The game coming up this Sunday between the Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys is what many would consider the worst super bowl matchup ever.
Luckily for them, this is just a regular season game, but a matchup that could carry some weight in postseason scenarios. The Ravens play the Rams on Monday night in LA, so a win by Baltimore and loss by New England via tiebreaker would put the Patriots in the two seed next Monday. The Cowboys are keeping pace with the Philadelphia Eagles so Dak and Company need a win on Sunday to stay a game up.
This is a very intriguing matchup. Starting with Tom Brady, big shock. TB 12 is undefeated against the cowboys (4-0) and the Patriots have won their last five matchups against Dallas, but that’s all in the past so we have to look ahead. The Cowboy’s offense is led by Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup catching passes from number 4. Despite holding out until the start of the season, Elliott has proven he’s worth his contract with his rushing performances in the past and even this year. Perhaps where “Zeke” is just as dangerous is in the short yard game. With the Patriots showing more blitz against younger QB’s, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Elliott be used how James White is by the Patriots.
Defensively, Dallas has held opposing defenses to under 250 passing yards in eight of their first ten games this season. This is interesting because of who is on the defensive line for Big D. Michael Bennett was traded from the Patriots to, you guessed it. The Dallas Cowboys. Bennett, along with linebacker Jaylon Smith were the guys to watch in the Cowboy’s 35-27 win over the Detroit Lions. Smith had nine tackles and Bennett had 3 of his own. Patriots fans are most likely saying “Thank God, Isaiah Wynn is coming back!” With Wynn back, that means Marshall Newhouse can take a seat which in the long run keeps Tom Brady upright.
With a win on Sunday, the Patriots would crack the 10-win plateau for the 17th straight season which would be an NFL record. Somebody should tell Tom Brady that. TB12 had a press conference that Bill Belichick would have been proud of, but Brady and the offense has had its fair share of dud moments. Against the Eagles, Brady finished the day 26-47 with 216 passing yards and 0 TD’s. Edelman had one passing touchdown. There is frustration and rightfully so, the performance of Sony Michel (10 Carries, 33 yds and even Julian Edelman (5 Receptions, 53 yds) has left number 12 and Patriots fans a little frustrated.
New England is at home for the first time in about a month and the crowd should give the team a bit of an emotional boost. Are the Patriots going to win by 30? Probably not, but if they play within their capabilities, meaning stretching the field out with receivers forcing the Cowboys to play more man defense, Tom Brady should be given just enough time to make something happen in the pocket. One should wonder what N’Keal Harry’s role on Sunday will be. The 1st round pick caught 3 of 4 passes aimed at him and if he sees more action. Injury potential aside, This should be a game where Harry gains a little more of Bill Belichick’s trust.
The matchup between the Patriots and the Cowboys will feature more points than the Pats-Eagles game this week, but someway somehow, there will be more points scored by the Patriots in a fun matchup.
-John Luck (@jluck_89)