Turkey-Day Football, 2022: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions

UPDATE: The game was closer than expected: Bills 28, Lions 25. I didn’t watch the game but reviewed the final statistics. As far as I can tell from the numbers, the Bills moved the ball more effectively than the Lions, especially on the ground, even though they suffered more sacks, penalties, punt turnovers and interceptions. The Lions had two lost fumbles, which most likely killed their momentum. It looks like the Lions came on strong in the 4th Quarter but the Bills matched them and held them off.

I performed this Thanksgiving Day NFL prediction using my “Enemy at the Gates Vulnerability Spread” (see link below) with the Cosmic Tarot for the main pull and the Rohrig Tarot (Spanish Edition) for the supplemental cards. As always for a sports forecast, I chose the Chariot as the “Opportunity” card describing what the confrontation is about: in this case it’s “Triumph.” As the home team, the Lions take the top row of the spread and the Bills have the bottom row.

In the “Strength” (left-most) column, both teams come across as poised, with the Bills perhaps having their “wits about them” a little more convincingly than the Lions, who could have trouble settling into an offensive groove. (In other words, Justice “brings the hurt” while Temperance is still getting warmed up.) Although it’s a close call, I would give the Bills a “+1” in this category.

In the “Weakness” column, it looks like the Lions could very well be “shell-shocked” by the Bills’ passing game (this 9 of Swords presents a very graphic picture of “overhead bombardment”). On the Bills’ part, I think they will maintain superior field position for most of the game and be relatively unflappable. I’m giving a solid “+1” to the Bills here for their mature “Empress” energy.

In the “Edge” column` it seems that the Lions will have a little more “fire in the belly” and could force the Bills into some costly mistakes, which earns the Lions a “+1” for turn-overs in this comparison.

The “Allies’ Power” column I ascribe to the performance of the defensive teams since the previous columns speak mainly to offense. With two opposing Kings there is a fairly even match-up here, although the Bills would seem to have just a bit more suppleness in their defensive line and be able to adjust to quarterback “audibles” better than the Lions, while the latter mount more of a deliberate “stonewall” defense. (This reflects the subtle difference between a “Water” King and an “Earth” King.) I’m calling this one even (null score).

In the “Chance of Winning” column, the disparity between the Bills’ greater depth of talent and experience and that of the Lions grows wider, with the Bills showing marked dominance. Here the Bills gain a “+1” edge, mainly because they will make better use of the “Chariot” momentum of the “Opportunity” card.

The “Decision” card (the Star as Aquarius) strongly supports the Bills “Strength” card (Justice as Libra) and is relatively neutral to all the rest for either side, suggesting that the Bills hold a distinct advantage over the Lions by having a superior offensive strategy, allowing them to move down the field pretty much at will on the strength of their “star power.” (“+2” to the Bills on this one.)

The overall “comparative” score gives the Bills a total of five points and the Lions one point, with one “even” outcome. The implication is that the Bills will dominate most aspects of the game. However, the end-of-quarter point spreads reveal a slightly less lop-sided perspective, one that certainly envisions a two-touchdown bulge but not a decisive “blow-out.”

I no longer use the numbers on the cards as actual in-game quarterly totals, but as showing the point gap between the two teams at the end of each period regardless of how many times each team scores. The first-quarter results indicate that the team that’s leading will be ahead by 6 points (rounded up to 7 to agree with standard scoring conventions). By the end of the second quarter that team will be up by 12 points (rounded up to 14). The third-quarter differential increases to 16 points (rounded up to 17), and by the end of the game there is no change to that situation. Although the face values of the cards in each row seem to favor a Lions win by 17 points, the rest of the reading does not support that conclusion. They may have been on a roll lately, but the Lions aren’t known as a powerhouse team, so I would tend to lay that 17-point victory at the feet of the Bills. The Lions’ best chances to improve their position occur in the 1st and 3rd Quarters, but the Hanged Man suggests that they will give away too many points on defense (or perhaps sacrifice their scoring mojo to the Bills’ defensive line in the form of sacks and fumbles). It occurs to me that a two-touchdown win by the Bills would be the betting man’s call on this one.

Summary and Conclusion: This is the second use of my modified scoring model, and it offers one additional insight: rather than applying the “Team A” and “Team B” approach stipulated by the top and bottom rows when examining the quarter-by-quarter scoring differential, I will just note that the team that is ahead in the scoring will be leading by “x” points at the end of each period. Then I will use the data from the initial “strengths and weaknesses” conclusion to decide which team it will be. In this case, the first operation shows the Buffalo Bills dominating the field but the second one suggests that the Detroit Lions will win by at least two touchdowns. These views don’t square since it appears that the decision should go in favor of the Bills, so that’s what I did in the scoring prediction. This liberates the determination from being locked in by a rigid paradigm since the comparison of the card meanings in the first step seems more reliable than the numerical distinctions of the second step. It also allows the lead to change hands more fluidly over the course of a game since winning team identification is no longer a factor until the final review.


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