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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: DAL 20, PHI 17 (Line: PHI by 2)

Players Updated: LeSean McCoy

Players to Watch: Michael Vick vs. Tony Romo

The 3-5 Eagles host the 3-5 Cowboys this week in the battle of the bitterly disappointed NFC East rivals. Here at mid-season there are already talks about head coach changes in the offseason and the weekly chance for Andy Reid to publicly support Michael Vick the coach killer. The main difference here is that Philly offensive line that actually makes the Cowboys look like they have no real problems when they do. Bottom line, one team is going to be feeling mighty low after this game. Like "I just don't know what to say anymore" sort of low. And you have to assume this will be a lower scoring, close game no matter what.

The fun part could be if we get the bad Romo and the bad Vick. That could set an NFL record for turnovers.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI -----
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE -----
3 TB 16-10 12 WAS -----
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL 29-31 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR 19-14 16 NO -----
8 NYG 24-29 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL 13-19 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 260,2
RB DeMarco Murray
WR Dez Bryant 6-60
TE Jason Witten 7-50
PK Dan Bailey 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys certainly fought the good fight in Atlanta same as against the Giants. And the Ravens. Not so much the Bears. Dallas entered it knowing that the Falcons game was nearly a must-win situation and yet they fell short against a team that at the very least does not make as many mistakes as the Cowboys do.

This week is actually another must-win that could actually set off an impressive string. The Cowboys will only play two road games in their final seven weeks and those are in Cincinnati and Washington - both very winnable. It would only be appropriate for them to run the table and save everyone's jobs. And then lose in their first playoff game. This week is maybe the toughest remaining game.

Tony Romo continues to throw for high yardage and yet only score once. He's thrown only 11 touchdowns this year and only that high thanks to the three he pitched in the season opener over the Giants. He has limited his mistakes in most recent games and two of the last three contained no turnovers. He's consistent and on a pace for 4700 yards. He just cannot get over the hump of scoring just once each week. The Dallas defense is good, but it cannot hold opponents back for an entire game when the offense just doesn't score much.

Romo strained his back on the final play last week but claims it is only minor and will not be an issue this week.

DeMarco Murray is likely to miss this week as well with his foot injury not yet allowing him to pass all his tests and get back to practice. HC Jason Garrett said he would not play Murray without him practicing so that should be clear at the end of the week. Early reports are not encouraging. Felix Jones actually produced some decent runs and caught five passes for 70 yards in Atlanta. He'll continue to take the start with Lance Dunbar and Philip Tanner backing him up. Tanner only received one carry in the Atlanta game while Dunbar was the surprise getting eight runs for 26 yards. This offense still misses Murray and cannot mount a credible rushing attack without him.

Jason Witten still churns out the catches each week though he's only scored once all year. He's been good for at least seven catches and has become the Cowboys all-time franchise leader in receptions.

Dez Bryant claims his hip injury was not an issue last week despite only catching one pass for 15 yards. He runs hot and cold all the time and in the last four games, two went for more than 95 yards each and produced two scores. The other two never had more than two catches or 15 yards in them. He's very feast or famine and not being 100% healthy makes him an ever bigger risk. Austin Miles remains the consistent wideout and he leads all receivers with four scores on the season.

The Eagles have given up 12 scores to quarterbacks but the yardage has been lower in most games and even Drew Brees only managed 239 yards on Monday night. The Eagles rushing defense has yielded only two rushing touchdowns this year and the Cowboys without Murray are not likely to change that.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 16 22 9 2 20 28
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 13 14 13 13 27 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kyle Orton, DAL PHI 0000027022 ***
Orton is the backup plan if Tony Romo can't play this week. He hasn't thrown more than 10 passes in a game since the 2011 season, when he had three multiple touchdown outings and a couple 300-yard efforts split between the Broncos and Chiefs. On the bright side, the Eagles have given up 300-plus passing yards in six of seven road games and multiple passing scores in five of seven on the road, so at least there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL PHI 8012100000 ***
Murray has triple-digit combo yardage in five straight, six touchdowns in the past four games, and has pretty much hoisted this offense on his back; last week, he even got more than 20 carries! With Tony Romo iffy, the offensive onus will once again be on Murray, who missed the earlier game with the Eagles. The way he's playing right now, it would be silly to bet against him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL PHI 0081101000 **
Bryant didn't score in the earlier meeting with Philly, though he did rack up 110 yards. He's scored in five of eight since, including each of the last four, and should enjoy this matchup with an Eagles defense that's given up more fantasy points to wideouts than any other.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL PHI 003501000 **
Williams scored in the earlier meeting with Philly and was the Cowboys' most targeted secondary receiver last week so he's the most likely to take advantage of an Eagles defense that has allowed at least one secondary target to score or top 50 yards (or both) in all seven non-blizzard games since Philly and Dallas met back in Week 7.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL PHI 003300000 ***
Witten did little last week and wasn't a factor in the earlier game with Philly--no surprise, given that the Eagles have allowed the fewest fantasy points to the tight end position. Witten may also be adjusting to a new quarterback, so there are plenty of reasons to be skittish about his fantasy prospects this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL PHI 2233 ****
Bailey has averaged almost four points per game more at home, a cool 10 points per game this year with nothing lower than a seven. His five spot in Philly is a bit disconcerting, but Bailey's home track record suggests he's a solid bet here.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL -----
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS -----
3 @ARI 6-27 12 CAR -----
4 NYG 19-17 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT 14-16 14 @TB -----
6 DET 23-26 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL 17-30 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO 13-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 160
RB LeSean McCoy 70,1 6-40
WR Jeremy Maclin 5-40
TE James Casey 3-20,1
TE Brent Celek 4-30,1
PK Alex Henery 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Eagles drop another game and their season was probably summed up on the one play in New Orleans where Michael Vick threw a pass to Brent Celek and it bounced off his hands into a defender who did not stop running for 99 yards when he scored a touchdown. Vick is getting beaten up each week and the problem only gets worse. The Saints alone had seven sacks last week. The Eagles offensive line is missing their center, left tackle and right guard and right tackle. RT Demetress Bell was constantly victimized last week and now gets to face De Marcus Ware. That is not likely to help.

