What We Saw: Week 5

Alvin Kamara looked like the Alvin Kamara we all know and love

Giants @ Cowboys

Final Score: Cowboys 44, Giants 20

Writer: Sami Alsado (@samialsado on Twitter)

 

In a game with two teams heading opposite directions, the ascending Cowboys took a step forward while the Giants continued to face attrition on offense yet saw the breakout of their 1st round pick Kadarius Toney. The final score correctly reflects the dominance of the Cowboys in this game, who ran with ease and had numerous downfield targets winning with consistency. After injuries to Daniel Jones (concussion) and Saquon Barkley (ankle), the Giants had to run their B team like it was a preseason game. Naturally, this led the Cowboys to pull away in the second half.

 

New York Giants

 

Quarterbacks

 

Mike Glennon: 16/25, 196 yards, TD, 2 INT | 2 carries, 2 yards

Daniel Jones: 5/13, 98 yards | 3 carries, 9 yards

 

Daniel Jones started the game and struggled to find anyone open downfield. He also seemed to have trouble finding any chemistry with his receivers, starting the game 0/6 passing. Then he found Kadarius Toney on a 38-yard prayer of a heave down the sidelines:

 

 

On the next drive, Jones seemed to find some rhythm, going 4/4 for 60 yards. He his team down to the two-yard line where he unsuccessfully tried to run it in:

 

 

Jones stood up after this play and almost fell down due to his wobbly legs. It was clear Jones suffered a concussion, and he did not return to the game.

Enter Mike Glennon, the journeyman backup QB who may be the most statue stiff QB we’ve had since Joe Flacco started. Glennon was tasked with throwing short passes upon his entry until the Giants opened up the offense a little, deciding to force-feed rookie Kadarius Toney both underneath and downfield. Glennon got picked by Trevon Diggs on a deep ball, fumbled a ball that he recovered then threw a pick-six in the closing moments of the game. Glennon has sufficient arm strength but he is severely lacking in mobility and his entrance into this game is a severe downgrade for the whole Giants offense.

 

Running Backs

 

Devontae Booker: 16 carries, 42 yards, TD | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 16 yards, TD

Saquon Barkley: 2 carries, 9 yards | 1 target

Elijhaa Penny: 1 carry, 4 yards

 

Saquon Barkley started this game – he was looking to carry forward the momentum he picked up last week but got injured early in this one after rolling his ankle.

 

 

Barkley never returned to the game. It was reported he suffered a low ankle sprain is “likely” to miss Week 6.

Devontae Booker took over from here and was as uninspiring as he’s always been. Booker was able to salvage his overall line by jumping over the pile at the goal line for a one-yard TD score but, naturally, Booker is a large downgrade from Saquon for this offense. For fantasy purposes, Booker effectively was treated like a bellcow, playing 89% of the snaps and getting a workman’s 20 touches. However, the lack of surrounding talent, push from his O-Line, and inability to make people miss at a playmaking rate should temper expectations for Booker looking forward.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Kadarius Toney: 13 targets, 10 receptions, 189 yards | 1 carry, 7 yards | 0/1

Evan Engram: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 55 yards

Kyle Rudolph: 1 target, 1 reception, 14 yards

John Ross: 5 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards

C.J. Board: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 7 yards

Kenny Golladay: 3 targets

Collin Johnson: 3 targets

 

Kadarius Toney, welcome to the league! From the calls of a bust after his Week 1 disappearance to his reputation as a malcontent, people were wondering what the Giants drafted in Toney, and here it was. In grand fashion, from breakout to ejection – we saw all that Toney offers.

Toney showed remarkable athletic ability breaking free downfield and quick-twitch athleticism by creating separation on short-yardage throws. Naturally, it needs to be noted that the Giants were facing injuries to all of the top receivers – Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton – which left the door open for Toney to take the reigns. But, he showed out in such a way that it will be difficult for the Giants to not prioritize his involvement in the future.

Given the absurd stat line, let’s hit the film room. First, look at the separation he gets from newly all-world DB Trevon Diggs on this route:

 

 

and again:

 

 

Just as some may have been ready to sing Toney’s praises and announce his arrival on the fantasy scene he showed his trademark immaturity by getting ejected from the game for throwing the punch below:

 

 

Outside of Toney, there isn’t much to report on this group. Evan Engram saw an increased target share once Glennon entered the game, receiving three of his four receptions from the backup which could be something to look out for if Jones remains out. John Ross typically teased his hometown fans with a catch in the back of the end zone where he was unable to get both feet down or more aptly lacked the concentration to prioritize it.

