What We Saw: Week 12

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Week 12

Giants @ Cowboys

Final Score: Cowboys 28, Giants 20

Writer: Michael James (@MikeoftheFF on Twitter)


First, let’s set the scene for today with Jaylon Smith from the top rope:


Happy Thanksgiving everyone, hope the meals were filling and the family drama was minimal.  With both teams at 7-3 entering this game, who is taking sole possession of second place in the NFC East?  The broadcast is highlighting the Madden memorials and we are about to kick off a Thanksgiving tradition as the Cowboys host a holiday game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington TX this Thursday afternoon.  The Giants take the kick-off touchback 3 plays up to midfield before failing to convert a third and long and punting it away to Dallas.  The Cowboys take the ball up to midfield facing a fourth and short and decided to go for it before getting stuffed to turn the ball over on downs. The Giants take the ball into the red zone before a Dorance Armstrong sack, a touchdown throw to Isaiah Hodgins nullified by a penalty, and an intentional grounding pushes the Giants to a 4th and 32 bringing out Graham Gano to get the Giants on the board for three points.  Coach Daboll is about to explode on the sideline.

Dallas would go to a no-huddle which started to gain momentum but might have caused a bit of confusion when Rodarius Williams cut a route and intercepted the ball, taking advantage of a misunderstanding between quarterback and receiver.  The Giants go three and out to give the ball back to the Cowboys.  Starting deep in their own territory due to penalty, Dallas begins their march with 4 out of the first 5 plays being handoffs to Tony Pollard.  After crossing midfield, the Cowboys shake it up by running the option with Dak Prescott tossing it to Ezekiel Elliott who takes it up the sideline for 22 yards.  Follow this up with a 25-yard pass dropped straight into the hands of CeeDee Lamb and you set up a first and goal for Elliott to take it in for the Cowboys to get on the board for 7 points.



The Giants move the chains slowly, taking six plays to cross mid-field and then Daniel Jones unloads a 44-yard bomb to Darius Slayton who brings his second deep ball target of the day down on the 1-yard line.  Afterward, Saquon Barkley punches it in to get the Giants to take the lead.  After trading punts, the Cowboys would be on the move with a dig route over the middle of the field for a 25-yard pass to Michael Gallup.  Marching into New York territory, Prescott throws a hurried throw to Lamb that was off target, tipped, and brought down by Julian Love for the interception.  The Giants would put up a solid 2-minute drill to get the ball into Gano’s range to get the Giants 3 more points as the first half expires.



Coming out of the half, Dallas runs five run plays in a row gaining 38 rushing yards to get them to midfield.  A 14-yard pass to Lamb converting a third and long would get them into the red zone where Prescott would find Dalton Schultz in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass.  The Giants’ ensuing drive would end after a sack by Micah Parsons would lead to a 4th and 1 only for Barkley to drop an off-target pass behind him and turn it over on downs.  Dallas would take the ball and scramble out to find Lamb downfield at the 5-yard line being held, but that wouldn’t stop him from using the other hand to make a spectacular one-handed catch.  This set up Prescott to once again find Schultz running horizontally to reach over the goal line for his second touchdown of the day to put the Cowboys up by 8.



Dallas takes the next ensuing New York punt and drives to midfield where on 2nd and 9 Prescott finds a wide-open Jake Ferguson for a catch-and-run for 30 yards upfield, including a huge hurdle over a diving tackler to make the highlight reel.  Lamb takes two 3rd down conversions to get the Cowboys down inside the red zone.  They set up a fade over the back of the end zone for Lamb who makes yet another one-handed circus catch, however, he only got one foot in bounds.  This seemed to anger offensive coordinator Moore, who took out all the receivers and put in a 4 tight end package to get the ball to Peyton Hendershot for a jet sweep into the end zone for all 4 tight ends to get in on The Salvation Army’s big red kettle to play whack-a-mole for the celebration.



The Giants would get their next drive brought to a screeching halt by another Parsons sack.  Dallas would lean into the run game to wind down the clock, picking up a Brett Maher field goal and the Giants would push for a Richie James touchdown at the very end, ensuring they covered at the last minute upsetting or saving many people who thought they had bet the line (in)correctly.  The ensuing onside kick would not go New York’s way and the game would end with Dallas taking second place in the NFC East.



Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at QBList!


New York Giants




Daniel Jones: 21/35, 228 Yards, TD | 3 Carries, 14 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


We were already preparing ourselves for a rough day at the office for Daniel Jones just from facing the Dallas pass rush alone.  Now to go up against them with three starters on your offensive line ruled out?  Not good when you’re facing a team that has three players in the top 30 in sacks on the season leaderboard in the NFL.  The result was another multi-sack game for  Micah Parsons.  Jones would be sacked three times and hit as he threw another seven.  He was getting hurried out seemingly on just about every other play, which lead to inaccurate throws, one of which was picked but fortunately had a penalty unrelated to the play bail them out and another one almost picked on a rushed heave downfield.  The Giants were only 3 for 11 on third down conversions today without his top two wide receivers and starting tight end.  He was spied on effectively, limiting his rushing ability which is where he makes his fantasy gains for your team.