HC Andy Reid already made his weekly show of support in naming Vick as still the starter. But Vick has only tossed ten touchdowns this year and never more than two in a game if even that. He runs every week maybe half a dozen times but still has just one rushing score from back in week two. Vick threw for decent yardage and two scores on the Cowboys last year in both meetings but the Cowboys have vastly upgraded their cornerbacks who are playing better as the season progresses.

LeSean McCoy ran for 119 yards in New Orleans but he's been far less productive in all other recent games where he remained below 55 rushing yards for the last three games. But McCoy is on a four game scoring streak and three of those came on passes. His role as a receiver salvages his fantasy value nearly every week. Bryce Brown broke off on a couple of runs and ended with 49 yards on just four carries but the Saints are the #32 defense against running backs anyway. Brown had more than ten yards in only one game this year and is no factor to consider.

Brent Celek was on a roll last week when he tipped the pass that was returned for an interception and lost a fumble to kill the drive that would have made it much more of a game in New Orleans. He's still stuck at around 35 yards in almost every game and scored just once this season. Celek enjoyed big games against the Cowboys last year when he posted 94 yards and a score at home and later 52 yards and a touchdown in Dallas. He's a good risk this week with the Cowboys showing up with actual cornerbacks this time.

Jeremy Maclin scored in both meetings with the Cowboys last year but has been very quiet in 2011 and only once gained more than 39 yards since the season opener. He faces Brandon Carr this week which should shut him down. DeSean Jackson scored on a 77 yard catch-and-sprint but only totaled three catches for 100 yards. The wide receivers are less effective this year and did not even have a big showing last week against the worse secondary in the NFL. That bodes poorly for this tilt against a defense that he been very good at shutting down wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 11 23 17 12 23 29
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 4 9 7 7 23 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Nick Foles, PHI @DAL 0000025020 ***
Foles was knocked out of the earlier meeting with Dallas, a damn shame considering only one team has allowed more passing scores, passing yards, or fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Cowboys. With the NFC East on the line and Foles having five TDs and 658 yards in his past two games--not to mention insane numbers like 1,358 yards and 16 touchdowns in four road starts this year--you have to love his fantasy prospects.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI @DAL 8015400000 ***
Somehow the Cowboys held Shady to 55 yards on 18 carries in the earlier meeting. Since that time Dallas has given up 15 RB and five 100-yard rushing efforts, including a score or 100-yard game to every feature back they've faced. No reason McCoy shouldn't get his fair share here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI @DAL 2005301000 ***
Sproles hasn't had a fantasy helper since Week 10, as he's low man on the carries totem pole and ceding looks in the passing game to Pierre Thomas as well. There's always a chance he'll be the focal point of that week's game plan, but as it stands nothing suggests a fantasy helper is imminent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI @DAL 004601000 ****
The Cowboys have allowed a secondary receiver to either score or top 50 yards in five of the last six, a total of seven fantasy helpers to secondary targets in that six-game span. While Cooper's numbers have tailed off since his hot mid-season run, he's set up to at least mirror his 88-yard output from the earlier meeting with Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @DAL 005401000 ***
The good news is, the Eagles have five TE TDs in the past four games. The bad news is, they're still being split between Ertz and Brent Celek, plus neither did much damage in the earlier meeting with Dallas and the Cowboys have allowed only one TE TD in the past month.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brent Celek, PHI @DAL 002200000 ***
The good news is, the Eagles have five TE TDs in the past four games. The bad news is, they're still being split between Celek and Zach Ertz, plus neither did much damage in the earlier meeting with Dallas and the Cowboys have allowed only one TE TD in the past month.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Alex Henery, PHI @DAL 3333 ****
Henery has 10 points in each of the past two games after being shut out by Mother Nature and the Lions. He mustered only three in the earlier meeting with Dallas, and with just one multiple field goal game since Week 10 (and two since Week 5) he's no lock for big numbers here.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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