Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lions season outlook, week 11

While the score may have been surprising, keep in mind that 21 points came from the defense and special teams. The Bears' offense played about as well as you'd expect; credit goes to the Chicago defense, but those touchdowns aren't predictors of future performance. Massey's estimate of "slight underdog" was probably applicable here.

Massey projections:
Week 11: Carolina, overwhelming favorite
Week 12: Green Bay, underdog (moved down)
Week 13: at New Orleans, underdog (moved down)
Week 14: Minnesota, heavy favorite (moved down)
Week 15: at Oakland, favorite (moved down)
Week 16: San Diego, heavy favorite
Week 17: at Green Bay, heavy underdog

Tossups are 50%; slight favorites are up to 3-2 (60%), then favorites up to 3-1 (75%), then heavy favorites up to 5-1 (86%), then overwhelming favorites. Slight underdogs are down to 2-3 (40%), then underdogs down to 1-3 (25%), then heavy underdogs down to 1-5 (14%), then overwhelming underdogs.

Essentially the opposite of last week, with the Green Bay game moving as well. Estimated wins are 10.4, so a little less than a full game down from last week. Still a decent shot at playoffs, but the Lions have used up their free games: they'll have to win the games in which they're favored to have a decent shot.

The Playoff Odds report is below:
Mean wins: 9.8, down 0.7
Playoffs: 62.3%, down 17.2 points
Division title: 3.7%, down 9.2 points
Top seed: 0.6%, down 2.9 points
NFC title: 2.8%, down 4.0 points
Super Bowl win: 1.0%, down 2.4 points

The loss to Chicago essentially removes any remaining chance of winning the division and getting the top seed; the NFC and Super Bowl odds drop as Detroit shows an inability to beat contenders on the road. Playoffs are still in the picture, but as with Massey's projections, the Lions need to hold serve at home and also win at Oakland.

As mentioned last week, this wasn't a killer, but it sure didn't help. Chicago needed the game more than Detroit did (falling back two games behind the Lions with Detroit holding a sweep would have put Chicago against the NFC East and South teams for the remaining wild-card spot). Carolina is a different story: they still have a long way to go to be decent, and the defense shows it. Detroit tends to play well against bad defenses, and I think that will be the case today. Lions, 37-17.

Last week: predicted 13-23, actual 13-37

Current mood: fingers crossed

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