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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 Darren McFadden
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 Kellen Moore, DAL WAS 0000019011 ***
Matt Cassel threw for 222 yards and zero TDs in the earlier meeting with Washington, and we've seen nothing from Moore to make us think things will be any better here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, DAL WAS 10011100000 *
McFadden has 35 carries for 199 yards in two Kellen Moore starts and is averaging seven yards per carry with 310 rushing yards over the previous three games. The Cowboys will have to lean on him once again, moreso than the 14-53-1 he saw in Washington a month ago. Given the way he's running, he's a solid bet for more.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL WAS 005401000 **
Beasley has the most recent TD by an active Cowboys receiver--and it came back in Week 12. He's third among active wideouts in targets from Kellen Moore, making him an afterthought in a low-octane passing game; that's a tough role to create fantasy value from.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL WAS 003500000 **
With no Dez Bryant it's Williams' time to shine. However, with Kellen Moore at QB it'll be tough for him to capitalize against a Washington defense that's allowed WR1s to score and top 100 yards in three straight and four of the last five--the only exception being the earlier Cowboys/Redskins tilt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL WAS 004400000 **
Witten is averaging a shade over 30 yards per game with Kellen Moore at the helm, and he still hasn't scored since Week 1. No reason to expect that slump to end here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL WAS 1111 ***
Four treys vs. Redskins
with Cassel at quarterback
You trust Kellen Moore?

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 Sam Bradford 220
QB Mark Sanchez 160
RB Ryan Mathews 60 2-10
RB DeMarco Murray
TE Brent Celek 4-30,1

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 Sam Bradford, PHI @NYG 0000025012 ***
Bradford managed 280 and a touch in the earlier meeting with the Giants, and who knows how things will work sans Chip Kelly this week. Bradford's upside isn't nearly sexy enough to suggest wading through the confusion to start him this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, PHI @NYG 5013200000 *
The good news is that Chip Kelly's departure likely lets Murray out of the doghouse in Philly. The bad news is that no one knows what the running back rotation will look like under an interim play-caller. Murray was solid (22-109-1) in the earlier meeting and scored last week, but he hasn't seen 15 touches in a game since Week 11 and is simply too volatile to trust fully even in a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI @NYG 500000000 **
Chip Kelly's departure throws the Philly backfield into further disarray. The reward is too small to offset the risk with so many backs getting touches, so best avoid the situation--or at least Matthews, coming off a six-touch game--entirely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @NYG 005801000 ***
Matthews has become the closest thing the Eagles have to a WR1, with back-to-back 100-yard games with a touchdown. He played third fiddle with 59 yards in the earlier meeting with the Giants, but he's a much better bet to reprise or improve upon those numbers than either Riley Cooler (3-76-1 against the Giants) or Miles Austin (3-60 in that same game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI @NYG 004500000 ***
There's some upside to the emerging Agholor against a Giants secondary that's given up a touchdown or at least 99 yards to multiple receivers in three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @NYG 006800000 ***
Just as Ertz was living up to lofty preseason expectations with 30 targets, 21 catches, 200 yards and a touchdown the past two games... Chip Kelly gets canned. There's still plenty of fantasy upside against a Giants defense that has given up TE TDs in two straight and six 50-plus yard efforts in the past nine games--but also much more uncertainty.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI @NYG 1122 ***
Multiple field goals
in just one of last seven--
plus no Chip Kelly

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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