Ezekiel Elliott finishes with less than 80 yards rushing
The number of people talking about how Ezekiel Elliott is going to light up the Falcons for 150+ yards is staggering, but can you really blame them after how both these teams performed this past weekend?
The Falcons laid an egg in one of their most important games of the season. Their tackling woes showed up again in a major way and they let a rookie running back rack up over 200 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Cowboys shocked the world by steamrolling the defending Super Bowl champions in their own building. Dallas made Philadelphia’s normally dominant defensive line look suspect, and Elliott had a field day, carrying the ball 19 times for 151 yards and a score.
Chubb may have had a career day against Atlanta, but a large part of his 176 rushing yards came on a 92-yard touchdown run. Either way you put it, the Falcons were poor against the run. However, contrary to popular belief, that has not been the case when Grady Jarrett is in the ball game. Jarrett is a run-stopping machine, the Falcons could be getting their Pro-Bowl middle linebacker back, and the Cowboys have not shown a willingness to stick with Zeke over the course of the season. The Falcons defense commits to stopping the run, and Elliott never really gets going.
Dak Prescott throws for 300 yards
Yea, you read that right. It is happening. Maybe the least explosive quarterback in the NFL is going to light up the Falcons secondary for 300 yards. Let’s be honest, both Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant look like shells of themselves in 2018. As a result, quarterbacks have absolutely feasted on Atlanta. Check out this stat from Field Yates:
Aside from Nick Foles back in Week 1, every QB that has faced the Falcons this season has thrown for at least 300 yards or three passing TD. Dak Prescott up next.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 12, 2018
News flash: Not everyone the Falcons have faced since week one has been Drew Brees, either. Even in their two best defensive performances, the Falcons managed to allow 300 yards to both Eli Manning and Alex Smith. Dak Prescott hasn’t thrown for 300 yards in almost two years. The last time he did it was on November 20th, 2016 against the Baltimore Ravens. However, I fully believe he can eclipse that number on Sunday. The only thing that might be able to prevent that from happening is the return of Pro-Bowl linebacker Deion Jones.
Bruce Irvin plays a major role in the win
A little two for one special to end it; not only will the Falcons come up with a much-needed victory, but Bruce Irvin will also be a key reason why. The newly acquired pass rushing specialist played limited snaps in his first game with Atlanta. Considering how poor the Falcons pass rush was against the Browns, it’s a safe bet he will get quite a bit more action this weekend. Dan Quinn knows they have to start generating pressure more consistently, especially with all the injuries they have suffered in the secondary. Irvin was brought into to do just that. He comes back to his hometown for the first time wearing the red and black. I have a feeling the homecoming will be a memorable one.
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