What We Saw: Week 9

James Conner can still be relied upon as an RB1 when needed

Broncos @ Cowboys

Final Score: Broncos 30, Cowboys 16

Writer: James Schiano (@JeterHadNoRange on Twitter)


The Broncos fully and thoroughly dominated the Cowboys in one of the biggest upsets of the season thus far. Dak Prescott was completely lost all afternoon: he overthrew receivers, held the ball too long, and made some very questionable decisions. Ezekiel Elliott was in and out with a knee injury and fell out of the game plan early with the Cowboys down by so much. All in all, this was a disaster for Dallas’ offense.

On the other hand, the Broncos played their best game of the season. Teddy Bridgewater was doing whatever he wanted and it felt like Jerry Jeudy‘s presence made a massive difference for this offense. Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams repeatedly gashed the Cowboys and put this game out of reach early.


Denver Broncos




Teddy Bridgewater: 19/28, 249 yards, TD, 4 sacks | 3 carries, -1 yard


Bridgewater was tactical and precise here. You would have thought the Cowboys surging pass defense was a doormat because there was virtually no resistance while the game was still competitive. The upset felt very real when he dropped this ball in the bucket to Tim Patrick for a long TD.



He wound up with just four incompletions in the first half and the rout was on. The game really went out of reach when he hit famous emergency QB Kendall Hinton for a 3rd and long conversation inside the five-yard line.



Bridgewater truly could do no wrong here and showed that he can be a viable fantasy QB with a full array of weapons when the matchup is not tough.


Running Back


Javonte Williams: 17 carries, 111 yards

Melvin Gordon III: 21 carries, 80 yards, TD | 3 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards


This two-headed monster dominated the game. Of course, Gordon got the goalline work, but oh my god was Javonte Williams impressive. He was ripping off massive run after massive run. Either bursting through the hole.



Or dragging multiple Cowboys with him in dominant fashion.



It’s honestly a crime that he has not secured a bigger share of this backfield yet from Gordon because he would have weekly top five RB potential. However, Gordon has been able to keep his job because he remains effective. Here he is picking up a big third and short while the game was still tight early.



Would I call a play to isolate Gordon on the outside? Probably not, but he still has a little shake left in those legs. The vision is still good too!



And of course, he’s still the Broncos’ trusted option in the red zone.



This alone will keep his fantasy value afloat and the Broncos’ commitment to him will cement it.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Courtland Sutton: 2 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards

Jerry Jeudy: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 69 yards

Tim Patrick: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 85 yards, TD

Kendall Hinton: 1 target, 1 reception, 40 yards

Albert Okwuegbunam: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 25 yards

Eric Saubert: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards


This will go down as the ‘Tim Patrick Game’ because my man was a force to be reckoned with. I already showed you the beautiful pass Bridgewater threw him for six, but didn’t highlight Patrick’s beautiful route. He gave the always aggressive Trayvon Diggs a little stutter step and blew past him to the pylon. That’s how a player like Patrick can win against more athletic defensive backs: savviness.

He also had no issue using his size to pick up important yards after the catch on multiple occasions.



That’s a grown man play If I’ve ever seen one.

Otherwise, the story here is Jerry Jeudy asserting himself as the alpha in this wide receiver corps. His return, along with the game script, limited Sutton to just two targets versus Jeudy’s eight.

It is so apparent that he is one of the most dynamic pass-catchers in the game, especially when he makes catches like this.



This guy is a freak and I am relieved that the Broncos are finding creative ways to get him the ball.


Dallas Cowboys




Dak Prescott: 19/39, 232 yards, 2 TD, INT, 2 sacks | 2 carries, 16 yards


There is no way to sugarcoat this one for Prescott. He was awful, plain and simple. By no means was this a dominant performance from the Broncos defense, he just could not hit water if he fell out of a boat. There were tons of chances to get back in this game early and he either overthrew CeeDee Lamb, took a sack he should not have, or had a ball batted down.

He got things going (a little bit) late, but threw a brutal red-zone interception.



You can’t help but think that maybe he was not ready to go today after a calf injury held him out of last week’s contest with the Vikings. Maybe Jerry Jones should not have declared him the starter mid-week. Oh well.


Running Backs


Ezekiel Elliott: 10 carries, 51 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards

Tony Pollard: 4 carries, 11 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 32 yards


There was not much to be done here with the game out of reach shortly after halftime. Elliott looked fine when he was on the field, but dealt with a knee injury during the second and third quarters that cut into his production.

Pollard has his usual smattering of touches, just not enough to garner fantasy consideration past being one of the most valuable handcuffs in the league. I figured he’d be more in the mix with a quarter and a half of no-huddle and obvious passing, but Elliott saw most of those snaps.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Amari Cooper: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 37 yards

CeeDee Lamb: 9 targets, 2 receptions, 23 yards

Cedrick Wilson: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards

Dalton Schultz: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 54 yards

Malik Turner: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 33 yards, 2 TD


This game never felt close. Not for a moment after the first handful of series. The Cowboys did have some life though in the third quarter after they picked up a handful of first downs and got into Broncos’ territory before facing a third and short. Kellen Moore called a perfect play to shake Cooper loose over the middle running a slant with tons of open field. And then, this.



The air was let out of the stadium and that was it. Such a disappointing game from Cooper after his heroics last Sunday.

Somehow, Turner was the only receiver who won’t throw out this game tape. He benefitted from garbage time and put together the most impressive receiving line of his entire career. I doubt he will be second on the Cowboys in targets in any game the rest of this season, though.

Lamb managers will be extremely disappointed with his line here. They would have been more disappointed if they watched this game. Prescott had Lamb WIDE open on two fourth and short plays only to overthrow him on both occasions. Each could have very easily been 50+ yard touchdowns had Prescott thrown an accurate ball.

Schultz is proving to be a mid-range TE with a stable floor. Consistent production like that cannot be understated.


James Schiano (@JeterHadNoRange on Twitter)

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