Predictions for Week 8: It Must Be Halloween

Can't get tickets to see the Bears or Rangers quite so easily, so we might as well go watch the Cowboys.

For six years, I had season tickets to Baylor football games. On a Friday night during one of those years, I attended a Class 1A semifinal game featuring teams from towns with combined populations of less than 4,000. The next day, I saw the Bears play Oklahoma State. There were more fans at the Class 1A playoff game than there were at the Baylor game on Saturday. The last time I saw Baylor play Texas at Floyd Casey Stadium was 2005, when the Longhorns trounced the Bears 62-0.

During the summers, my son and I have made several trips to Arlington to see the Rangers. We typically had left field to ourselves.

This evening, I recorded two games on my DVR. In the first, the Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a Mitch Moreland home run, and Texas held on to beat the Giants 4-2. During the same time, Baylor overcame a slow start and amazingly knocked off Texas at Austin. Very hard to believe either that the Rangers would be in the World Series or that Baylor would be 7-2 having beaten Texas, but there is evidence of it on my DVR.

As for the Dallas Cowboys—you know, the focus of this blog—ticket prices have fallen so far that we may just go to each of the remaining home games. If you look on Stubhub right, you can get two upper-level tickets for as low as $11 each. Beer costs more.

So for the first regular season game I will attend this year, the Cowboys are once again favored to win. Simulations at both AccuScore and What If Sports favor Dallas, but the Madden simulation predicts a Jacksonville win.

AccuScore: Dallas 22, Jacksonville 17

In AccuScore’s simulations, Jon Kitna took care of the ball for the most part, and Dallas won 66% of the time.

The Dallas Cowboys are a solid favorite with a 66% chance to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Felix Jones is projected for 62 rushing yards and a 34% chance of having at least 1 rushing TD. In the 34% of simulations where Jacksonville Jaguars wins, David Garrard averages 1.17 TD passes vs 0.41 interceptions, while in losses he has a ratio of 0.82 TDs to 0.82 interceptions. Maurice Jones-Drew averages 71 rushing yards and 0.62 rushing TDs when Jacksonville Jaguars wins and 44 yards and 0.28 TDs in losses. The Dallas Cowboys has a 45% chance of forcing more turnovers than they commit. Positive turnover margin helps them win 86% of the time.

What If Sports: Dallas 28, Jacksonville 20

The results were even more lopsided at What If Sports, as Dallas won 71.7% of the simulations by an average score of 28-20. As was the case with the AccuScore simulations, Kitna threw for more than 250 yards and only averaged one interception.

Madden: Jacksonville 21, Dallas 17

Sadly, this wouldn’t shock me:

Can Jon Kitna rescue the season for Dallas? Stranger things have happened, and it looked possible for 2  quarters against the Jaguars (at least in our “Madden” simulation). But that’s when things started to fall apart for the Cowboys: Kitna threw two second-half interceptions, including a pick-six, as the Jaguars stormed back from an early deficit for a 21-17 win.