Running Back


Saquon Barkley: 11 Carries, 39 Yards, TD | 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 13 Yards

Gary Brightwell: 5 Carries, 31 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 18 Yards

Matt Breida: 2 Carries, 6 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards


Dallas hedged their bets against Saquon Barkley to great effect, limiting the league’s number two running back to 52 total yards.  With the idea to shift the linebackers in to help with the run relying on quarterback pressures to help against the pass, there wasn’t a lot of room for Barkley to work with today.  He would only get 3 carries in the entire second half, with equal rotations between all three backs in the final two drives when the Giants would shift to pass mode to catch back up in the score.  Ultimately only converting 3 of 11 third downs doesn’t lead to much rushing work.  For dynasty teams with room on their bench, Gary Brightwell looked explosive with his 6.2 yards per carry and reminded me of Pollard in his rookie year.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Darius Slayton: 6 Targets, 3 Receptions, 63 Yards

Richie James: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 41 Yards, TD

Isaiah Hodgins: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 31 Yards

Chris Myarick: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 23 Yards

Lawrence Cager: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 20 Yards

Tanner Hudson: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 10 Yards


With Wan’Dale Robinson ruled out for the year, it was time for Darius Slayton to step up and he did just that in the first half.  He brought in a 44-yard bomb to set the Giants up for their first touchdown of the game.  Before that, he also had a deep ball with his man beat but he tripped up and failed to get to the ball in time.  Isaiah Hodgins had a first-quarter touchdown taken away by a penalty and would remain off the stat sheet until the second half.  Richie James also saw 4 of his 5 receptions come in the second half, including a touchdown pass at the very end of the game.  The Giants are severely depleted on both sides of the ball and this receiver corps is no exception.  But with Jones’ inaccuracies under pressure, this group will struggle until they can get some more players healthy again.



Dallas Cowboys




Dak Prescott: 21/30, 261 Yards, 2 TD, 2 INT | 2 Carries, 4 Yards, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


The Giants brought a lot of cover-zero blitzes to get to Dak Prescott today.  The positive news for the Cowboys is that none of them resulted in a sack, but the negative is that he got hit throwing the ball nine times today, three of them from Kayvon Thibodeaux alone.  This led to a turbulent first half with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.  They thought they could strike with a no-huddle offense to jump on top quickly, but you could tell it led to some miscommunication and other missteps as one of the interceptions came on a route run where Prescott thought his receiver would be somewhere different, allowing the defender to get the ball.  The other one was an underthrown pass that fell behind his man downfield allowing it to get tipped into the defender’s hands.  The halftime adjustments worked, however, allowing him to go 11 for 14 and two touchdowns to overcome the Giants’ lead.  It also helps when both starting cornerbacks for New York were out.  The Cowboys really worked against themselves this game with 13 penalties on the day.



Running Back


Ezekiel Elliott: 16 Carries, 92 Yards, TD | 1 Target, 1 Reception, 3 Yards

Tony Pollard: 18 Carries, 60 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 1 Yard


They highlighted the Giants being one of the strongest interior defensive line matchups for run games this season.  It showed as there were a lot more runs stuffed than yards gained and overall the Giants had 6 tackles for a loss on the day.  But bouncing to the outside including an option to Ezekiel Elliott is where a lot of work would be found for him and Tony Pollard.  Pollard out-carried Elliott all game long, but Zeke was the one who got the goal line work getting a touchdown on the day.  A combined 34 carries for the duo for 152 yards on the ground would let the Cowboys control the flow of the game in the second half.  Neither back got a lot of work in the passing game, but something of note is that Pollard had very good blitz protection this game, a big improvement from the beginning of the season.



Wide Receiver/Tight End


CeeDee Lamb: 11 Targets, 6 Receptions, 106 Yards | 2 Carries, 11 Yards

Michael Gallup: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 63 Yards

Dalton Schultz: 4 Targets, 4 Receptions, 31 Yards, 2 TD

Jake Ferguson: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 57 Yards

Peyton Hendershot: 1 Carry, 2 Yards, TD


This is the second time in three games CeeDee Lamb has gone over 100 yards.  The game opened up for the Cowboys going to him three times in a row for their first three plays of the game.  They threw deep to Lamb six times in this game, and two of them drew interference calls.  More impressive was going 2 out of 4 for one-handed catches on the day (including one in the end zone where he failed to get his second foot in bounds), either trying to impress OBJ or just getting mugged and not being allowed to use his second hand.  Either way, Olsen commented that he was puzzled why the Giants kept using their nickel corner to cover Lamb as it had not been working all game long.  Perhaps it had to do with the fact the Giants were down their two starting cornerbacks already out to start the game.

The star of the first half, though, was Michael Gallup, who after slipping up on the first interception, played angrily, making impressive catches that were well beyond his body, getting his entire stat line for the game in the first half.  His only target in the second half would be an incomplete deep ball toward the goal line.  Taking the most advantage of the man coverage from a depleted secondary were the tight end groups headlined by Dalton Schultz who had two end zone targets and brought them both in for touchdowns this game.  While Jake Ferguson didn’t get into the end zone himself, he did have a circus hurdle to pick up a massive 30-yard gain on a short catch and run on the outside.  While Peyton Hendershot was never targeted in the passing game, he did have his number called on a jet sweep in a four tight end package that he took around the corner to get into the end zone, setting up one of my favorite touchdown celebrations of the year playing whack-a-mole with the other three tight ends on the play.

Now to scroll Twitter to see if there are any updates on a certain free agent wide receiver…


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