Thursday Recap Washington vs Dallas
Thursday Reaction Week 12
Dallas and Washington
This game had it all, an interception for a touchdown, a fumble, failed fake punt, and failed fourth an inches and that was all Dallas. The Cowboys came into this game with third string left and right tackles. What was once one of the best offensive lines had dwindled down quickly because of injury to one of the worst. That’s not good for a QB like Andy Dalton who has proven over the years, he needs a clean pocket to work with, it’s also not good for running back Ezekiel Elliot who has struggled all season to be his elite self. Dalton attempted 35 throws for 215 yards and 1 touchdown and 1 INT (Montez Sweat pick 6). Dalton was hit 7 time and sacked 6 times on top of everything else. He did have a good connection with Amari Cooper, who caught 6 passes for 112 yards including a 54 yard TD. The rest of the receivers came up short, Michael Gallup caught 6 for 41 and CeeDee Lamb caught 5 for 21. Tight End Dalton Schultz also let you down with 5 receptions for 24 yards. I don’t see how you can trust any of these wide receivers because they are all going to be hit or miss. Ezekiel Elliott came up small, only getting in 10 carries for 32 yards, and a lost fumble which led to a Washington Field Goal.
It wasn’t all the offenses fault, part of the blame goes on play calling and defense. The Cowboys went for it on 4th and inches and instead of handing the ball to Zeke, they threw an incomplete pass, Washington ball on the Dallas 34 yard line. They also tried a fake punt on their own 24 yard line and the pass came up shirt, giving Washington the ball back. Defensively, Dallas could not stop Washington in the Red Zone, giving up two TDs and Field Goal. It’s not all doom and gloom, the 3-8 Cowboys can still win the worse division in the league, if they can beat Philadelphia and New York.
Washington on the other hand, won on the strength of their defense, a strong running game and a game manager quarterback. The 36 year old QB Alex Smith continues his miraculous comeback and did what he needed to do, “don’t be the reason we lose the game.” He went 19 for 26 for 149 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He threw the ball 9 times to his stud wide receiver Terry McLaurin who caught 7 of those 9 for 92 yards as the only standout wide receiver for the Washington team. Logan Thomas has become a trustworthy tight end, collecting 4 receptions for 20 yards and a touchdown, he also threw a pass for 28 yards and ran the ball once for 3 yards. The star of this game besides the defense, was rookie running back Antonio Gibson. When the Washington team drafted him, head coach Ron Rivera referred to him as similar to Christian McCaffrey. This team has taken it slow with him and eased him into the 3 down back role and he has finally taken over. This game he had 20 carries for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 5 receptions and 21 yards. I think he has passed up all the other running backs on this team. This team has overcome all the off-season turmoil, changed its name and benched it’s quarterback and now at 4-7 finds itself in first place in the terrible NFC East. I don’t know if they can finish in first but a 6-9 win season is an improvement over last season and something they can hang there hat on moving forward.
Antonio Gibson: 20 carries 115 yards 3 TDs; 5 receptions 21 yards. Clearly the 3 down back, and leading rusher on this team.
Terry McLaurin: 7 receptions and 92 yards. Dependable every week for 15 PPR fantasy points
Amari Cooper: 6 receptions 112 yards and 1 TD. This week Cooper was the stud, next week it could be Lamb, or Gallup. I don’t think we will be able to figure out week to week who to trust going into your fantasy playoffs.
Alex Smith: 19/26 149 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. Game manager numbers, he won’t be any more than a QB2 or streaming option.
Andy Dalton: 25/35 215 yards 1 TD 1 INT. See notes above for Alex Smith. Game manger.
J.D. McKissic: 1 carry 6 yards, 2 receptions 21 yards. Seems he lost his appeal to be a starter.
Ezekiel Elliott: 10 carries 32 yards. I don’t think you can bench him unless you have something better but I don’t think it’s going to work out this season.
Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz: 16 receptions for 86 yards and no TDs combined. I don’t think any of these guys can be relied on week to week.