Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thoughts halftime Cowboys, Lions

- The Cowboys' Sean Lee has more interceptions (11) than any NFL linebacker since 2010, but none bigger than the one to end the first half. He was sitting on the route and made the play. That's study and preparation on his part. It was a poor pass by Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford, who didn't recognize Lee lurking. Lee's first interception was on Calvin Johnson. That's a catch he should, and normally does, make. I'd be really surprised if Lee isn't a first-team All-Pro this season. In addition to the interceptions, he's a tackling machine. He entered Sunday as the NFL's second-leading tackler.
- Usually, signing veteran free agent cornerbacks off the scrap heap doesn't work out, especially for the Lions. Drayton Florence and Brian Kelly come to mind from the not-too-distant Lions' past. But Rashean Mathis has worked out well for the Lions. The Lions are double-teaming Dez Bryant. The corner underneath has been Mathis. He is performing well. He's solidified their secondary and not forced the Lions' to rely on rookie Darius Slay, who clearly isn't ready to start yet.
- The Lions' defensive line is playing exceptionally well in this game. One of the reasons it has played better this week than last is simply the Cowboys don't have nearly as good an offensive line as the Bengals. Love how the Lions' have placed Ndamukong Suh at defensive end at times today and just turned him loose. It's an overdue move.
- Drag routes and deep square in patterns often work against the Tampa Two. Those patterns are there today, as well. Sometimes they are slow-developing routes. The key is pass protection. The Lions' offensive line is doing a good job of protecting Stafford again today.
- The Lions are dropping too many passes today. Ryan Broyles, Reggie Bush, Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew have key drops today. The one by Broyles near the end of the first half was very hurtful. If he made that play, it would have put the Lions in field goal range, and the score would be likely be tied at 10 with momentum shifted back toward the Lions.


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