The Fallen Watchtower: Lions vs. Falcons

>> 10.23.2011

Unfortunately, between MSU Homecoming, ESPN College GameDay coming to Michigan State, getting a chance to interview the GameDay talent, the all-day tailgate, and watching the game itself, there simply wasn't time to do the Watchtower up right.

The Falcons have the NFL's 17th-ranked offense, averaging 22.5 points per game. The passing attack has garnered a respectable-but-not-great 6.22 YpC, while the rushing game is netting a very solid 4.37 YpC.

The Lions defense is allowing a stingy 19.0 points per game, 7th-fewest in the NFL. Opponents are passing for a miniscule 5.55 YpA, while they're running all over the Lions at a 5.21 YpC clip.

The Falcons power running game directly attacks the Lions defensive Achilles heel. Then again, so did the 49ers, and their offensive output exactly matched my projections. Therefore, I project the Falcons to score 17-20 points, throw for 5.5-6.0 YpA, and run for 5.0-5.25 YpC. I have medium confidence in this projection.

The Lions offense is still the 4th-best in the NFL, racking up 29.7 points per game. The passing attack is slightly slowed after last week's performance, but still high-flying at 6.99 YpA. The ground game is chugging along at 3.92 YpC.

The Falcons are allowing a ridiculous 7.97 YpA, surely a big part of why they're allowing a 22nd-best 24.5 points per game. The run defense is much better, allowing 3.84 YpC.

The Falcons defense is particularly ill-equipped to stop the Lions pass attack. I project the Lions to score 34-37 points, passing for 9.50-10.0 YpA and rushing for 3.50-3.75 YpC. I have medium confidence in this projection.

The most likely outcome of the game is 35-17 Lions win.

5 comments:

anon,  October 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM  

Would've been chillingly accurate if it wasn't for that murderous red zone defense.

Flamekeeper_Ty,  October 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM  

Yeah, uh . . . yeah. That's A) why I have to take more into account than just season averages and B) why something is very very very wrong with the Lions offense.

Jimmerz,  October 24, 2011 at 10:24 AM  

I tried to warn you guys about Stafford after his nearly perfect preseason. This is what he does, and has done his entire career, including at Georgia. No reason to believe it will change now. He is just so erratic. It's actually even worse than I expected it to be because now he's imagining pressure that's not even there. I'm not even sure it's so much an accuracy problem as a mental problem. The good news is if it's not an accuracy problem he can snap out of it. Accuracy can't be taught or coached.

Jimmerz,  October 24, 2011 at 10:51 AM  

I tried to warn you guys about Stafford after his nearly perfect preseason. This is what he does, and has done his entire career, including at Georgia. No reason to believe it will change now. He is just so erratic. It's actually even worse than I expected it to be because now he's imagining pressure that's not even there. I'm not even sure it's so much an accuracy problem as a mental problem. The good news is if it's not an accuracy problem he can snap out of it. Accuracy can't be taught or coached.

Jimmerz,  October 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM  

I tried to warn you guys about Stafford after his nearly perfect preseason. This is what he does, and has done his entire career, including at Georgia. No reason to believe it will change now. He is just so erratic. It's actually even worse than I expected it to be because now he's imagining pressure that's not even there. I'm not even sure it's so much an accuracy problem as a mental problem. The good news is if it's not an accuracy problem he can snap out of it. Accuracy can't be taught or coached.

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