Last week was about as disappointing as a football game could be. Atlanta came in hot after 3 straight victories and facing a poor Browns team who had not won a game since Week 4. None of that matters when you show up on Sunday without any effort or intensity. Atlanta was upset in Cleveland in dominating fashion. Somehow Atlanta stands at 4-5 but with plenty of opportunity to sneak into the playoffs. Can they bounce back?
Stop Zeke Elliott
This guy Zeke Elliott has been on a tear this season. Due to his team’s struggles, he has not been talked about enough. Elliot has rushed for 831 yards on 168 carries which is a YPA of 4.95. That statistic is enough to show Elliott has been dominant all year. Atlanta’s run defense will have its hands full with him. If Dan Quinn wants this defense off the field, they are going to need to stuff the run all game. Dallas is a run dominant team and if they are having success this run game will bully Atlanta’s defense all day and into defeat. Stopping Elliott should be the #1 priority on Sunday.
Dallas does take care of the ball very well. Dak Prescott does not like to make many mistakes. He has only 5 interceptions on the season. Zeke Elliott has 3 fumbles on the season but only one was lost. Damontae Kazee has been a ball hawk all year now with 5 interceptions. He will need to make a play to help get this defense off the field. Dallas loves to run the ball and will take a lot of time off the clock in each possession. Atlanta will need to get them off the field to let their offense put some points up. If they cannot stop the run, they will need to force turnovers by making Prescott stretch the field. Forcing long third downs will help greatly.
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Welcoming Back Debo
Dan Quinn has yet to say if Deion Jones will return to action this week. He was taken off the IR recently and has been limited all week in practice. This defense will definitely seen an improvement in leadership and communication, which it has been lacking all season, if Debo is on the field Sunday. We all would love to see Jones on the field and making some big plays; However, Dan Quinn probably plans to ease him back onto the field. This game is a must win, but if Deion Jones is on the field, Atlanta’s playoff hopes are much greater. It will be interesting to see how he impacts this game.
It would be amazing to see this talented roster get back to .500 with a win at home this Sunday, but Dallas will not be a walk over. No team will be a walk over, and I think Quinn and his squad learned that last week. I expect this game to be a mild-mannered shootout as Atlanta should be able to pick a part their weak secondary and Dallas’ run game should see success. There won’t be many stops but if Atlanta can get a turnover or two, they should come out on the victorious side.