Seth Walder, sports analytics writer: Minnesota Vikings. The Saints would become the new best team in the NFC, but they aren’t the favorite to reach the Super Bowl. That would be the Vikings, out of circumstance.
That should wake up the Cowboys’ pass rush to dominate a second matchup with their archrivals. The Cowboys will go back to being run-heavy with Dak Prescott, former Redskin Alfred Morris and Rod Smith to control the clock, take pressure off Prescott and lessen the exposure of the pass defense against Kirk Cousins. It won’t be pretty, but the Cowboys will take this game to separate as the better desperate playoff hopeful.
Additionally, James’ rate of 2-point jumpers from beyond 16 feet is his second-lowest ever. So Second Spectrum’s analysis shows that the quantified shot quality (qSQ) of James’ shots — the effective field-goal percentage (eFG) an average player would be expected to make based on the location of the shot and nearby defenders — is the highest in the five years they’ve tracked this metric.
At summer league, Tatum dazzled with his Paul Pierce-like midrange game, but Stevens emphasized in the aftermath the benefit of the 3-point shot.
“I think one of our challenges this summer was everybody wanted to talk about the midrange plays he made in summer league. So it was one of those things where if I was involved in a film session at all this summer, it was about what a good shot looks like when you get to the NBA,” Stevens said. “And so we tried to have those very specific film sessions but, still, you can’t predict a guy is gonna become that proficient.