Latest posts by Yusuf Nakhooda (see all)
- Transferring The Confidence On To The Field: Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders Preview - December 16, 2017
- How The Rest Of The AL East Should React To The Giancarlo Stanton Trade - December 13, 2017
- The Second time is the charm as Toronto FC wins their first MLS Championship - December 12, 2017
Considering how things have gone for the Chargers and Cowboys through 10 games, this could be the biggest stage either play on for the rest of the season. Both the Chargers and Cowboys clearly need a win on Thursday to bolster playoff hopes.
Los Angeles (4-6) has won four of its last six, but is still chasing the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs and a pack of teams for a possible wild-card berth.
Dallas (5-5) is far behind NFC East-leading Philadelphia and the Cowboys are now scraping for a wild card with a depleted team. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott (suspension), All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith (back, groin) and the cornerstone of the defense, linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring), are all out of the lineup.
For Dallas, getting a win will require shaking off the sting of a 37-9 loss to the Eagles on Sunday night. Consider Dallas to be in a “learn from what happens” phase as the Cowboys have suffered back-to-back lopsided losses at Atlanta and at home Sunday night against Philadelphia. To get to 6-5, Dallas will have to derail the Chargers’ momentum.
Los Angeles intercepted Buffalo Bills’ starting quarterback Nathan Peterman five times and recovered a fumble as the Chargers hammered Buffalo this past weekend. Chargers’ linebacker Melvin Ingram returned the fumble recovery 39 yards for a touchdown. The Los Angeles offense out gained the Bills 429-393 in total offense.
The Chargers’ defense has an advantage on paper as it attacks a Cowboys’ offensive front that is struggling in Smith’s absence. Los Angeles is third in the NFL in sacks with 30, led by defensive end Joey Bosa (10.5) and Ingram (8.5), both of whom rank in the top 10 in the NFL. Meanwhile, Dallas has given up 11 sacks in the last two contests.
That gives Los Angeles a chance to continue Dallas’ frustration on offense. The Cowboys didn’t score a touchdown on Sunday night versus the Eagles and have reached the end zone just once in the last two games.
Predicton: Dallas Cowboys 28 Los Angeles Chargers 21