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Cowboys @ Rams

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With the Eagles beating the Bears we are now playing the Cowboys in the divisional round

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The Cowboys are the worst stylistic matchup for us. But I do feel more confident about this game than if we were playing the Bears again. We have two big advantages in the two most important spots, HC and QB. Still, Wade has to get this defense to stop the run. If Dak beats us with his arm, so be it. But if Dallas can run on us, they'll run it down our throat all game long.

With regard to our offense, Dallas has a stout run defense. It won't be easy to run on them. But it would sure make things easier if Gurley and Anderson can find running room. Their pass defense is good but not quite as good as their run defense. Richard taught their DBs the Seattle style, so expect them to be physical and grabby. McVay and Goff will need to be at their best in this game.

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One thing that makes me nervous is that this has been a very defense-oriented playoffs so far, and the Rams defense hasn't been great this season. On top of that, Dallas D looked pretty stout last night vs Seattle. I hope our studs will step up on D and we can have a good showing with Aqib Talib healthy. 

Gonna be a tough opponent, but still expect to win. 23-21 Rams

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Should be a very good matchup. Run defense will have to bring their A game. McVay and Wade will have to absolutely bring their A games.

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First and formost we have to stop the run. We need to limit Zeke and make him earn every yard. 

Starts with McVay using Gurley early and often for us. We have to keep him involved in the run game and especially in the pass game. Sprinkle in Anderson as well. I hope we utilize our TEs in the game because I feel they can exploit the cowboys LBs in the middle of the field and outside.

Very pumped and excited for this game. 

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Skip Bayless is already at it lol. This what he said on twitter, "HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH THE COWBOYS PLAYING AT 8:15 E ON SATURDAY NIGHT, THIS TIME AT THE L.A. COLISEUM WHERE DAK PRESCOTT ANNOUNCED HIS ARRIVAL WITH AN EYE-OPENING PERFORMANCE IN A 2016 PRESEASON GAME."

I guess if you are going to reach you might as well do it in style. He is comparing this playoff game to the preseason game back in 2016. I dont even remember who all played in that game let alone thinking about it. Plus Fisher was the coach then so all credibility is gone lol. 

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2 hours ago, jrry32 said:

The Cowboys are the worst stylistic matchup for us. But I do feel more confident about this game than if we were playing the Bears again. We have two big advantages in the two most important spots, HC and QB. Still, Wade has to get this defense to stop the run. If Dak beats us with his arm, so be it. But if Dallas can run on us, they'll run it down our throat all game long.

With regard to our offense, Dallas has a stout run defense. It won't be easy to run on them. But it would sure make things easier if Gurley and Anderson can find running room. Their pass defense is good but not quite as good as their run defense. Richard taught their DBs the Seattle style, so expect them to be physical and grabby. McVay and Goff will need to be at their best in this game.

Yup, this is a lesser version of New Orleans for us in terms of what we have to defend.  Lesser QB by a stretch (and I don't feel like even Cowboys fans should get their undies in a twist over that statement), but they have the kind of tool to put our offense where they don't want to be... on the sideline, watching while the opposition controls the clock and limits the time and touches that our guys are going to get (which means there's less room for big errors by Goff or the ST's - i.e. returners).  Honestly, it's not unlike the Eagles game from last year.

The positives: They don't have a TE that's a huge threat (Jarwin's chemistry with Dak has been growing, but I'm fairly secure in the combination of Littleton and Joyner being able to cover him) which should free up JJJ to both support in defending Zeke (and we're going to need it - someone put Brockers on a steady diet of Wheaties and IGAF's like now) and in helping shade Cooper.  Another positive... Talib has familiarity with Cooper (Chris Harris Jr. didn't shadow) from their respective time in the AFCW.  From a passing game perspective, McVay's variation on Gruden's and Shanahan's versions of the West Coast Offense are tailor made to exploit the natural schematic chinks in the Cover-2/Tampa-2 and the additional tweaks that Richard has been able to provide aren't going to be anything new to a team that faces the Seahawks defense twice a season.  It's going to come down to execution on the part of Goff and the OL.

Toss-Up: ST's is as good a guess as any, as outside of Bobby April this is a matchup of two of the best ST's coaches in the league and if there's one coach who I've actually seen be more prepared than anyone expects for the kind of trick plays that Bones likes, it's Bisaccia.

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2 hours ago, jrry32 said:

The Cowboys are the worst stylistic matchup for us. But I do feel more confident about this game than if we were playing the Bears again. We have two big advantages in the two most important spots, HC and QB. Still, Wade has to get this defense to stop the run. If Dak beats us with his arm, so be it. But if Dallas can run on us, they'll run it down our throat all game long.

With regard to our offense, Dallas has a stout run defense. It won't be easy to run on them. But it would sure make things easier if Gurley and Anderson can find running room. Their pass defense is good but not quite as good as their run defense. Richard taught their DBs the Seattle style, so expect them to be physical and grabby. McVay and Goff will need to be at their best in this game.

Regarding coaching

McVay vs Rod/Kris is probably a push. McVay is a genius. Rod is one of the best DC's in the NFL and Kris is one of the hot DC candidates in the NFL.

