Jon Kitna looks ahead to his Week 14 meeting with his former team, the Lions
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their biggest win of the season, beating the New York Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium 33-20. Even with a banged up secondary, the Cowboys looked the best they had since their first win of the season against the Houston Texans. New head coach Jason Garrett is intent on turning this season around and will be looking for his second win, and the team's third, this season.
The Detroit Lions share the same 2-7 record as the Cowboys but don’t appear to have as much talent on their team. While it can be said the Cowboys have great talent and are not executing properly, the Lions have some good players but are playing at about the same level they always do. They are also coming off a loss to the Buffalo Bills, giving them their first win. It doesn't get much worse than that.
The Cowboys beat the Lions in Week 14 in 2007, 28-27. With that victory, the Cowboys improved to 12-1 and won the NFC East with three weeks left in the season.
Who will this game?
This should be a high scoring game as both passing offenses rank in the top 10 while both rushing offenses rank in the bottom half of the league (the Cowboys had the fewest rushing TDs of any team).
The good news for the Cowboys is that they just got done destroying the Giants’ top ranked defense and now get to face a Lions’ pass defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league. Surprisingly, the Cowboys’ pass defense is even worse than that of the Lions. Both teams have rush defenses in the lower half of the league, as well.
So to summarize, the Cowboys have to try to contain WR Calvin Johnson and the Lions passing game, while the Lions have to figure out a way to stop red hot rookie Dez Bryant and company, but neither of them will probably be very successful. That means lots of points.
Throw in the fact that neither team can run the ball (which is too bad since they can’t stop the run, either) and you should expect to see footballs flying around everywhere.
Players to Watch For
DET: Calvin Johnson, WR. He ranks eighth overall in the league in receiving yards and is tied for first in receiving TD. If he is able to break free a couple of times and get behind Dallas’ shoddy secondary, it could be a long day. If rookie RB Jahvid Best can get something going on the ground, it will make things even easier for Johnson.
DAL: Jon Kitna, QB: Kitna gets to play against his former team and should have a field day throwing the ball. If he can play mistake free and spread the ball around, the Cowboys have a great chance to put up some points. If they can somehow get the run game going, watch out.
Before the season began, many people probably thought this would be a titan (Dallas) getting ready to steamroll a shamble of a team (Detroit). While the Lions are a shamble of a team, the Cowboys are, too. In this battle of 2-7 teams, there will be lots of passing and scoring. In the end, I think the team that plays better defense will win. A turnover or two will decide the game.
Dallas 30, Detroit 21