*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
**NOTE: We are planning to do a pre-Thanksgiving Day kickoff Video Q&A for sit/starts/all-Trubisky based questioning, etc. -- the times of that well be announced soon.
The power of the Dallas defense… Holds down high-flying Atlanta (at home) to 19 points, and 10 of those points later in a scramble to get back into the game.
It was only 6-3 ATL at the half. 9-6 ATL after three quarters. A Dak Prescott TD to start the 4th quarter…and then moments later a botched catch/pick from ATL set up an easy Dallas score and it was suddenly a 19-10 Dallas lead with 12 minutes left. The Falcons crawled back to make 19-19 and then Dallas hit a game-winning FG at the buzzer to win it.
Dallas is now 5-5. Likely winners this week over WSH, then likely losers to the Saints the following week…and, thus, they could be 6-6 facing the 6-6 Eagles for the division, essentially, in Week 14. Dallas is not in the clear, but they are in the driver’s seat unless they somehow lose to the Redskins on Thanksgiving. We are projecting Dallas 8-8/9-7 just like Philly. Too close to call right now.
Atlanta ruined their playoff chances losing at home here. They are now 4-6 and projecting to 7-9…8-8 at best unless they pull a Turkey day miracle at New Orleans to change the course of history.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Amari Cooper (3-36-0/5) was facing one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL…and caught just three passes for 36 yards on 5 targets.
This Dallas passing game is a disaster. It looks like the Jeff Fisher or John Fox passing game. Cooper is rarely open and everything he gets seems forced. He’s not an emerging WR2 or better here…he’s lucky to be a WR2 in a week but more likely a WR3 because this offense is so wimpy throwing the ball.
I mean, if any game was going to be a pass game breakout it was this one (vs. ATL)…and it wasn’t. Not even close.
-- Geoff Swaim (4-24-0/5) is done for the year on I.R.
Blake Jarwin is the next man up…and he’s a better passing game threat than Swaim but has never been used like it, really. Doubtful a turn happens here, but something to watch for the TE desperate.
-- Austin Hooper (4-27-0/8) is my TE hope and prayer in PPR. Hoping for the rise to consistent 5+ catches a game but got 4 here with just 27 yards. It’s the state of TE play right now outside of Ertz-Kelce and maybe Kittle.
Hooper still has that haunting 9 or more catches in a game in three of his last 6 games. AND he was 2nd on the team in targets this game. I’m still clinging to PPR hope here.
-- One of the reasons Hooper was muted is that Leighton Vander Esch (8 tackles, 3 PDs, 1 INT) is becoming a full-scale monster at ILB. He’s tackling everything or defending passes…and tackling guys (like slow-ass Hooper) quickly after the catch, halting their stats.
I thought LVE could be OK/good, but he looks amazing right now.
-- How good is the Dallas defense? They held Matt Ryan, at home, to 1 passing TD (late) and under 291 yards passing.
When Ryan has been sacked 3 or more times in a game this season…1-5 record. 3-1 when two or fewer sacks. Ryan was sacked 3 times this game and hit 9 times by the Dallas D.
Dallas has a top 5 in the NFL defense, in my book…so a pretty confident+ play against Washington and their depleted O-Line and backup QB this week.
NO-PHI-IND Weeks 13-15 are not so good for the Dallas-DST. In theory…
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
Dallas has PHI-@IND-TB Weeks 14-16…which is good, but this offense isn’t built to take advantage. Business as usual for Dallas…Zeke an RB1, Cooper a WR2.5, Dak a QB2
The Falcons have @GB-ARI-@CAR in Weeks 14-16. Possibly two cold weather games, which is not great for them. If they lose to the Saints on Thanksgiving…their season may be essentially over, which is a concern too. Don’t you reel Julio in the final few weeks of a lost season…because he’s so injury prone?
Snap Counts of Interest:
34 = Tevin
20 = Ito
57 = Swaim
11 = Schultz
03 = Jarwin