Wade vs Scott Linehan is a heavy rams lean. The only balancing factor is that Garrett has rumored to take over game planning which has improved us. 

Regarding QB:

Post Amari Cooper trade Dak has been performing well. #10 in QB Rating (103), 5th in comp pct (71.25%) and 7th in yards (275 ypg). 

For comparison purposes Goffs QB rating was 101 he had a 65% completion percentage and 293 yards per a game. 

Statistically they are pretty similar. Obviously Goff did it for the entire year, Dak for 9 games. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From my perspective the biggest concern is:

Rams DL vs Cowboys OL. Our OL is missing key components and has been banged up. According to PFF we are the 28th ranked pass blocking unit which is objectively awful. Conversely we are a top 10 run blocking unit. To counter this we tend to throw shorter passes. Which leads me to:

Rams DBs vs Cowboys WRs. I think your DBs are going to press us and let Donald go to work. And its going to suck.

 

On the flipside, I am not overly concerned about your offense killing us. I dont think we shut you down, but the last time you played a defense like ours you put up 6 points. You guys probably put up somewere in the low mid 20 points against us. To win, we might have to hit 30. Something that has been a struggle for us this season. 

 

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2 minutes ago, The LBC said:

Yup, this is a lesser version of New Orleans for us in terms of what we have to defend.  Lesser QB by a stretch (and I don't feel like even Cowboys fans should get their undies in a twist over that statement), but they have the kind of tool to put our offense where they don't want to be... on the sideline, watching while the opposition controls the clock and limits the time and touches that our guys are going to get (which means there's less room for big errors by Goff or the ST's - i.e. returners).  Honestly, it's not unlike the Eagles game from last year.

The positives: They don't have a TE that's a huge threat (Jarwin's chemistry with Dak has been growing, but I'm fairly secure in the combination of Littleton and Joyner being able to cover him) which should free up JJJ to both support in defending Zeke (and we're going to need it - someone put Brockers on a steady diet of Wheaties and IGAF's like now) and in helping shade Cooper.  Another positive... Talib has familiarity with Cooper (Chris Harris Jr. didn't shadow) from their respective time in the AFCW.  From a passing game perspective, McVay's variation on Gruden's and Shanahan's versions of the West Coast Offense are tailor made to exploit the natural schematic chinks in the Cover-2/Tampa-2 and the additional tweaks that Richard has been able to provide aren't going to be anything new to a team that faces the Seahawks defense twice a season.  It's going to come down to execution on the part of Goff and the OL.

Toss-Up: ST's is as good a guess as any, as outside of Bobby April this is a matchup of two of the best ST's coaches in the league and if there's one coach who I've actually seen be more prepared than anyone expects for the kind of trick plays that Bones likes, it's Bisaccia.

It seems like Wade has gone away from M2M coverage, so I'm not sure we'll see any shadowing.

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To add to what I'd posted above, this is the matchup that if we get by it, it best prepares the team for what is likely (hope I'm wrong, even if it will make my wife unhappy along with our Eagle fan temporary-allies) the match-up in the NFCC against the Saints because it's going to take a really similar approach from both the offense and the defense, and the opposing offenses will be trying to do the same thing - just the Saints will have a significantly "level-up" QB.

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2 minutes ago, Matts4313 said:

On the flipside, I am not overly concerned about your offense killing us. I dont think we shut you down, but the last time you played a defense like ours you put up 6 points. You guys probably put up somewere in the low mid 20 points against us. To win, we might have to hit 30. Something that has been a struggle for us this season. 

That's a bit of a convenient comparison. Your defense is more comparable statistically to the Chargers and Vikings than the Bears. We scored 35 and 38 against those two teams. I don't think it'll be that easy against your defense. You guys are very good, but I also don't think we'll have another Bears disaster. Goff's numbers at home are quite stellar (22 TDs to 3 Ints and a 116.7 passer rating). Similar to you, I would guess we score somewhere in the 20s against your defense.

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6 minutes ago, The LBC said:

McVay's variation on Gruden's and Shanahan's versions of the West Coast Offense are tailor made to exploit the natural schematic chinks in the Cover-2/Tampa-2 and the additional tweaks that Richard has been able to provide aren't going to be anything new to a team that faces the Seahawks defense twice a season. 

We essentially have 2 DC's, which means we are pretty scheme diverse. But we dont run a lot of Tampa 2. 

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2 minutes ago, jrry32 said:

It seems like Wade has gone away from M2M coverage, so I'm not sure we'll see any shadowing.

Speaking more to familiarity with the receiver's tendencies.  Casey Heyward in a Chargers interview had mentioned how that's something they focus on in their position meetings for the Chargers, particularly the veterans passing on what they know of receivers they've covered in the past and putting it out there for the rest of the corps to gain any kind of advantage they can - goes for QB's too.  My bet, knowing we're using more zone concept now and that it's something several coordinators used to advantage against Amari when he was in Oakland, is that they really focus on trying to force him to release towards the sideline and work on running him OOB before he can stem his route.

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