnovers, and the incredibly unfortunate timing of all of the above that keeps the Lions making a fool of me in these posts.

Technorati Tags: nfl,detroit lions,dallas cowboys


Anonymous,  November 23, 2010 at 10:06 PM  

I'm not a believer in curses but seriously when the whole complexion of a game turns on a good punt, and a good coverage play to keep it out of the endzone that goes the other way for a td. I don't know what other explanation there can be. only the lions

Angus Osborne,  November 24, 2010 at 4:31 AM  

It baffled me that Kevin Smith didn't get more carries than Best when he was fit - he looked good and Best didn't. Likewise Maurice Morris looked like our best RB last weekend.

BTW - did you see the piece on Freep where Belichick compared Stafford to Phil Sims. More wood for your fire.

Old Man Winter,  November 24, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

Angus (and Flamekeeper),

I did not see the Freep piece referencing Belichick, however I did note this story:

Seems that a 7 year-old boy was the subject of a Wayne County Court custody case. The boy has been removed from his home because of a history of repreated beatings at the hands of his parents.

The Judge initially awarded custody to his Aunt in keeping with child custody law requiring that family unity be maintained. The boy surprised the court when he stated that his Aunt also beat him, worse than his parents, and he refused to leave the courtroom with her. The Judge then suggested the boy live with his elderly grandparents. The boy burst into tears and proclaimed they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestice violence was a way of life among them, the Judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to choose who would have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officals, the Judge granted temporary custody to the Lions, whom the boy and the court firmly beleive are not capable of beating anyone for the forseeable future!

A most Happy and safe Thanksgiving to all!

Anonymous,  November 24, 2010 at 11:15 AM  

Um, that's not really funny.

OMW,  November 24, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

Which part; the kid, or the Lions not being able to beat anyone?

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