Inside The Knox Score: Cowboys at Patriots

The first of my 4PM breakdowns with my home-town Patriots. Yes I said it, its my favorite team, but I have picked against them in the spread before so I do use balanced judgement. Remember the Buffalo game? Not gonna say I told you so, but I told you so. This is another great battle as the 4 o’clock docket is stacked with good games. The Cowboys are coming off a bye-week and the Pats are coming off an emotional win vs the Jets. The line opened at -7 for the Patriots and has since moved down to -6. The over/under is at a college=game high number of 55 after opening at 54.

Trends

The Cowboys are 6-0 ATS as road underdogs in their last six games, 4-0 in their last 4 as road underdogs, but 0-5 in their last 5 games in October. The Pats are 5-2 in their last 7 on field-turf, 19-6 ATS in their last 25 when they rush for more than 150 yards the previous week and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games. They also boast a ridiculous 39-18 in their last 57 games as favorites of 3.5 points or more. WOW!!!

Pats Offense vs Cowboys Defense

Tom Brady is on fire again. After the picks against the Bills he has enjoyed the help of a balanced offense as the Law Firm BenJarvus Green-Ellis has had two straight great games. Welker is back to full health and should provide fits for the Dallas defense. The strength for the Pats this week will be seen most when they set-up in their patented two Tight-End offense. This set gives fits to the Cowboys defense as it does most defenses. Dustin Keller in week 1 lit them up as did Pettigrew vs Detroit. The Pats will not be able to establish much of a rush game with Green-Ellis this week in my opinion, but as a group with Ridley and Woodhead they may be able to balance things out a bit helping to open things up for Welker and Hernandez. The Dallas defense boasts the league’s number one rush defense and they also have Mr. Ware pressuring the QB with his 5 sacks on the season. Let’s be honest here folks, not a single team has been able to stop the Pats offense this year, not even the Bills. Logan Mankins will be key to preventing Ware from getting to Brady often.

Cowboys Offense vs Pats Defense

We all know about the Pats 1st ranked pass offense, but the Cowboys are right behind them at 3rd in the league and have Miles Austin, Jason Witten and the immensely talented Dez Bryant.  The only way to disrupt the flow of this offense is to get to Romo. He tends to dip raise his front shoulder a bit when he’s bracing for the pressure. This causes him to be on his back foot and blocks some of his vision downfield. The problem with that strategy is the Pats don’t get to the QB and give up mucho yardage in the air. Bryant and Austin are nightmares for the Pats secondary and I expect them to exploit it greatly. What will stop the Cowboys offense in this game is if Garrett tries to play chess with Bill Belicheck (never a good idea) and stupidly thinks he can play ball-contol by running Felix Jones and keeping us off the field. One Pats defensive player I am excited about this week is Dane Fletcher. getting the start in place of the injured Mayo. Fletcher reminds me of Bruschi, the young version at least. He’s smart, very smart. He has the work ethic and nose for the ball and could make things difficult for Jones on screens and such. I expect him to be spying Jones all day, but not to do too much in coverage of Witten. His strong suit isn’t built for coverage just yet.

Fantasy & Game Prediction

This game has huge offensive numbers written all over it. The Pats haven’t been held under 30 points yet this season and it won’t happen here. Hernandez has the biggest contribution on offense with 2TDS and 110 yards receiving. Welker will get his 10 catches, but mostly short yardage in the 80 yard range. Brady is Brady and will hit the 285 mark easily with 3TDS and no picks this week. Ridley will surprise people out of the backfield and have a big run of plus 25 yards in this one. For the Cowboys, Romo will have stats in the ballpark of 300 yards and 3 TDS, but an INT or two will kill his day. Bryant can’t be covered by this secondary and I’m thinking his speed/size combo with Austin will have them both near the 100 yard mark. Jones will be offset by Fletcher and Wilfork and this will be the difference in the game. The passing stats at game’s end should be near identical, but the Pats have the edge in the running game at home. Belicheck out-coaches and throws in a wrinkle or two that force Romo’s mistakes.

Pick: Pats win 34-30 in an offensive explosion. The total of 54 gets crushed but the Cowboys cover the spread for you bettors out there.

You can follow JB Knox on twitter @theknoxscore

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Comments
One Response to “Inside The Knox Score: Cowboys at Patriots”
  1. IanBlanchard says:

    I like it Jimmy. I have a feeling it could be a rather ugly game for both teams. Volatility to come into play here as both teams have potential to score in bunches, but can have big mistakes. I like the Pats: 35-21, I would also like to see ROMO throw a couple of td’s…he’s my QB.

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