TNF; Cowboys @ Ravens #DallasCowboys #RavensFlock

Are there any unbeaten teams left this season? I know that there was one team who’d won all their games this year, and they were playing an NFC East team last night, so I’d imagine they’re still unbeaten, especially is the NFC East team lost their man running back right at the start of the game. I don’t see any way they’d lose a game against a Peyton Barber fronted rushing attack. They have the best defense in the league. Surely that wouldn’t happen. I mean, Big Ben should be considered for MVP, Claypool an OROY contender. SURELY they must have won.

Well, at least their fans won’t have to cry about being called the worst unbeaten team in history any more, or bitch about them being ranked #2 in most power rankings. My worry here is that it could give them a kick up the arse once they’re back playing on a regular schedule after this Ravens game fucked things up for them. The loss was over-due and if it wasn’t for them leading the league in drops they would have easily won.

In fairness, this defeat was coming, they’ve got no run game, their pass catchers aren’t catching, and the disruption to their schedule must have had a negative effect on their performances, additionally the Ravens and Washington are both very good defenses. They were also remarkably unaffected by injuries up until last week where they lost Bud Dupree for the season, they picked up a couple of knocks last night too. They’ve got the Bills, Colts and Browns left (and a rest week where they face the Bengals) – They’ll need to bounce-back or there’s a slight chance the fucking Browns could win the division. Things happy quickly in this game.

Hey. I’m a Bengals fan. We have literally nothing to look forward to for the rest of the year.

Oh, the Bills won too, should be a great game seeing those two teams take each other on next weekend.

Dallas Cowboys +9.5 @ Baltimore Ravens: 45.5

Thursday night football is finally here! On a Tuesday night. They’ve kept the same game-time so it’s a 1:05am Kick off for us here in the UK. – This game was originally scheduled for last Thursday, but the Ravens outbreak delayed the Steelers game and they have to re-arrange, so it’s been 12 days since the Cowboys played, a week since the Ravens took the field.

Cowboys

I was going to dig into this a little, but honestly I don’t have much of an opinion on the Cowboys, on paper they should still be competitive, they’re just not. The offensive line took another couple of hits at the start of their last game leaving them horribly under-manned in that area, and Andy Dalton isn’t able to overcome that despite him being an average QB, and frankly having no OL is something he should be used to.

The OL issues have meant that Zeke hasn’t been great this year, but even on a down year he’s 5th in attempts, 10th in yards, has 7 total TDs on the season, not bad stats really but the eye-test hasn’t been impressive on him and 3.9 yards per tote is 40th in the league. He should still lead the backfield but there does seem to have been more Tony Pollard in recent weeks and that’s something to look for.

The offensive issues have hurt their passing game as well, Michael Gallup has been supplanted and done nothing all year, Amari Cooper has had big games and CeeDee Lamb has made some remarkable catches, but the team can’t sustain drives. Dalton Schultz has been targeted frequently recently as well. I’d expected Cooper to get 6+ receptions, Lamb 4 or 5, Gallup around the same and 4 or 5 for Schultz as well.

Defensively they’ve been atrocious, but have improved recently. Being 31st vs. the run isn’t great against the Ravens.

Ravens

Ok, COVID list… Mark Andrews is OUT, Willie Snead is OUT, Matt Judon is OUT… I think that’s the main bit of news? The running backs return, Dobbins and Ingram will be active. Calais Campbell might be back after injury.

Lamar Jackson returns after his week off, they activated him yesterday, as above, the running game should be good against this Dallas run D, so you’d imagine he’ll be that will be the game-plan. God knows the passing game to anyone other than tight ends has been dismal this year. He’s got one game without a TD pass (ironically a win vs. the Colts) 4 games with 1 TD pass, 4 with 2 TD passes, and just one with more than 2 all season, QBR has him ranked 22nd, he used to be able to do it with his legs, but just the three TDs for him there, although he’s over 45 yards in all but 1 game.

So Ingram and Dobbins should be back to fuck up any value Gus Edwards had, and they might keep Justice Hill involved after he performed pretty well in relief last week. It would make sense that Dobbins gets the majority of the work, he’s looked the better back for the last few weeks, but I’ve no idea who’s going to lead the group. Dobbins line is 59.5, Ingram is tempting at 15.5 to be honest. Gus in the middle at 36.5. So the books definitely think it’s Dobbins job. The full back Patrick Ricard returns as well, he’s a big price and nearly found the endzone last time he played.

They’ve no tight ends left. Boyle is done for the year, Andrews is out with the ‘rona. So they’re down to Luke Willllllllllson, the many with too many L’s should have had a TD last week, but ended with no catches from his two targets. Marquise Brown moaned about not getting the ball then dropped everything, but he caught 4 from RG3 last week including a 70 score. The speed has always been there he’s just been horribly unreliable. Devin Duvernay is their Deebo-type player who they use in a variety of ways, Dez has a few catches since his return to the league and that’s about it.

Defensively they’re very good, and should be able to get pressure on Dalton with their deficiencies on offensive line.

Summary

Honestly, I’m not sure why I bothered with this one, I think it was more just to have a dig at the Steelers than to preview the game tonight.

This line was 7.5 on Sunday, so it looks like money has come for the Ravens. I don’t think I’d take them at 9.5 so would have to lean to the Cowboys covering. I’ve been terrible at judging the Cowboys this year though. Every week I think they’re capable of doing something and every week they fail. They’ve covered a league-low 2 games against the spread. Mike McCarthy is shit.

Pollard at 11/2 isn’t bad, can’t argue with JK at 19/10. Justice Hill is a random punt, I just think he played well against the Steelers and might have impressed. Unfortunately he plays basically the same role as Dobbins.

Good luck if you’re on anything.

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