I had the intent to do a long-form, pensive piece about our team, their performance, expectations for this season and beyond, etc. It was gonna be something about how I've been assuming that we're still a year away and need to learn to win against better teams, yadda yadda.
But between the fentanyl addicts screaming at their demons just outside my office window and the paralyzing apathy that sets in when you realize you're wasting your life away as a pauper tilling fields for princes, I just didn't have it in me to eke out more than a few modest lines followed by a bunch of meaningless statistics.
After reviewing a few key stats, I feel like 2023 is the year where the Lions learn how to win (and maybe make some noise in the playoffs), but 2024 will be the year where we see the Lions learn how to be champions.
Here's all the riff raff and math that led to that conclusion (bold good, italics bad), but early callout that some stats for 2023 losses are skewed because the sample size is so small (I wept with joy as I typed that):
- The Lions are 7-0 against teams with a losing/tied record this season (13-2 since 2022)
- The Lions are 1-2 against teams with a winning record this season (4-8 since 2022)
- Points scored in Lions wins are down .4 PPG from last season (29.8 in 2022, 29.4 in 2023)
- Points scored in Lions losses are down 4.6 PPG from last season (23.1 in 2022, 18.5 in 2023)
- Points allowed to winning teams are up 3.7 PPG (28.0 in 2022, 31.7 in 2023)
- Points allowed to losing teams are down 2.0 PPG (21.1 in 2022, 19.1 in 2023)
- Margin of victory in Lions wins is down 1.5 PPG (11.6 in 2022, 10.1 in 2023)
- Margin of victory in Lions losses is up 9.2 PPG (9.8 in 2022, 19.0 in 2023)
- Average quality of opponent is down by 8.4% (.535 record in 2022, .451 record in 2023)
- The Lions are 11-0 in games where the opponent scores 20 or fewer PPG since 2022
- The Lions are 5-4 in games where the opponent scores between 21 and 30 PPG since 2022
- The Lions are 1-6 in games where the opponent scores 31 or more PPG since 2022
- 5 remaining Lions opponents average between 20-23 PPG (Lions are 2-1 in such games since 2022)
- 1 remaining Lions opponent averages exactly 20 PPG (Lions are 2-0 in such games since 2022)
- 1 remaining Lions opponent averages over 30 PPG (Lions are 1-6 in such games since 2022)
And there you have it. This is all a fancy way of trying to point out that our team still needs to learn how to beat winning teams with regularity.
And as a general rule of thumb, don't start worrying about the outcome of the game until the other team hits 25+ points. If we hold 'em to under 25, we're damn near undefeated. Over 25 and it depends. If they have a losing record and they score 25+, we're 4-2, but if they're a winning team and they score 25+ we're 0-7.
Thoughts, comments, concerns, etc. appreciated. Curious if anyone shares my overall sentiment and whether this data proves or disproves anyone else's assumptions.
I did all this same research for the Philadelphia Eagles just as a comparison point if anyone's interested.