It is a happy and proud bunch over at Pride Of Detroit, the SBN franchise for the Detroit Lions. And who can blame them. Being 3-0 is a great feeling for any team's fans, but when you have had the recent history they have, it must be especially enjoyable.
Our Dallas Cowboys are hosting the Lions this week, and it is time for my weekly visit to see what they are saying about our team and the game.
If you have been reading the comment threads this week, you have already seen a lot of posts from them, and I want to compliment them for being mostly very gracious visitors. One of the more active visitors, Mavyrk, is a POD front page writer.
They only run with four people on staff, so the quantity is not overly large, but there is some quality stuff you should check out. But be nice. There is some entertaining and funny stuff in the threads. There is also some trash talking, but if you let that offend you, you're probably a little too sensitive. Stay classy, BTB.
One thing of interest to all of us is the injury report for the week, and one line is probably all you need to know:
DT Nick Fairley (Foot) - Out
It looks like someone else will get the pleasure of finding out how he will played when teamed up with Ndamukong Suh. That is good news for us.
More after the jump
There is a pair of articles on our offense and defense. Breaking Down The Dallas Cowboys Offense takes a look at the history of the offense and the personnel, although it does not go into great detail about specific plays. One of the things I like to do when I read the other guys' posts is look for bits of info about their team that shows up.
The offensive line is also my key to victory this week. While the ‘Boys have faced a pair of good pass rushing teams in the Jets and Redskins, they haven’t faced an elite pass rushing team like the Lions. With Miles Austin out already, the Lions won’t have to worry nearly as much about getting burned deep as they would have to regularly. This means that the Lions could bring extra pressure if they deem necessary. Last week, Cunningham actually brought a few blitzes against the Vikings, which led to Amari Spievey recording his first career sack and the linebackers getting solid pressure on the quarterback. I expect a similar game plan this week.
What caught my eye in this quote was the comment about blitzes. When I looked at the video of the Lions @ Vikings game, I noticed that they didn't do a lot of blitzing, and yet this implies that it was more than they normally did. They tend to run a pretty basic scheme and beat you with the skill of their players. Sort of a Wade Phillips type philosophy. Be interesting to see how Jason Garrett and Tony Romo approach that.
You might also notice their pride (no pun intended) in their pass rush. From my observations, it's pretty well justified.
Breaking Down The Dallas Cowboys Defense also takes a similar approach of going into Rob Ryan's history but only looking at a couple of unique formations he uses. I think the reality of what the Lord of Chaos is doing will open a few eyes. I did like this.
It is then safe to say that Rob Ryan can do quite a bit with all of the talent that the Cowboys have on the defensive side of the ball. For one, he has one of the most versatile and feared outside linebackers in the league in DeMarcus Ware. He also gets to work with former All-Pro nose tackle Jay Ratliff and a pretty decent front three in general. While the Cowboys secondary is definitely a work in progress, I do think they have enough talent to match up fairly well with the Lions passing options.
Taken together, the two posts point towards a very closely matched game.
There is one mouth watering post called Video Review: Jared Allen's Three Sacks Against Lions. It includes X and O diagrams of exactly how the Vikings premier rusher got to Matt Stafford. The part that is so tasty is the end.
The good news is that, last sack aside, these problems are correctable. The bad news is that, in my opinion, Ware is an even more elite pass rusher than Allen. Obviously the Lions will be working extra hard to correct these mistakes, but with inconsistent right tackle play, I don't know if it will be enough to keep Stafford upright.
And if DWare is on the other side, Anthony Spencer or Jay Ratliff may take advantage as well.
My favorite post was On Paper: Detroit Lions At Dallas Cowboys. It is a statistics heavy look at how the different units match up that OCC would be all over. I think he and Simscity, the author, would have a blast throwing numbers at each other over a couple of steins of good German beer. And the conclusion is another harbinger of this being a very interesting game.
As unsatisfying as it is, we are left with an overall tie, which leads me to look elsewhere for a game-changer.
My homer side says that the game changer is going to be someone I like to call the Big Robowski and his wild schemes.
The final post I recommend you look at is Lions At Cowboys: Five Questions With BTB. It is the companion piece to the one Dave Halprin runs for us, of course, and you can see how he presents the BTB view to POD. I loved his briefest answer.
4. Despite kicker Dan Bailey's outstanding game on Monday night, Jerry Jones has said he has no plans to get rid of David Buehler, the Cowboys' kickoff specialist. How do Cowboys fans feel about carrying two kickers?
I'll be brief here. I hate it. Hate it. The minute Dan Bailey proved he could make the FGs, I was ready to cut David Buehler.
Dave, I feel your pain.