Thursday, December 24, 2009

Upon Further Review: Cards Win But Don't Cover, 31-24

This one was a bummer. The Cardinals jumped out to a 17-0 lead with relative ease, and looked poised to run it to 24-0, as they had the ball inside the 35 with 1:30 left in the 1st half. But some terrible clock management and a Warner sack/fumble snuffed out their drive, and from there the Cards went largely downhill. I thought that the Cards' underrated secondary would dominate Daunte Culpepper, and they largely did, as he went 6/12 with an INT. But the Lions were able to put up points in some unlikely ways, including a 101yard INT return and a 64 yard TD run by Maurice freaking Morris. The Cards managed to hold on, largely by relying on Beanie Wells and the ground game, but came up a TD short of covering the 13 point spread that I thought they'd cover.


Be very wary of huge double digit spreads when the underdog is missing a pair of higher-profile players (in this case starting QB Matthew Stafford and starting RB Kevin Jones). The temptation is just too strong for the favorite to lose focus and motivation, and that appears to be exactly what happened. With the Cardinals, a notoriously inconsistent and unpredictable team, that was probably too high of a risk to take, and BadNFL moves to 1-2 on the season when picking double digit favorites.

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