*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
How did this game wind up a 29-23 (Dallas) shootout? It was a 9-9 tie/field goal festival 52 minutes into the game! 28 points were scored in the final 7 minutes and then a TD in OT to secure the Cowboys win.
I’m still confused. Both these teams muddled along with their typical style…Philly’s ineffective RBBC (just go with Josh Adams 20+ times every game already!!!) and all-throws-to-Ertz against Dak forcing passes to Amari every so often when Ezekiel Elliott needed a break. Nothing was working and then a flood of TDs happened.
Dallas at home, facing a devastated-by-injury Eagles team, and it took some luck and really piss poor offensive planning by Philly to get the win. Dallas deserved to win but this was no win for the style points category. Some suspect referee calls helped hand this to Dallas.
Philly is 6-7 on the season and needs to win-out to get a wild card but going at the Rams on Sunday night…it’s not going to happen. Foles is a miracle worker and all, but this is too much. The Eagles will end up 8-8/7-9 and out of the playoffs…the defending Super Bowl champs…dead.
Dallas wins their 5th-straight and goes to 8-5 and now a commanding NFC East lead. One more win ought to do it. If they lose to Indy this week, and we think they will, they’d fall to 8-6 and bring Philly back into play and maybe the Giants as well. The NFC East is not over until Dallas books their next win, but it could get very interesting if Dallas loses this week. We project them 10-6 and safely winning the division.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Amari Cooper (10-217-3/13) is living with the angels right now… 5 TDs his last three games, and I’d argue 4 of them were gifts/mistakes going his way that not only gave him a score but a lot of long scores. Some lucky breaks have taken a very good Amari and made him look like the best WR in the NFL.
In this game, Amari was on his way to a very nice 7-117-1 line…and then he pushes off a practice squad CB with the ball sailing his way on a bomb. Amari gets the extra separation and takes it to the house for a 75-yard TD. In OT, a Dak pass literally hit the cover corner right in the arm/hand and the easy pick six flops into the air and right to Cooper who skips in for the TD. Two plays that never should’ve happened but did…and now Amari is a mega-star.
I’m not fighting Amari because he’s talented but more importantly they are forcing everything they can to him…great for fantasy but it’s going to bite Dallas at key times – Dak was picked in the end zone earlier in the game forcing to Amari and the OT game-winner should have been a pick six the other direction. The Eagles have practice squad corners, so the perfect backdrop for success. Better defenses will take out/reduce Amari, but Dak will still force it to Amari and bad things will happen a critical time. Doesn’t matter – it’s great for fantasy. I’m glad Amari is getting his chance to shine, he deserves it – shows how dysfunctional the Raiders have been for year and questions Derek Carr’s abilities/awareness.
I own no shares of Amari, so I’m only get beaten by him in spots, which I hate but I respect it is what it is – he’s ‘the man’ in Dallas and will be ahead for years. No way Jerry doesn’t mount him like a big-game trophy on his wall via the biggest WR contract in football this offseason.
-- Blake Jarwin (7-56-0/7) finally got treated like a weapon. He could’ve been this Jason Witten-esque guy all along. Dallas has not gone there all year…until now…in a game where the Eagles didn’t have their ace TE coverer (Jordan Hicks). I wish this was a sign of things to come, but I bet it’s a one-time 2018 event.
-- Dallas Goedert (4-44-1/5) had a different one-time event – it was the way you attack Dallas, two TEs, when you have two great TE weapons. It’s not a shift to Goedert…it’s that the circumstances asked for it. Two things about it though…
1) Goedert was completely robbed of a 75-yard TD late in this game by a flimsy P.I. call. The play happening when the game had turned from defensive war to Madden ’19. And also happening after Amari Cooper pushed off a defender for his TD just moments prior. Either call them both or neither…or go for the call that equals better TV ratings ensuring Dallas gets to the playoffs.
I’m not a conspiracy guy.
2) This week, the way you beat the Rams is via the TE as well…Goedert is prime for another TE1 possibility week with a lot of two-TE sets. Considering Goedert has probably worked with Foles quite a bit in practices…Goedert may be a shock this week.
