America's Team vs. America's Originals - Color Rush Edition
The Thursday Night Football mastery by the boys of ProMathletics took a little bit of a blemish last week with a tough Turkey Day showing, but we are still sitting on a pile of #Units and going to pillage the books for quite a few more before this season is over. Tonight in the Big D we have the classic divisional rivals matchup of the Cowboys and Redskins. Both of these teams come into the game at 5-6 and need to secure a victory if they want any chance at catching a wild card berth. Neither squad appears to be packing it in thus far, but that doesn't mean we know what the hell to expect from them.
There will be plenty of noise from the "we dem boyz" fans at Jerry World, but there is also plenty of noise in the data for these two. The Cowboys are quite notably still without Sean Lee (makes the defense tick) and Zeke Elliot who appears to be more and more valuable each passing week they look like shit without him. Additionally, they have had limited practice by the three key offensive line positions of LT, C, and RT (Smith, Martin and Collins) all week. It appears all three of those guys are going to start, but who knows at what percentage of health they are operating or even if they'll be able to finish the game. The Redskins have been banged up all over the roster for multiple weeks and will definitely be without their starting center, which is always a shaky proposition. Fortunately for Washington, they will be returning all-pro LT, Trent Williams, giving them a shot in the arm on that left side.
Our models have the Cowboys as a GreenZone play, but there is definitely concern regarding the true bottom of how bad this team can be without Zeke and a healthy o-line. Some of that poor performance is getting baked into the cake, but we still aren't certain we have a good read on the Cowboys at this point in time. If the big-3 of that O-line were all 100% and had practiced all week, we'd probably be confident jamming it, but instead we are making it a YellowZone play for the Cowboys +1.5. We have the Redskins as a slightly better squad, but taking into account home field advantage we still see the Cowboys coming out with the win tonight. One important thing to keep an eye on early is how well Dallas can run the ball on this Washington D. If Dallas can establish the run game early, they should be able to create bigger plays in the play-action pass game and stay on schedule. Dak has shown that he needs a good run game in order to operate efficiently. The models say that the Boys should be able to handle the Skins up front, so if those guys are healthy, we should all be collecting!