Redskins @ Cowboys
Washington heads to Dallas in a battle of two sides sitting at 5-6. A win is vital for their playoff chances.
YPR = Yards Per Rush
YPS = Yards Per Pass
YPPL = Yards Per Play
Washington defeated the Giants last week 20-10. The game was closer than the final score and the Giants only score came on an interception returned for a touchdown. The Redskins averaged 3.9ypr to 3.5ypr for NY and Washington out passed the Giants 5.4yps to 2.8yps. Washington was sacked six times while sacking the Giants four times. Overall, the Redskins out gained the Giants 4.8yppl to 3.1yppl while controlling the clock for about nine more minutes.
Dallas continued their offensive problems with Zeke Elliott and their inability to stop teams without LB Sean Lee. They lost at home to the Chargers 28-6 and didn’t force LA to punt once in the game. Dallas out rushed LA 4.0ypr to 2.5ypr but was out passed 13.2yps to 5.8yps, sacked twice and lost the turnover battle 2-0. They had the ball for about 13 minutes less time than LA and were out gained for the game 7.8yppl to 5.0yppl.
For the season the Redskins are 0.7yps better than average and 0.3yppl better than average on offense. They are average on defense. The Cowboys, for the season, are average on offense and 0.1yppl worse than average on defense. But, since they lost RB Zeke Elliott and for some of the games LT Tyron Smith, they have been 1.5yps worse than average and 0.9yppl worse than average and averaging just seven points per game, having scored 7, 9 and 6 points.
My numbers favor Washington by ½ point (using full season stats for both teams) and Washington by seven points (using only Dallas last three games without Elliott and all of Washington’s games) and project about 43 points. The Redskins qualify in a negative road situation if they remain a road favorite, which is 285-211-10 and plays against Washington here.
It’s hard to believe how badly Dallas has fallen apart without Zeke Elliott. But, truth be told, the loss of LB Sean Lee has added to that and put more pressure on the offense that they can’t deliver on. Dak Prescott is now being asked to be the difference maker on this offense and it doesn’t appear he’s capable of that.
Dallas has scored 7, 9 and 6 points in its last three games. And, the seven points they scored at Atlanta came off a turnover and a very short drive for Dallas of about twenty yards or so. Meanwhile, without LB Sean Lee, Dallas has now allowed 35, 35, 27, 37 and 28 yards. The 27 was the game Lee got hurt late in the first quarter and Atlanta scored the equal of about 32 points for a game based on what they scored in the last three quarters of that game without Lee. On average Dallas is allowing about 33 points without Lee this year. As I said last week for the Chargers game.
With the line in this game similar, it’s hard to get excited about Dallas here when it doesn’t appear they can score more than ten points or so and will allow somewhere around 30 points. With all that said, this will be the worse team Dallas has faced during this stretch as Atlanta, Philadelphia and the Chargers are all better teams than Washington. Also, the other two games Lee missed were against Green Bay with Rodgers at quarterback and the Rams so again this is the worse team they have faced.
Washington tends to play higher scoring games in general but especially on the road. Since Kirk Cousins became their starting quarterback at the beginning of 2015, they have now gone over the total in 14 of 20 games with a 14-5-1 number to the over. They’ve allowed at least 20 points in 18 of those 20 games. But, can Dallas actually score more than they have scored the last three weeks? These two have totalled 57 points in each of the last two games played here with Cousins at quarterback.
The Redskins have their own set of injury issues which makes it hard to get behind them as well. But, until I see something more from Dallas without their two key players, I have to lean to the road team.
WASHINGTON 26 DALLAS 17