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WWGD? The Detroit Lions Editions

Well  time for another installment of What Will Garrett Do? First off here is the explanation of this series:

In this Series of posts I am going to look at the Defenses that Dallas will be facing this year. I will give a Scouting report on each, then based off that I will try to set out what I think the Game plan that I think Garrett will employ. This will be based off my "Air Garrett" posts (Version 1,Version 2) where I set out this statement:

That is what I think "Air Garret" is all about. Attacking the Defense at it's weakest point. Study the opponents carefully. Find out where they are lacking defensively. I bet you will see alot of plays designed to target that area.

So on Sunday, November 2nd 2011 the Detroit Lions(3-0) will be visiting Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys(2-1) will again be at  home. However, they will be again without several key players, and a few others will be playing injured. I would expect the the gameplan would be  slightly different if they were fully healthy, but I will attempt to do my best. To that end You Will find That because of  the injuries, Garrett  will be looking not to exploit the Weaknesses, but to minimize The Strengths... Follow me past the jump for details.

Now lets look at the Lions from a statistical standpoint. According to NFL.com The Lions currently rank 6th in total defense at 301.0 yards allowed per game. So they have a pretty good Defense right? Well as usual that doesn't tell the whole story.So let's Delve a little further into the numbers.

Lets start with the bad news. The Lions Defense currently ranks 4th in pass Defense at 188 yards per game. Now that is pretty good. Yet again that is slightly misleading. let's look at who they have faced:

Tampa Bay Buccanneers- currently ranked 21st in Passing Offense at 223.0 yards a game(6.3 average)

Kansas City Chiefs- ranked 31st at 130.7 a game(5.2 average)

Minnesota Vikings- Ranked 29th at 143.0 per game(5.9 average)

Now Note that all the teams aren't exactly great passing teams... none of them are even ranked in the top 20...in average nor  yards...So that leads me to believe  that the Lions might have just "padded their stats" against weak teams.

Now for some Good News. The Rush Defense of the Lions isn't exactly shut down. thier current ranking of 21st is because on 22.5 attempts the Lions have given up 113 yards per game(5.0 average). So it would appear that they can be run on. But  lets look at the teams that they have played again, only let's look at their rushing Attacks:

Tampa Bay Buccanneers-  ranked 20th @ 92 yards per game(3.9 average)

Kansas City Chiefs-ranked #9 in Rushing @ 113.3 yards per game(4.6 average)

Minnesota Vikings- ranked #3 in rushing @ 159yards per game(5.8 average)

So they have faced two top ten rushing attacks in the  Chiefs and Vikings. So that may explain why they have given up so many yards. 

Now look at their points scored, 15.3 yards per game. That is good enough for 3rd in the league. So Again we look at the past Opponents:

Tampa Bay Buccanneers/ Minnesota Vikings-ranked tied @17 with 20points per game

Kansas City Chiefs-ranked 32nd with 9 points per game

So as with the Passing rank it may be that their rank is simply a product of poor Offenses, rather than good Defense.

Now do you notice Something? This team is remarkable similar to the Redskins Defense. A passing "D" that hasn't been really "tested" by a really good Passing "O", an Exploitable run Defense that due to a relatively low number of rushes (currently ranked 11th fewest per game), hasn't been tested. Neither Defense gives up alot of points either. Something to bear in mind.

So lets look at a Few Players For The Lions:

Justin Durant- OLB: 21 tackles, 0 sacks(leading Tackler)

Height: 6007
Weight: 230
40 Yrd Dash: 4.51
20 Yrd Dash: 2.60
10 Yrd Dash: 1.55
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 25
Vertical Jump: 36
Broad Jump: 10'01"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.09
3-Cone Drill: 6.77


Dates: 03/15/07 03/22/07 
Height: 6007
Weight: 230
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

