Commentary

FBO: Numbers Crunching, Week 5

The Dallas Cowboys continue to be a study in contradiction

Originally Published: October 8, 2009
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesThis Sunday in Denver, it's McDaniels versus Belichick. What's the key?

Each week, Football Outsiders takes a look at every game on the NFL schedule with a mix of interesting numbers and in-depth statistical analysis. Much of the analysis is based on DVOA, which takes every single play during the season and compares it to the league average based on situation and opponent. DVOA and Football Outsiders' other advanced stats are explained here. Remember that 2009 numbers are based on very small sample size and do not yet include opponent adjustments.

Sunday 1:00 p.m. ET games

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Hope you like field goals: This game matches two of the three worst red-zone offenses in the league so far this season. Buffalo is the only team whose leading pass target is a running back (Fred Jackson with 25 passes). Not exactly what Terrell Owens signed up for, is it?

Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions

The Steelers' secondary is having trouble preventing completions, but more importantly, it is having trouble preventing short completions. Ike Taylor leads the league in passes defensed (8), but only one of his 13 tackles after a completed pass qualified as a Stop according to our definition. Linebacker James Farrior has just two Stops in 12 plays after pass completions. Safety Ryan Clark has just one Stop in 12 plays after pass completions.

Time for more Mewelde Moore? The Lions have the NFL's worst pass defense against passes to running backs.

The rest of FBO's breakdown of Week 5 in the NFL -- including what to look for in that big Patriots/Broncos game in Denver and an interesting stat from Falcons/49ers -- is available for ESPN Insiders. Insider