Horsemen launch into playoff picture with narrow win over Angels
Dak Prescott hip thrust to Freak Nasty’s “Da Dip”pic.twitter.com/TY1FfWeiBx
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) November 11, 2019
Bumpy’s Berries and the Electric Horsemen have a lot of history. They first met opening weekend in 2012, a Horseman victory behind a 59 point Matt Ryan/Julio Jones stack. They continued to meet opening night for the next two years – the final results were more or less the same. In 2015 they would meet in the championship game… where Julio, Antonio and Derek Carr would handle them easily for the first of three Electric Horsemen championships. In all, they’ve met 9 times. In those 9 meetings, the Horsemen have won every.single.time. Of teams around before the PPR era, the Horsemen average the most against the Berries – 117.19. Every year it seems like something is going to give, maybe the domination will fall apart. It doesn’t.
The 6-4 Berries are in the midst of their best season since that 2015 championship appearance season, going over 50% for the just the second time in franchise history through ten games. They lead the Horsemen in scoring on the year by 3, but have had 160 less points scored on them by opponents – leading to their one game lead. The path to their third playoff appearance is not an easy one, though. They end the season with the Horsemen (5-5), Dangerous Angels (6-4) and Straight Laced (6-4), a gauntlet of potential playoff teams looking to clinch a berth.
The team is more or less in disarray. Longtime Berry, Devonta Freeman, is unlikely to play – and former Horseman, Emmanuel Sanders, is questionable with a rib injury. Aaron Jones is also on bye this week, leaving their only viable starting running back as Damien Williams – a player that has broken 10 only 3 times this year (and is also an ex-Horseman). Jared Goff could easily score 2 points if he earns the start over Brissett – but Brissett could easily leave early if his injury flares up. Keenan Allen has been a huge disappointment this year and Cooper Kupp, having an incredible season, somehow scored 0 last week with 0 targets after averaging upwards of 10 the rest of the year. D.J. Moore is in a good place to perform this week… and maybe the Patriots defense.
The Electric Horsemen are still waiting to hit their stride. The acquisition of Dak Prescott from 3rd and Unpredictable has been a huge boost to morale, as they’ve seemingly exited quarterback limbo and have a top 10 guy every week. Aside from tight end, the entire team has favorable matchups and are looking to renew the fire of Horsemen past. Meaningful bye weeks have been exhausted, and the Horsemen should have their core lineup ready to roll for the rest of the season – barring injury.
The Horsemen are favored by 31.5 points (using projected starters) with a 60.8% chance of victory on ESPN, and 80.3% on FantasyPros. This point spread marks the highest the Horsemen have had in 2019.
Bumpy’s Berries went careening down the projected standings with a surprise upset at the hands of Legs With Holes. But in all fairness, this was no surprise. As predicted, the Trojan Horseman (Emmanuel Sanders) sabotaged the Berry victory by leaving early with a “rib” injury. They now face the Horsemen head to head in a game of massive playoff implications. There were no other significant movements in the projections with last year’s championship game participants more or less locked into playoff spots. The bottom 5 teams all sit at 3-7 – which, while not mathematically eliminated, would suggest that they will not make the playoffs (no 7 loss team has every made the playoffs). Alternatively, only two 7 win teams have missed the playoffs – this year could potentially introduce a third.
- Nosebleeds @ Straight Laced – The Nosebleeds showed some heart last week, breaking a 6 game losing streak and nearly earning high point honors against an inferior opponent, while Straight Laced comes into this game nursing a two game losing streak with concerns about playoff viability. If the Nosebleeds can score over 105 this week they could very well pull off the upset, but it seems more likely that they’ll regress back to the team that lost the 6 games before. A Laces win will clinch, a loss will keep the chaos going.
- Closet Hillbilly @ Legs With Holes – Legs sent the top of the standings out of control with their upset of the Berries and they come into this one with an opportunity to send the Hillbilly reeling. Hillbilly was concentrating on spending their entire budget on Brian Hill to fill a roster spot this week, but everyone else was apparently making a run on quarterback realizing Closet Hillbilly had done nothing to address the predicament caused by Russell Wilson’s bye week. A lot of teams will be rooting for an upset this week, and they’ll probably get it as the QB delta between the two teams will likely total 30 points after Ryan Fitzpatrick throws 6 interceptions.
- Dangerous Angels @ Strictly Southern – Strictly Southern has been steamrolling the competition, tying the league best 9 game win streak set by 3rd and Unpredictable in 2013. It seems unlikely the Dangerous Angels can slow them down, and that record will become theirs alone. The Angels, on top of the league a few weeks ago, are primed to lose their 3rd straight and go 0-5 on the road with a loss this week.
- Heavy Pistols @ 3rd and Unpredictable – Yep, Unpredictable clinches at least a tie atop the division with a blow out here.
- Drunken Aces @ Pork Shanks – The Shanks deserve last place more than anyone.