Falcons vs. Cowboys Week 2 Pick
Atlanta Falcons (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday September 20th, 2020. 1:00PM (EST)
Where:AT&T Stadium Arlington, T.X.
Point Spread:ATL +5/DAL -5
Over/Under Total: 52
The debut of Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy was met with mixed emotions after the Cowboys fell to the Rams 20-17 in front of a Sunday Night Football audience. The Cowboys had missed opportunities on special teams, questionable failed 4th down attempts deep inside opponents’ territory, and perplexing play-call for the majority of the night. Despite the issues, the Cowboys still had a chance to win in the closing minutes, but a controversial offensive pass-interference call ultimately closed the door. This week the Cowboys look to put the opening week issues behind them in a prime bounce-back opportunity when they host the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium.
Aside from the questionable performance, the Cowboys suffered a number of tough losses last Sunday. Rising TE Blake Jarwin went down for the season with an ACL injury, and prized LB Leighton Vander-Esch went down with a broken collarbone that will likely keep him out of action for 6-8 weeks. Both Jarwin and Vander-Esch had prominent roles on both sides of the ball and will make things more difficult for the Cowboys moving forward. Despite the concerns, the Cowboys still have a ton of talent, which was evident in last Sunday’s game against the Rams. The offense is loaded with talent, and the Cowboys have a threatening pass rush that is going to causee problems against the Falcons this Sunday.
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Falcons defense continues to disappoint
Matt Ryan had a monstrous game against the Seahawks last week, which surely excited his fantasy owners. Ryan threw for 450 yards passing with two touchdowns and one pick, which was the 2nd highest yardage total of his career. Unfortunately, Ryan will have to post huge numbers this season to keep Atlanta competitive because the Falcons defense is completely horrible. After ranking in the bottom half of the league in 2019, the Falcons defense was torched by Russell Wilson last week who threw for 322 yards with four touchdowns and made it look easy.
The Falcons defense failed to cover running back Chris Carson, who accounted for two touchdowns in the passing game. Meanwhile, receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were both just a few yards shy of the triple-digit mark in receiving. While the numbers may not seem too bad, trust me when I say it was embarrassing for Atlanta’s defense. The Seahawks are typically a rushing centric offense, but there was absolutely no reason to pass. Wilson hit 31 of 35 passes in the afternoon, and they were largely uncontested. In fact, according to Next Gen Stats, not a single one of Wilson’s 35 passing attempts were thrown into a tight window of less than 1-yard separation, meaning receivers were running free all afternoon.
Cowboys loaded with weapons on offense
Despite how you view last week’s opener for the Cowboys, nobody can deny the weapons that are stacked on the offensive side of the football. Running back Ezekiel Elliott looked great, racking up 96 rushing yards on 22 attempts and catching for three passes for 31 yards with two combined touchdowns. Rookie WR CeeDee Lamb showed that he is worthy of the hype after a solid debut and WR Amari Cooper maintained his role as the go-to target with ten catches for 81 yards. Quarterback Dak Prescott is coming off the biggest year of his career after throwing for nearly 5,000 yards with 30 touchdowns in 2019.
If you look at the Cowboys receiving group with Cooper, Lamb, and Michael Gallup, the Cowboys are going to present significant problems for defenses this season. If you look at Atlanta’s struggles last week where they failed to challenge the Seahawks receivers, this is an area where Dallas can excel, especially if McCarthy opens up the playbook as most would expect in week 2. Additionally, Elliott is in another prime spot to deliver a big performance, which will keep Atlanta’s defense on their heels. This is the perfect match-up for Dallas, and now all they have to do is execute.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Dallas -5. Be sure to check out my weekly NCAA football picks too!
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