Game Predictions & Player Projections - NO vs DAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - NO vs DAL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - NO vs DAL

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Prediction: NO 34, DAL 27 (Line: NO by 3)

The 1-2 Saints are still looking for a road win while the 2-1 Cowboys are 0-1 at home. No doubt that DC Rob Ryan would love to stick to his old team yet again while finally preventing another road collapse. The Saints squeaked past the Cowboys 49-17 in New Orleans last year.

New Orleans Saints

1 @ATL 34-37 10 SF —–
2 @CLE 24-26 11 CIN —–
3 MIN 20-9 12 BAL —–
4 @DAL —– 13 @PIT —–
5 TB —– 14 CAR —–
6 BYE —– 15 @CHI —–
7 @DET —– 16 ATL —–
8 GB —– 17 @TB —–
9 @CAR —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 320,4
RB C.J. Spiller 40 3-30
WR Brandin Cooks 7-80,1
TE Coby Fleener 3-20
PK Kai Forbath 2 FG 3 XP
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 1 XP

The Saints struggles on the road have been a surprise. The Falcons are obviously much improved but the Browns? And only scoring two touchdowns in a home game against the Vikings? Fortunately this week should be a better effort and then hosting the Buccaneers is like a bye week with four touchdowns. One of the questions that people are whispering is “what is up with Drew Brees?”. We’ll know all we need to know after these next two games.

QUARTERBACK : It isn’t that Drew Brees has been bad. He scored each game and twice reached 290+ yards. But he has yet to throw more than two touchdowns. He’s at five scores against two interceptions. And he is merely good so far. We expected great. Hard to guage too is how he is no longer zeroing in on anyone – not even Jimmy Graham.

Brees passed for 392 yards and four scores versus the Cowboys last year.

RUNNING BACK : Mark Ingram remains out and last week he was replaced 1:1 by Khiry Robinson (18-69) who had no catches in the win over the Vikings. Pierre Thomas scored once as a runner on his eight carries for 30 yards but remained the same three-catch back. Darren Sproles is gone and his catches no longer live with the backfield. This remains no less confusing of a backfield even with Ingram out.

All three running backs combined for 36 carries, 244 yards and three touchdowns plus 16 catches for 115 yards and two receiving touchdowns versus the Cowboys last year.

WIDE RECEIVER : Brandin Cooks is credited with at least part of that Sproles workload and he led the team last week with eight catches for 74 yards but has not scored since the opener. He’s gaining in reliance by Brees but remains more of a possession receiver with short gains. Marques Colston varies greatly week-to-week. He only managed two catches for 25 yards last week but scored for the first time. He racked up 110 yards on five receptions in Atlanta. There is precious little consistency here or anywhere on the team as to how Brees will use his receivers. About the only key has been no one does well twice in a row.

Colston ended with seven catches for 107 yards and one score in Dallas last season.

TIGHT END : Jimmy Graham turned in his normal 10-118-2 when in Cleveland but last week was only good for six receptions for 54 yards. He too is seeing inconsistent usage and he’s been the main weapon for two seasons.

Graham only gained 59 yards on five receptions in Dallas last year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cowboys have allowed six passing scores already this year and have yet to face a top passing quarterback. Austin Davis of the Rams just posted 327 yards and three scores on them. Graham has to be a lock for a good game this week against a defense that already allowed four touchdowns to tight ends and 142 yards to Delanie Walker. The Cowboys have been good against the run so far and more so in home games. But they have not faced an offense anything like the Saints. Feel good about using Brees, Colston, Graham and even Cooks this week. The rushing effort should see a decline in this road game and is hard to predict anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 10 4 22 1 23 32
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 19 6 7 32 6 30

Dallas Cowboys

1 SF 17-28 10 @JAC —–
2 @TEN 26-10 11 BYE —–
3 @STL 34-31 12 @NYG —–
4 NO —– 13 PHI —–
5 HOU —– 14 @CHI —–
6 @SEA —– 15 @PHI —–
7 NYG —– 16 IND —–
8 WAS —– 17 @WAS —–
9 ARI —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 250,2
RB Darren McFadden 40,1 2-20
RB Alfred Morris 90,1
WR Dez Bryant 6-80,1
WR Terrance Williams 5-60,1
TE Jason Witten 4-40
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 3 XP

Nice comeback win after being down 21-0 in St. Louis. That goes a long way to quiet critics after Tony Romo opened another game with a interception returned for a touchdown. The Cowboys catch a break with five home games over the next six weeks though that reverses at the end of the season. Two road wins in a row have helped calm the team down but this week could upset the home town fans all over again.

QUARTERBACK : Despite two straight wins and even a comeback victory, there is still plenty of speculation about Tony Romo’s back. He finally threw for two scores for the first time this year but he is only averaging 220 yards per game. The success of the rushing game has helped keep passing stats lower than past years. But Romo is a month into the year and still has not produced a big game.

Romo only passed for 128 yards and one score versus the Saints last year.

RUNNING BACK : DeMarco Murray already had gained 100+ rushing yards and scored in the first two games but his 51 carries had the Cowboys planning to run him less before he gets used up. So they gave him 24 more carries in the St. Louis win and he gained 100 yards and notched his third straight game with a touchdown. Murray is not the main focal point of the offense. Never mind that he is on a pace for an unattainable 400 carries this year. When Murray goes down injured yet again, this offense will have to change dramatically.

Murray rushed for 69 yards and one score on the Saints last time.

WIDE RECEIVER : Dez Bryant is maintaining his elite status with a score in the last two games and over 89 yards in both. His routes are shorter than in the past and the reality of last week was that he really only had five catches for 21 yards and then the Rams blew a coverage and he scored a 68-yard touchdown untouched. Terrance Williams has two scores on the year and yet never more than 50 yards in any game. If anything happens here, it goes to Bryant.

Bryant caught six passes for 64 yards and no score versus the Saints in 2013.

TIGHT END : Quite simply Jason Witten looks old. He has ten catches for 95 yards and no scores after three games. He’s usually the second most targeted behind Bryant but rarely does much with a catch.

Witten ended with only 27 yards on two receptions in the Saints meeting last year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints have only faced one good passing team and the Falcons put up 448 passing yards and three scores. But the Cowboys are not throwing that well and wanting to run the ball more. The Saints have allowed two rushing scores and decent yardage to running backs so Murray is a safe start. Bryant is a must start as well but beyond him Romo and Witten only look like moderate plays this year and this game matches up no differently. And Rob Ryan knows this team still.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 27 13 11 22 6 16
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 24 20 27 6 30 17

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