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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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~ 2009 ~


Prediction: PHI 17, DAL 24

One of three replay games this weekend, the Eagles just left Dallas last Sunday on the wrong end of a 0-24 shutout. The Eagles also lost 16-20 back in week nine when the Cowboys visited Philadelphia. The Cowboys are favored by four points this week though it is always tough to beat any team three times in a season.

Philadelphia Eagles (11-5))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CAR 38-10 -2.5 43.5
2 NO 22-48 -3 46.5
3 KC 34-14 -9.5 42.5
4 BYE -    
5 TB 33-14 -16 42
6 @OAK 9-13 -14 40.5
7 @WAS 27-17 -7 37.5
8 NYG 40-17 -1 43
9 DAL 16-20 -3 47.5
10 @SD 23-31 +1 47
11 @CHI 24-20 -3.5 46.5
12 WAS 27-24 -9.5 40.5
13 @ATL 34-7 -4 43.5
14 @NYG 45-38 -1 42.5
15 SF 27-13 -7 41
16 DEN 30-27 -7 43
17 @DAL 0-24 +3 47.5
PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb   240,2
RB Brian Westbrook 40 5-30
TE Brent Celek   5-60,1
WR DeSean Jackson   4-60
WR Jason Avant   1-20, 1
WR Jeremy Maclin   4-60
PK David Akers 1 FG 2 XP
Pregame Notes: Last week was not what the Eagles needed. After winning six straight games and scoring at least 24 points each week, the offense went flat and the lone series that neared the Cowboys endzone ended with the replacement center did not hike the ball high enough and Donovan McNabb lost the fumble. The Eagles need to change two things this week - get DeSean Jackson involved and reach Tony Romo with more blitzes that were curiously absent last week. The Eagles also lost each of the four times they played against a team currently in the playoffs and lost both times they were the underdogs in a game.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb has faced the Cowboys twice this year and only passed for one score back in the home meeting. He had 227 yards there and 223 yards in Dallas. McNabb was shutout last week for the first time since week six and his 223 yards were his lowest since the last time he played the Cowboys.

McNabb is bound to be better this time and he came close to scoring last week. Look for better yardage and at least one score if not two.

Running Backs: Brian Westbrook returned two weeks ago but he has done little with only a total of 14 carries for 49 yards. He had four catches in Dallas but only gained 20 yards. Westbrook is clearly not the old Westbrook we know and love (or hate depending). LeSean McCoy rushed for 54 yards on 13 carries when the Cowboys visited in week nine but was held to just one run for four yards last week. The Eagles want to go with Westbrook as the primary runner again, they are just not getting much for the effort so far.

The Cowboys have been outstanding against the run in Dallas and only allowed two touchdowns there. Expect the same mediocre stats as last week.

Wide Receivers: The biggest problem for the Eagles has been that DeSean Jackson has not been a factor in either game with the Cowboys. In the home matchup, Jackson only had two catches for 29 yards and last week. Jackson had minimal efforts against the Redskins and Broncos lately but had one touchdown to make those better. Jeremy Maclin has seen nearly mirror games when facing the Cowboys, with three catches in each that resulted in either 44 or 47 yards.

The Cowboys know that Jackson and Maclin are the keys to stopping the Eagles and have been effective both times this year. I like one passing score to a wideout this week but will give it to Jason Avant - the secondary has just been too good against the two starters.

Tight Ends: Brent Celek has broken out this year and he has been the lone weapon that has been effective against the Cowboys. In Philly, Celek caught three passes for 39 yards and scored once. Last week he had a team high seven receptions for 96 yards. Celek is clearly the best play from the Eagles this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 24 12 10 2 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 15 7 14 17 4 6

Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TB 34-21 -5 39
2 NYG 31-33 -3 43.5
3 CAR 21-7 -9 46
4 @DEN 10-17 -3 43
5 @KC 26-20 -9 42.5
6 BYE - - -
7 ATL 37-21 -5.5 47.5
8 SEA 38-17 -10 46
9 @PHI 20-16 +3 47.5
10 @GB 7-17 -3 48
11 WAS 7-6 -11 41.5
12 OAK 24-7 -13.5 40.5
13 @NYG 24-31 -1 45.5
14 SD 17-20 -3.5 48.5
15 @NO 24-17 +7.5 53.5
16 @WAS 17-0 -7 42
17 PHI 24-0 -3 47.5
DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo   260,1
RB Marion Barber 70,1 1-20
RB Felix Jones 80,1  
TE Jason Witten   6-60,1
WR Roy Williams   3-40
WR Patrick Crayton   4-60
WR Miles Austin   4-70
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Considering the Cowboys were all but counted out a few weeks ago, winning the NFC East and now hosting the first round is a surprise. There is a chance that the Cowboys are peaking at just the right time. There is a chance that the Cowboys are just setting themselves up for disappointment since they have not won a playoff game since Barry Switzer was the headcoach. And beating the Eagles three times in one season is tough. But so far the Cowboys have had the better defense and offense this year and at home, are in the best situation.

Quarterback: Tony Romo has been sharp in both meetings with the Eagles and passed for 307 yards and a score in Philly. Last week he had 311 yards and two scores and had one interception in both games. He's scored in each of the last 12 games.

The Cowboys will be expecting more pressure to be given to Romo this week and should have more rushing in store. Romo has passed very effectively but should be shy of the 300 yard mark this time.

Running Backs: Marion Barber rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries in Philly and then had a strong showing last week with 91 yards on 14 runs. Barber is not showing much in the way of nimble moves but provides the power running that has been effective late in games. Felix Jones was held to only 10 yards on four runs in the road meeting but then gained 91 yards on 15 runs and scored once last week. Tashard Choice scored in the first game from the wildcat formation but has been little used in recent weeks.

I like the Cowboys to rely more heavily on the run game this week now that it has been successful.

Wide Receivers: The Cowboys have been successful passing against the Eagles in both meetings. Miles Austin only had one catch in the Philly game but gained 49 yards and a touchdown. At home, he rang in seven receptions for 90 yards. Roy Williams had 75 yards on five catches in the first meeting but was held without a catch last week. Patrick Crayton has been a secret weapon both weeks, turning in 74 yards on two catches and then 99 yards on four receptions last week with one score.

All three wideouts have been effective at least once against the Eagles but more on a single pass. Since I like the rushing game to do more this week, that comes out of what the passing games needs to accomplish.

Tight Ends: The Eagles are one of the worst teams against tight ends and Witten had six catches for 76 yards and a score. No reason not to expect at least a good showing again this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 10 14 9 5 18 25
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 20 11 10 31 15 7


~ 2009 ~

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