*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
We did a Video Q&A during this MNF game, and I was wearing headphones watching/commenting on the game live…so, it was hard/impossible for me to hear Booger-Witten-Chatbot5000 during the game. I had the ‘joy’ of hearing them on the re-watch.
What struck me about the MNF crew on the re-watch/study was not just how truly awful they are – such as Booger discovering the words ‘draft capital’ about the Dallas offensive line and saying it 7,000 times, or Witten starting every communication with an arrogant ‘Look…’. No, what stood out most on the re-watch was the comedy of them being so pro-Dallas from the start. They acted like the Cowboys were going to run the Titans out of the building after a quick 7-0 start…like Tennessee was not worthy to be in the game. Knowing how the game ended, and then going back in time to hear them yammer on…knowing Dallas was going to crap the bed…it was alarming and comical to listen to the lack of vision or substance anyone on this MNF crew has.
Dallas did jump out 7-0, an Amari Cooper TD to start…and, thus, a Jerry Jones orgasm. It was all bad news from there. Dallas would get outscored 28-7 the rest of the way – 28-14 loss. Giving up 28 points at home to an offense that had been struggling to score points most of the season.
Dallas’s entire season comes down to this week…Week 10 at Philly. Beat the Eagles, draw to a tie with them with Washington cratering due to their O-Line issues – all is well A9t least for a week). However, if Dallas loses to the Eagles, they fall 2 games behind Philly and possibly 3 games behind Washington. Dallas out of the race by 2-3 games, losing badly, missing Sean Lee…it would be a crisis. One in which I believe Jerry Jones would then fire Jason Garrett after this week (if they lose) and install D-C Rod Marinelli as head coach and elevate Kris Richard to D-C. It will be a hot mess.
We believe Dallas will lose this week and then everything we think we know about this team gets turned upside down. A 6-10 finish is our projection…and a total overhaul of management for 2019 – except for Jerry. His failures will not be examined/dealt with.
Tennessee just keeps chipping away. They are now 4-4 with the impressive road win. The Titans are that ‘tough out’ team. Nothing stands out about them but there they are with a chance to win or leading late in most every game. The Titans are inches from being 6-2 or 1-7. It’s been a weird season for them.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- We might be living in a world where Dion Lewis (19-62-0, 4-60-1/4) is a better PPR own than Ezekiel Elliott (17-61-0, 4-51-0/5). Not really, but it would have been better for you if you had the last two games for each.
The thing about the last two weeks is – that’s when the Titans discovered Lewis was their best RB and started treating him like a workhorse more than an RBBC pass game RB. Derrick Henry (6-27-1, 2-5-0/2) has been exposed – he’s just a nice-ish power/short yardage/relief back…he’s not ‘the guy’. Tennessee is in the AFC South race and Dion Lewis is their top guy, a very solid RB2 in PPR for the ROS.
Elliott is on his way to 6 rushing TDs this season…and you thought David Johnson was having a bad year (he is). Elliott hasn’t rushed for more than 61 yards but once in his last 4 games. The OL coaching change during the BYE didn’t seem to jump start Elliott.
-- What hurt Elliott to some degree…Tennessee LB Jayon Brown (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs) playing. He’s been so good for weeks, getting a chance at starting while Wesley Woodyard was hurt. Brown proved he was the Titans best LB over the past few weeks.
…he proved that to me, but apparently not the geniuses on the Titans coaching staff.
Brown did not start, rookie Rashaan Evans did. Elliott began the game with a 17- and 10-yard run right up the gut with Evans M.I.A. Out of the game went Evans, in came Brown…and Elliott had 15 carries for 34 yards the rest of the way as Brown played pretty much every snap from there on in. After Elliott had gashed the Titans his first two runs, and then Brown inserted, about 2-3 plays later…Brown smoked Elliott for a -3-yard tackle to set the tone the rest of the way. Brown is so good y’all.
-- Also taking attention away from Elliott was the big debut of the WR savior Amari Cooper (5-58-1/8). All I can say about his debut is…re-watching this game this week, flipping through plays without all the pre-snap delay/chatter (and sometimes no sound as I cannot take Booger v. Witten), there were times that I couldn’t tell you, instantly, if Cooper had made a catch or if it was Deonte Thompson. I saw nothing special from Cooper after his early TD.