-- Is Nick Foles a fantasy sleeper vs. the Rams?
You know I love him, but this is too much to ask…this is a great Rams defense and Foles is an out-of-nowhere starter getting ready in less-than-a-week. I hope he does great and sticks it to the team that screwed him (because of Jeff Fisher), but I’d bet against it.
Goedert and Jordan Matthews are sleepers with Foles.
Imagine this for a moment – Wentz is put on I.R. and then Foles comes in and upsets the Rams and Philly wins three games to slip into a wild card and then Foles leads another run through the playoffs and beat Belichick again and wins a 2nd Super Bowl MVP in back-to-back years.
He’d definitely get a good contract to be a backup QB in 2019 somewhere then!!!
-- Great job, Doug Pederson!!! Josh Adams (7-36-0) had 3 carries for 34 yards on the first few plays of the game, and then never saw a touch again until like the 2nd-half.
The most important note from this game is this, and there is no YouTube posted of it yet to share, but if you can go watch Adams’s 8-yard and 24-yard carries on the first drive you will see two of the most brilliant runs in the NFL this year/the type of plays only a superstar talent RB could make.
His 8-yard run…he did such a body shimmy between the tackles he nearly broke the spine of the defender that whiffed on trying to snag Adams.
His 24-yard run was stunning…simply stunning. Bottled up off-tackle to the right, gets hit, and then does a 180 the other direction to get out of it and outruns the defense to the sideline and makes 24 yards out a -5 yard disaster. Every time Saquon Barkley burps it’s called ‘generational talent’. When Josh Adams did what he did on this 24-yard run…it’s “Wow, nice run from this guy that must suck because he wasn’t drafted. He made a real nice move there…now, back to talking about getting the ball more to Zeke and how hilarious it is when he does the shoveling-into-his-mouth thing.”
The entire Philly coaching staff saw these two runs…and have seen Adams for months…and they decided to just stop running the ball with Adams at that point. I guess it was too effective. They’d rather have 9 points after 53 minutes of all field goals, I guess. Good job not getting back to the playoffs, though.
Side note…the Eagles grabbed Boston Scott off the Saints practice squad this week, which…why no one had done this before is ridiculous, but anyway…Scott is the future Darren Sproles. The Eagles have a Super Bowl backfield in-waiting with Adams-Scott in 2019…IF they don’t muck it up with Jay Ajayi, which with Doug Pederson, who knows?
College Football Metrics (CFM) 2018 subscription access ends 12/31/2018 (no matter when you joined in 2018). The 2019 subscriptions will begin/be accessible early January 2019, and you will have full access to all the 2018 and prior years of work.
So, FYI – as per usual, for the first few days of 2019, as we get set-up for the new season, CFM will be down/inaccessible and then right back up for the 2019 glorious return of another big year of scouting and dynasty work. Specific start dates in January 2019 to come.
If you need anything from CFM 2018 before the ‘dark period’, you may want to print it off, etc.
Just an FYI, so you know.
-- The other winner of the Amari Cooper football follies TD reel is Dak Prescott (42-54 for 455 yards, 3 TDs/2 INT), who rolled up 455 yards passing…after not having a 300+ yard game all season.
Some of it is the Amari luck. A lot of it is the Eagles’ pass defense is decimated…which is why you have to go heavy Rams offense in fantasy this week.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
Dallas at Indy should be fine for all players involved Week 15, but we’ll see if the Colts are smart enough to take Amari out. Week 16 hosting TB is another gift for Dak-Amari. The Dallas-DST is so good, you can use them vs. IND with mild confidence and full confidence against TB if needed.
The Eagles go to LAR to get clobbered, but it could be a good game for Josh Adams…you beat the Rams running. LAR has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Week 16 vs. HOU isn’t great for Adams, on paper, but I think Adams is matchup proof…Doug Pederson is the only one who has been able to stop him this season, and he did a great job of it here.
Snap Counts of Interest:
57 = Jarwin
46 = Schultz
14 = Gathers
23 = Sproles
21 = Adams
04 = Smallwood
04 = Clement