NFL Game Preview for November 21, 2010: Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys (-7)


NFL OddsBetting Overview:

Things were going so well for the Detroit Lions just a couple of weeks ago. Yes the Lions only had two wins this season, but the NFL betting experts never expected them to win more than a couple anyways. The NFL scores the Lions were starting to put up, thanks to quarterback Matthew Stafford, were threatening to defy the NFL predictions that had the Lions winning four games or less this season. Then Stafford was lost for the season, and the Lions lost to the previously winless Buffalo Bills, and the season-ending tailspin has begun.

The Dallas Cowboys have seen their fair share of turmoil this season as well. Things got so bad in Dallas that owner Jerry Jones felt compelled to fire head coach Wade Phillips and replace him with assistant head coach Jason Garrett. But things are looking up for the Cowboys. They beat the New York Giants in week 10, and looked organized and inspired in doing so. The Cowboys won’t be making the playoffs, but at least they will now see which players want to be on the roster next season.


It has become apparent that the Lions offense is lost without Matthew Stafford. Shaun Hill may be a competent backup, but there is something about the way that Stafford runs the offense that makes it so much more efficient when he is in there. Now that Stafford is out for the season, teams can key in on stopping rookie running back Jahvid Best. Shutting down the Detroit running game is how the Bills beat the Lions, and the Cowboys will use the same tactics.

When Dallas quarterback Tony Romo broke his collarbone, many Cowboys fans felt that the season was truly over. But Jon Kitna is a savvy veteran quarterback, and while he does not have the arm strength of Romo he does understand how to attack a defense. Kitna is using weapons like wide receivers Dez Bryant and Roy Williams to open up the opposing defense for the Dallas run game. The Dallas offense finally seems to be hitting on more than one cylinder and it is a good sign for Dallas fans.


A team does not get to be 2-7 by accident, and the Detroit Lion’s biggest inconsistency is their defense. The Detroit defense is ranked 21st overall giving up an average of 353 total yards per game. The Lions defense is giving up 130 yards per game on the ground, and they are not showing an ability to get turnovers out of the opposing offense. Rookie defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is impressive so far this season with six and a half sacks, but the rest of the Detroit defensive line only has seven sacks combined.

The Dallas defense has become famous, along with the offense, for mistakes that cost them the game. Bad penalties and an inability to stop the opposing offense in key situations has cost the Cowboys games this season. The Cowboys defense seemed to get things straightened out in the Giants game, but it will be interesting to see if they can keep it going all season long.

The Bottom Line:

The players in Dallas took the firing of Wade Phillips personally. While it may seem anti-climatic that they now feel inspired to win because he is gone, it does mean that the Cowboys can start to climb the standings and try to finish the season .500.

BSN Sports Pick: Dallas Cowboys


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