STAMFORD, CT- I missed the games this week. Did Zach Wilson and Tommy DeVito win Players of the Week again? No? I guess the party’s over. But hey, they’ll bounce back. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Right? Well, the Dallas Cowboys or Zach Wilson didn’t get going. They both fell apart on Sunday when things started to go sideways. Their performances did nothing to change the narratives that Dallas will fold in the playoffs and Zach is not an NFL QB. And while it is a QB driven league, Week 15 reminded us that you still need a running game to take pressure off your QB. Let’s dig in.
The Real Zach
When things start going wrong, the great ones can dig deep, seize the moment, and make a play to turn the tide. Zach Wilson is not that guy. We may look back at his 300 yard outing against Houston in week 14 as the greatest game of his career. When the offensive line started leaking against Miami and it was obviously going to be a tough game, you could see the man wanted no part of it. It was a tough task, but he folded like a New York City umbrella in a wind tunnel. The Jets season can’t end fast enough.
Things are supposed to be different this year for the Cowboys. They are humming on both sides of the ball and Dak is in the MVP conversation. Well, after getting waxed in Buffalo, the “they can’t win the big game” narrative is alive and well. The Cowboys are 7-0 at home, but have a losing 3-4 record on the road. Road losses to the 49ers, Eagles, and Bills are not egregious, but they were blown out by the Niners and Bills. And oh by the way, the other road loss was to Josh Dobbs and the Cardinals. Their three road wins came against the Jaywalker’s Row of the Giants, Panthers, and Chargers.
This sure doesn’t look like a team that can go on the road and win two playoff games to get to the Super Bowl. And that looks like what they’ll have to do unless the Eagles really stumble. They are likely to have one home playoff game and then will probably have to go to Philly and San Francisco. Who’s betting on that? They’ll have another chance to change the narrative at Miami next week.
Ground and Pound Season
A big reason the Cowboys lost was the dynamic running of James Cook. The Jets were overwhelmed on offense in large part because they could not run it a lick. The Jets had a total of 12 carries for 23 yards.
Pretty much all of the teams that won impressively this week had strong support from their running games, including the Bucs, 49ers, Ravens, Bills, Lions, and Rams. Even the Texans got Singletary going to pull out the win. The Falcons couldn’t run it and lost to the lowly Panthers. A few teams like the Chiefs and Browns got by without running it much, but against inferior opponents.
Average QBs look a lot more functional with a running game. Right Baker? Sure you still need your QB to make plays, but you can’t put it all on him like Jacksonville tried to do on Sunday night. Run the ball!
That’s my time. Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward.