Cowboys @ Chargers
Final Score: Cowboys 20, Chargers 17
Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)
The Dallas Cowboys went to Southern California to play the LA Chargers. A much-anticipated matchup of young quarterbacks had us excited for this game. Michael Gallup was the only fantasy-relevant player to not be on the field. Overall, this game disappointed in many ways because we all were expecting a shootout and instead got a defensive struggle. Dak Prescott didn’t look like his Week 1 version, and Justin Herbert continues to play at a high level but is having lapses in judgment that are costing his team points. This game came down to the wire with the Cowboys pulling it off with a last-minute field goal. The game result was Dallas Cowboys 20, LA Chargers 17.
Dak Prescott: 23/27, 237 yards, INT
Victory Mood 🙌 #DALvsLAC
RT if you’re celebrating the #DallasCowboys win like @dak! pic.twitter.com/ibelZt5pUU
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 19, 2021
Dak Prescott didn’t play his best ball on Sunday vs the Chargers. The offense played a very balanced game throughout, throwing the ball 27 times while running it 31 times. During his first two drives, Dak had a 20-yard pass to Blake Jarwin which led to a Tony Pollard TD run. On the next drive, Prescott connected with CeeDee Lamb for 17 yards before underthrowing Amari Cooper and getting intercepted by Asante Samuel Jr.
On the next drive, Prescott went 3 for 3 with 35 yards, helping the Cowboys set up an Ezekiel Elliot five-yard TD. Prescott’s next drive ended in a turnover on downs when he once again underthrew a pass to Cooper. The 1st half was ended with a 34-yard catch and run to Lamb that got lateraled to Elliot for 14 yards. This attempt fell short of a TD but was a lot of fun to watch.
Prescott was relatively ineffective in the 2nd half, only having a handful of plays, such as a 12 yard check down to Tony Pollard. There was also a 12 yarder to Amari Cooper, but the second half almost spelled catastrophe for Prescott on a sack-fumble that was recovered by the Cowboys. Prescott was off today after having an elite first game, but he came back to earth today. While we shouldn’t be worried about Prescott moving forward, it was a little reminder that he won’t always go H.A.M.
Tony Pollard: 13 carries, 109 yards, TD | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 31 yards
Ezekiel Elliot: 16 carries, 71 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 26 yards
Ezekiel Elliot started the day as the lead back, but overall had a pretty even share with Tony Pollard. While Zeke started the game off with a 10-yard run, the first drive TD was given to Pollard on a five-yard end-around. Two drives later, Zeke would get his TD on a five-yard run as well. Zeke took a lateral for 14 yards, almost scoring on the last play of the half. He then opened up the second half with a 19 yard run up the middle. Without these two plays and the TD, Zeke has a very pedestrian day.
Pollard was consistently breaking off big chunks of yards with two 16 yard gains, and multiple 20 yards carries. Pollard was also a very effective pass catcher, reeling in passes of 12, 13, and 6 yards. He just looked like the fresher RB out there, and while I don’t think Zeke will be supplanted by Pollard completely, there should be interest going forward in fantasy football for Pollard.
FEED ZEKE! 🍽#DALvsLAC | @EzekielElliott | 📺: Watch on CBS & NFL Network pic.twitter.com/PM62c5i4uV
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 19, 2021
Wide Receiver/Tight End
CeeDee Lamb: 9 targets, 8 receptions, 81 yards
Blake Jarwin: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 37 yards
Amari Cooper: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 24 yards
Cedrick Wilson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards
Dalton Schultz: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards
CeeDee Lamb bringing some pre-halftime excitement, the lateral to Ezekiel Elliot ALMOST working. pic.twitter.com/XBjQbkE2OY
— The GIF Guy (@IHaveFourBalls) September 19, 2021
Ceedee Lamb looked a lot better today, not dropping as many passes and being effective in the short game. Lamb did have catches of 10, 13, and 17 yards in this game. He was also used as RB, gaining 13 yards up the middle, as well as being a part of an exciting halftime finish, where he took a catch and run for 34 yards then lateralled it to Zeke for 14 more yards, before just falling short of a TD.
