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As he appears to be like to search out his place inside the Philadelphia Eagles’ offense, Golden Tate has the advantage of making his debut in opposition to a staff he is aware of the best way to burn.
Taking part in in his first recreation with Philadelphia since he was traded to the defending champions final Tuesday, Tate will probably be squaring off in opposition to the identical Dallas Cowboys staff in opposition to which he recorded eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns in October as a member of the Detroit Lions. In his second of what is going to be three turns in opposition to the Cowboys this yr, Tate would possibly maintain the important thing to how each Sunday’s NFC East tilt and the remainder of the divisional race will unfold.
Including one other weapon for the second half of the season was an important transfer for an Eagles offense that has been uneven. Operating again Darren Sproles was anticipated to make his return this week, however he aggravated a hamstring damage and has already been dominated out.
Tate, nevertheless, can step in and switch brief throws into large positive aspects. Lengthy seen as one of many recreation’s most dynamic threats with the ball in his fingers, he ranks second amongst all huge receivers with 289 yards after the catch this season.
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Utilizing Tate on an assortment of screens and run-pass choices ought to assist combine him into the offense and afford him alternatives with out counting on him to grasp all of the complexities of the playbook after only a week and a half. His talent set must also be welcome for an assault that has had safety points (giving up 26 sacks in eight video games) and might be with out proper sort out Lane Johnson, who’s listed as questionable.
Dallas ranks fifth in opposition to the move (217 yards allowed per recreation) and has principally fared effectively in stopping large positive aspects, having given up the fewest performs of a minimum of 20 yards (24) of any staff within the NFL. But the Cowboys have loads of proof of what to not do with Tate after this season’s first matchup.
One of many key takeaways will probably be not affording him room beneath to function, because the Eagles are doubtless content material to get the ball in his fingers on early downs and let him make a play within the open subject. Tate obtained the perfect of cornerbacks Chidobie Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in addition to security Xavier Woods, so Dallas may need to think about using breakout cornerback Byron Jones on him if he as soon as once more proves to be an issue. However the Cowboys additionally should account for Alshon Jeffery.
Listed below are 4 different matchups that may outline Week 10 within the NFL:
Patriots’ huge receivers vs. Titans CB Malcolm Butler
Forward of a showdown together with his former staff, Butler is within the highlight for all of the improper causes. The cornerback who quickly rose to fame has skilled a equally accelerated tailspin this season, rating final at his place with probably the most catches (39), receiving yards (618) and touchdowns (seven) allowed, in response to Professional Soccer Focus. Monday night time’s exhibiting in opposition to the Cowboys was notably making an attempt, as he gave up two scores whereas in protection.
Although Butler seems to be the weak hyperlink on the league’s stingiest scoring protection (17.6 factors per recreation), Titans coach Mike Vrabel is sticking by his starter. But that call might be exploited by Invoice Belichick and the Patriots. Josh Gordon is coming off season greatest totals for New England (5 catches for 130 yards and a landing in a 31-17 win over the Packers), and Tom Brady is likely to be inclined to choose on Butler fairly than repeatedly take probabilities in opposition to Adoree’ Jackson and Logan Ryan, one other former Patriot.
Saints RB Alvin Kamara vs. Bengals’ linebackers
There are many fascinating subplots when New Orleans’ second-ranked scoring assault takes on Cincinnati’s last-ranked protection, together with how cornerback William Jackson III handles shadowing huge receiver Michael Thomas and whether or not defensive linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap can thwart Drew Brees. However Kamara is the determine most able to figuring out the panorama of the sport. The second-year again is on tempo to set a franchise file with 24 touchdowns and is averaging 114.6 complete yards from scrimmage per recreation.
Kamara’s all-purpose potential would pose an issue for even a Bengals protection that has given up 4.9 yards per keep it up the yr and allowed a minimum of 100 yards speeding in 5 of its final six video games. However the linebacking corps will probably be with out certainly one of its greatest protection property in Nick Vigil, in addition to Vontaze Burfict. If Vincent Rey and Jordan Evans are shaky in containing Kamara, Cincinnati might lose floor because it chases Pittsburgh within the AFC North.
Seahawks’ offensive line vs. Rams DT Aaron Donald
Donald has confounded the Seahawks all through his profession, together with his eight sacks in opposition to Russell Wilson in 9 video games representing his highest complete in opposition to some other quarterback. However in Los Angeles’ 33-31 win in October, Wilson was sacked simply twice (as soon as by Donald) and threw for 3 touchdowns. Maybe much more notably, the Seahawks rushed for 190 yards as their long-maligned offensive entrance greater than held its personal in opposition to the Rams’ vaunted line. Offensive guard D.J. Fluker boasted afterward that “we actually kicked their (expletive) up entrance.”
Whatever the fallout from Fluker’s comment, successful up entrance will probably be important for each groups in Sunday’s rematch between the NFC West rivals. The Seahawks want their third-ranked speeding assault not solely to tempo the offense and maintain the Rams off the sector, but in addition to set Wilson up for giant positive aspects by way of play-action. Los Angeles, in the meantime, has to determine a push up entrance to assist cowl for a secondary that was repeatedly burnt final week when giving up a season-high 45 factors and 487 yards of offense within the staff’s first lack of the season to the Saints.
Colts’ offensive line vs. Jaguars’ move rush
When Jacksonville notched 10 sacks in opposition to Indianapolis in a 27-Zero shutout win final October, the sport appeared like an inflection level for each franchises. Regardless of the absence of Andrew Luck, the Colts needed to handle the fact that their system and offensive line points had been proving deadly to their passing recreation. The Jaguars, in the meantime, appeared to have the constructing blocks in place for the league’s subsequent dominant protection.
Quick ahead a yr, nevertheless, and the 2 groups’ fortunes seem to have flipped. Luck has been sacked simply 10 instances complete this season and hasn’t been taken down in his final 160 dropbacks. And although Jacksonville has nonetheless been in a position to generate stress and is giving up the fewest yards via the air (190 per recreation) of any staff, the move rush hasn’t completed with the identical frequency it did final yr, with the unit rating 25th with simply 19 sacks.
Indianapolis ranks as one of many league’s most pass-happy groups, and it would not appear doubtless that new coach Frank Reich will wilt within the face of the Jaguars’ entrance. However Luck would possibly have to depend on extra of the short-area throws that had been his early-season staple fairly than taking the probabilities he did in latest weeks with improved safety.
Comply with Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
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