Kenny Golladay exited this game with a knee injury, continuing his unfortunate trend.

 

Dallas Cowboys

 

Quarterbacks

 

Dak Prescott: 22/32, 302 yards, 3 TD, INT | 2 carries, 6 yards

 

Dak Prescott is in MVP form. Buoyed by the ascension of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore who may be the hottest soon-to-be coach on the market, Dak is carving up defenses at a rate we have never seen from him. Candidly, the Cowboys didn’t need Dak to do that much to beat this beleaguered Giants team but Dak delivered. With receivers breaking open consistently all around the field and a continued developing chemistry with Dalton Schultz, Dak made the above stat line look easy. He even drilled a ball into Schultz on a 3rd and 7 from the 12 which should have been another TD if Schultz didn’t muff it.

It is clear from his surrounding cast and command within the offense that Dak is set up to thrive and there was nothing in this game to cool any of the hype he is building. He was a master in control of every aspect of this game, checking to plays when needed, driving the ball downfield when his players were open and gunning it into tight windows when the field shrunk. The one blip on his overall game came from an INT that was tipped at the line of scrimmage which was not Dak’s fault.

Just for a demonstration of the above accolades, look at Dak confidently hitting a five step drop, step up into a perfect pocket and fit this ball in between two defenders:

 

 

Then, this brilliant play action which gave Dak half a field of space to find Zeke for the high stepping TD:

 

 

Running Backs

 

Ezekiel Elliott: 21 carries, 110 yards, TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards, TD

Tony Pollard: 14 carries, 75 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 28 yards

 

What a tandem the Cowboys have here. The continued ascension of Tony Pollard as a real threat in this offense has led some to proclaim him a stronger runner than Zeke in the early season but in truth, it doesn’t matter who is better – both of these backs have the juice. With the strong yet patient running of Zeke, the tactile breakaway speed of Tony Pollard, and an O-Line that gives them enough room that they could legitimately breakdance in the hole if they wanted – these two ran all over the Giants defense.

With both backs averaging over five Yards/Carry there really isn’t much to differentiate their effectiveness, though they are different stylistically. There was one scary moment where Zeke seemed to tweak his back after hitting a piece of equipment on the sidelines but he was able to quickly return and score a TD on the same drive.

There really weren’t any highlights to show here as collectively their longest run was only 17 yards, which really speaks to the consistency with which they ran the ball wherever and whenever they wanted.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

CeeDee Lamb: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 84 yards, TD | 1 carry, 4 yards

Dalton Schultz: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 79 yards

Amari Cooper: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 60 yards, TD

Noah Brown: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards

Cedric Wilson: 1 target, 1 reception, 35 yards | 1 carry, 4 yards | 1/1, 22 yards

 

CeeDee Lamb is a superstar:

 

 

It seems to be a weekly tradition for CeeDee lamb to get this much separation from a defender on a downfield throw. At this point, nobody should be surprised when he breaks off a near 50-yard TD catch as he did above. The Cowboys didn’t need much more from Lamb to beat the Giants so he wasn’t prioritized much in the second half. Interestingly, Lamb lined up next to Dak in the shotgun a few times during this game acting as an RB, even getting one carry he took for yards.

Amari Cooper had a relatively quiet day but salvaged his line with a 24 yard TD pass you can see the clip of in Dak’s breakdown above. Cooper’s three-catch total in this game had more to do with the blowout scoreline than anything specific to his play. He will certainly have bigger days looking forward.

Dalton Schultz is quickly making a name for himself in the wasteland of TEs in the fantasy landscape. Dak clearly has a growing affinity for Schultz on short-intermediate throws over the middle. Schultz kept the chains moving a number of times in this game and could have even had a 12 yard TD added to the above stat line if he were able to hang onto a ball that Dak rifled in to him. Despite the drop, Dak continued to look his way. This was a very encouraging game for Schultz increased involvement in the O.

 

Sami Alsado (@samialsado on Twitter)

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