Michael Gallup (3-51-0/6) stands out on the field…his speed off the snap and into routes is noticeable. Cooper looks fine but doesn’t standout in anyway.
Cooper had the TD early, then Dak forced him another end zone shot while completely double covered – leading to an INT and leading to Cooper not really a factor the rest of the game. Dallas doesn’t have an a WR problem – they have a Jason Garrett/Jerry Jones problem. The problem, you knew, was going to lead Dak into forcing things to Amari to make Jerry look good. Tennessee knew it too.
The Patriots are the gold standard for NFL teams. Their WR group is a former college QB turned WR. A former college lacrosse player turned WR. And a multiple time drug problem WR picked up from another team for almost nothing.
Dallas, on the other hand, decided it was smart to kill a 1st-round draft pick, trading it away for a WR/Amari…right into the time you have to make a contract decision on him. One of the stupidest business-decision trades in the NFL this past decade. GREAT JOB Dallas GM Jerry Jones!
-- Taywan Taylor got hurt in this game and will probably miss a week or two. The Titans have speedy UDFA WR/homerun hitter (4.35 40-time, 6.69 40-time) Cameron Batson (2-21-0/3) they can go to for play-making. He’s an excellent deep-deep sleeper this week…if you believe the Titans are smart enough to use him beyond 1-2 plays in a game.
Likely it will be the 1-2 plays.
-- Is Dak Prescott (21-31 for 243 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) the problem for Dallas? Yes and no.
Dak is a great ‘throwback’ QB. Smart. Solid passer. Unflappable. Pretty mobile. In 1995 or 2005 he would be one of the best young QBs seen in the NFL. His style fits more of a ‘game manager’ motif. He can win a Super Bowl. He can lead game winning drives. He’s very solid.
Dak is like a very good ‘B-’ grade NFL QB. The problem is ‘A’ grade QBs are flooding the market. He can’t hang with Jared Goff or Mitch Trubisky in the NFL over time. Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes and the like were just groomed differently. They are the new era. Prescott will never look as exciting as they do…which means the fans will turn on Dak for not being as good…as will most of the NFL fans on their team’s QB.
You can win with Dak. There may be more to Dak’s abilities under a different coach. I don’t think Jerry will ever get him the help he needs.
-- Sean Lee is out again, probably for the rest of the season…which means the coach on the field is gone. When Lee went down in this game…14-14 right after the half…and Dallas went down the tubes from there. He is the heart & soul of that team, and they just had their heart ripped out.
You can’t fully trust the talented Dallas-DST from here without Lee and with an unfavorable schedule to the finish.
-- How about we trust the Titans-DST, though?
#1 in the league in PPG allowed.
#8 in passing yards allowed, #16 against the run.
They’ve held every opponent this season to 23 or fewer points…Seven of 8 teams to 20 or fewer.
They’ll be dropped this week due to facing the Patriots, rightfully so. But note they face HOU-NYJ-JAX-NYG-WAS Weeks 12-16. Week 11 vs. IND might not be bad either.
From either Week 11, or 12, but definitely 13…Tennessee is looking like one of the better DST plays down the stretch – among the DSTs sitting on waivers in most leagues right now.
I wouldn’t be shocked if they gave NE fits this week. Jayon Brown is happening. Solid secondary. Decent pass rush. It’s a good defense.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes from these two teams…
Tennessee has the good DST schedule and not a great one for the offense…but it might be ‘OK’ if JAX (Week 14) and WAS (Week 16) has fallen from the playoff race. Besides Dion Lewis, everything else blows for the Titans FF offense anyway.
Dallas’s Week 14-16 schedule is rough for their DST but not bad for their passing game…except their passing game is terrible. I suspect Jason Garrett is about to get the axe and we’ll have to see how that changes things.
Snap Counts of Interest:
27 = Jarwin
24 = Schultz
18 = Gathers
59 = Dion Lewis
14 = D Henry
50 = Jayon Brown
49 = Woodyard
27 = Rashaan Evans