This week’s Monday night matchup features the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Arizona Cardinals. The Cowboys are looking for a bounce back game after their lackluster effort in Denver last week, a 42-17 loss where they struggled in all facets. The Cardinals and quarterback Carson Palmer, who threw for 332 yards and a TD last week, are looking to build on their overtime victory where they defeated the Andrew Luck-less Colts team. We look to Remarkable! to break down this Monday night battle.
Last week, Dak Prescott had problems dealing with the pressure of the Broncos defense. He has completed just 37.4 percent of passes when under pressure since the start of last season, fifth worst among qualified QBs. Arizona only allowed a completion rate of just 38.0 percent when the opposing QB was under pressure last season, fourth best.
Ezekiel Elliott had a rough Week 2 where he only rushed for eight yards on nine carries. His matchup doesn’t look much easier as the Cardinals defense has allowed just 72.3 Rushing Yards per game (289/4) since week 16 of last season, second lowest.
Dez Bryant, who was one of the lone stars for the Cowboys last week with seven receptions and a TD, might be in for a big night with a favorable matchup against Arizona:
- Bryant has 748 receiving yards since Week 8 of last season (NFL Rank: 16th among WRs). Arizona’s defense allowed 3,277 receiving yards to WRs last season (NFL Rank: fourth most).
- He has averaged 19.7 Yards per Reception (295 yards/15 catches) against the blitz since the start of the 2016 season (NFL Rank: second best of 39 Qualified WRs; League Avg: 13.9). The Cardinals defense has allowed 1,098 Passing Yards when blitzing since Week 8 of last season, most in the NFL.
- Dez Bryant has caught six touchdown receptions on plays in the Red Zone since the start of the 2016 season (NFL Rank: tied for seventh most among WRs). The Cardinals defense allowed a Completion Pct of 61.1 (33 completions/54 attempts) on plays in the Red Zone last season (NFL Rank: fifth worst; League Avg: 55.5 percent)
While Dez Bryant might be in for a big day, the Cowboys defense could struggle.
After Trevor Siemian obliterated the Cowboys last week, Carson Palmer would like to turn in a similar performance. One area he can really take advantage is the Red Zone, where Palmer has thrown for 14 touchdowns since Week 8 of last season, eighth among QBs. Dallas allowed 25 passing touchdowns in the Red Zone last season, fifth most in the NFL.
While staying on the theme of the Cowboys’ Red Zone struggles, Dallas has problems with TEs, allowing nine receiving touchdowns to them in the Red Zone last season, fourth most. Cardinals TE Jermaine Gresham would like to capitalize as he has only been targeted 3 times in the Red Zone since Week 16 of last season, 16th among TEs.
The Cardinals could be without deep threat J.J. Nelson (listed as questionable) who had five catches for 120 yards and a TD last week. He is averaging 18.8 Yards per Reception (488 yards/26 catches) since Week 12 of last season, best in the NFL.
Here are some other Remarkable! notes to keep an eye on for this Monday Night matchup:
- Arizona Cardinals WRs have averaged 1.7 yards after the catch (64 YAC / 37 receptions) with 4-6 yards to go since the start of the 2016 season (NFL Rank: worst; League Avg: 3.9). Dallas defense allowed just 3.7 YAC to WRs last season (NFL Rank: sixth fewest of 32).
- Larry Fitzgerald was targeted 32 times in close and late situations* last season (NFL Rank: tied for sixth most among WRs) His likely matchup, Orlando Scandrick, allowed 13 completions in close and late situations last season (NFL Rank: tied for 11th most among DBs)
- Dak Prescott has thrown for 755 passing yards in four games (just 188.8 YPG) since week 16 of last season (NFL Rank: 24th). Arizona, allowed just 235.9 passing yards per game last season, sixth least.
- Cole Beasley averaged 5.9 yards after the catch ranking fourth among WRs since Week 12 of last season. Arizona allowed 5.1 YAC to WRs last season, most in the NFL.
*Close and late situation: A lead of <=16 pts during the 4th quarter with over five minutes to play or a lead of <= 8 pts with under five minutes left.
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