Amari Cooper, wasn’t effective at all in this game, and on the two targets he couldn’t reel in, Cooper was underthrown. The worst news for Cooper was he got injured on his final catch of the day, it appeared to be a rib injury. Hopefully, he gets better and we get to see him return to form soon.
Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are in their normal roles of splitting the TE snaps. While Jarwin had a nice 20 yard catching in the first half, neither made up for too much production.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert: 31/41, 338 yards, TD, 2 INT | 4 carries, 12 yards
This throw from Justin Herbert is gorgeous.
– Defender over the top.
– Defender underneath.
– Keenan Allen waiting in between.
– Ball drops in perfectlypic.twitter.com/18zEWspDxe
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 19, 2021
Justin Herbert, much like Prescott, had an off day, starting his first drive off with an interception on a poorly read throw to Keenan Allen. Herbert responded two drives later with a 27-yard bomb to Mike Williams, then connected on a 12-yard screen to Williams for a TD. The next drive he continued his success with Williams connecting on two passes for 22 yards, resulting in a missed field goal.
Herbert started the second half with a couple of bombs, one to Williams for 31 yards that got called back. Then, more importantly, a 42-yard dart to Keenan Allen that set up a field goal. On the next drive, Herbert was driving downfield after a 20-yard pass to Austin Ekeler when he threw another interception that crippled a 64-yard drive. Herbert’s last drive saw the Chargers get a TD reversed on an illegal shift penalty. It was topped off by an 18-yard sack that forced them to settle for a field goal.
Austin Ekeler: 9 carries, 54 yards | 9 targets, 9 receptions, 61 yards
Justin Jackson: 4 carries 21 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards
Week 1 Talk: Austin Ekeler won’t be part of the passing game.
Week 2 Ekeler: pic.twitter.com/Uk7DmCyhru
— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) September 19, 2021
Austin Ekeler started that game off with a 20 yard run up the middle. Ekeler was used sparingly in this game, only breaking three big runs that accumulated 45 of his 54 yards. When he was on the field he was effective. Thankfully, Ekeler was more involved in the receiving game this week, catching nine passes. These were often check-down passes with little extra yardage attached to them. Although he did have one 20 yard deep ball in the 3rd quarter, the rest of the catches were around the five to eight-yard range. He appeared to get up slowly after his final catch of the game after taking a big hit. This may be something to monitor for Week 3.
Justin Jackson was the other running back of interest in this game, accumulating 21 yards on 4 carries. The Chargers have been using Ekeler well this season, most likely in the hopes of keeping him on the field for most of 2021. If he can put up games like this all year, he’ll be worth the late first/early second-round pick you spent on him.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Keenan Allen: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 108 yards
Mike Williams: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 91 yards, TD
Jared Cook: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards
Joshua Palmer: 2 targets, 2 reception, 21 yards
Jalen Guyton: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards
Stephen Anderson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards
The EFFORT 🙌
Mike Williams for the Chargers TD. pic.twitter.com/ng7pzpBLv8
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) September 19, 2021
Mike Williams has been a pleasant surprise this year, becoming the deep threat this team has needed him to be. Williams had catches of 27 yards, 14, and a 12-yard screen that went for a TD. He also had a 33-yard catch brought back because of an ineligible player downfield. Williams is poised for a big year, to say the least.
Keenan Allen had three big catches of 22, 30, and 42 yards while missing out on two catches that turned into interceptions. Allen looked good running deeper routes, and it seems like bringing on new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has given Allen a chance to expand his role past being the slot/possession receiver.
Josh Palmer showed he’s an okay option at the third receiver slot, with his 16-yard catch and run. He also caught both his targets for the game. Jared Cook missed out on a fantasy redeeming TD due to an illegal shift penalty.
— Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)
thank you this is great. I just thought I’d let you know there’s a typo in yyour title though?