 Now as you can see Durant does have some really good measurables, So The Fact that he might not play could be huge Boon for Dallas.How ever With Durant getting All those Tackles what is the DL doing? Well not much I Have to Say, here are the Tackle totals, Along with their Workout profiles, for the 4 DL:

 

Cliff Avril: Tackles- 4 Tackles,1 sack

Height: 6027
Weight: 253
40 Yrd Dash: 4.51
20 Yrd Dash: 2.58
10 Yrd Dash: 1.50
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 27
Vertical Jump: 32 1/2
Broad Jump: 09'09"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.51
3-Cone Drill: 6.90


Dates: 03/07/08 
Height: 6027
Weight: 253
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 36 1/2
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.31
3-Cone Drill: 

 Ndamukong Suh; 6 Tackles, 2 Sacks

Height: 6037
Weight: 307
40 Yrd Dash: 5.03
20 Yrd Dash: 2.81
10 Yrd Dash: 1.69
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 32
Vertical Jump: 35 1/2
Broad Jump: 08'09"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.44
3-Cone Drill: 7.21
40 Time Range: 5.03-5.24

Dates: 03/11/10 
Height: 6037
Weight: 307
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

 Corey Williams: 3 tackles, 0 Sacks

Height: 6035
Weight: 313
40 Yrd Dash: 5.18
20 Yrd Dash: 2.99
10 Yrd Dash: 1.81
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 25
Vertical Jump: 28
Broad Jump: 08'10"`
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.55
3-Cone Drill: 7.97


Dates: 03/08 
Height: 6035
Weight: 313
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

Kyle Vanden Bosch: 9 Tackles, 3 sacks

Height: 6041
Weight: 270
40 Yrd Dash: 4.76
20 Yrd Dash: 2.81
10 Yrd Dash: 1.71
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 26
Vertical Jump: 36 1/2
Broad Jump: 09'11"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.08
3-Cone Drill: 6.82


Dates:  
Height: 6041
Weight: 270
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

What this Says is that The Lions DL is Pretty Good. Particularly Bosch and Suh. So where is the weak point? The Secondary. If Dallas was fully healthy I would expect alot of WR Screens, and Slants initally to slow the pass rush down, then going over the top, against  the Corners and Safties, using Austin And Dez.. However Dallas is not Fully Healthy,  which Causes some Changes.

So what will Garrett do? Well I see a repeat of the Redskins game. A lot of two TE's, plus a fairly heavy dose of Felix(for Garrett that is). Look For Garrett to line Witten up in the slot alot, with Bennett Helping Free. Now the key Again will be Felix and Murray. I think Garrett will look to get the ball to them on Sweeps, and other toss plays, Especially Early on. Also Look for Garrett to Try and get Dez One on one with the CB's, while max protecting Romo. To that end Here is My "funky Formation":

Formation- 21 set

WR's- Dez Bryant

TE's- Witten, Bennett

RB's- Felix, Murray

QB-Romo

OL- Free, Nagy, Costa, Koiser, Smith

Dallas Lines up in Balanced Set with Witten on the RT and Bennett next to Free. Witten then Motions out to the Outside WR spot, with Murray, Moving to the Slot.. This Would Allow for two misMatches, Murray Covered by a LB and Witten on a DB. This also give Free help with Bosch while Still Allowing Costa and Koiser to Double Suh. You Could Also Allow Bennett to take Bosch, After all Bennett is basically a Tackle in a TE's body at this point, Thus Allowing Free to Help with Williams. Look for a couple of Variation of this formation thoughout the game.This Allows for A two pronged Attack on the Edges on the "D". It minimizes The front 4 on the Lions, And Forces the LB's in to Coverage, thus preventing them from rushing the passer on blitzes.

Well that wraps up this edition of WWGD? for this week. As always I look forward to your Comments and Crtiques, especially you Lions Fans....Feel Free to point out An item that may be wrong, or any area that you think I might Have overlooked.

(Stats and Workout profiles referenced from NFL.com and NFLDraftScout.com)

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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