The Dallas Cowboys face their toughest test of the young 2014 season, a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champs on their home turf. To be more specific, the Dallas Cowboys travel to Seattle to face a Seattle Seahawks team that has only lost once in their last eighteen home games. The game offers numerous intriguing matchups, including, best corner in the league versus best receiver in the league, and top running back and O-line versus the top rushing defense. Sure, it’s certainly debatable whether Richard Sherman is the top corner or if Dez Bryant is the top receiver in the league, but if not the best, they’re both pretty damn close. The ‘Hawks defense is allowing a mere sixty two yards per game, while DeMarco Murray, the affirmed best running back in the league, is averaging an impressive one hundred and thirty four yards a game.
Starting with the Sherman-Bryant matchup, it’s key to note Sherman does stay on the left side of the field at all times, so Bryant will certainly see Sherman, just not as much as you’d expect. In a jump ball situation I’d give Bryant the edge, but in a deep ball scenario I’d give the nod to Sherman, in any case it’ll be fun to watch. The Tyron Smith-led offensive line faces a huge test in the Seahawks’ front seven, and Murray will likely have to gain most of his yards after contact. If the ‘Boys want to pull the near impossible they will have to play a perfect game: no fumbles, no interceptions, no drops, and no delay of games. Also, look for Romo to attack Sherman with short intermediate routes with his ridiculously talented receiver.
Final Prediction: I don’t have enough confidence in the Cowboys at this juncture, but I could see them proving me wrong. I don’t think the Cowboys defense will cause Wilson to make a mistake and I think Romo or Murray will make at least one. Look for a close, heated game, but the Cowboys aren’t quite ready for this test yet. Seattle, 29-23.
Jay Gruden and the Washington Redskins will travel to the west coast to face one of the most talented defenses in the league. The ’Skins are in need of a win in a desperate way, and beating Arizona would not just be a step in the right direction, it would be a gigantic leap back into the division’s race. Arizona’s defense not only sports one of the best corners in the league, Patrick Peterson, but also features the league’s fourth best rush defense. Kirk Cousins will need DeSean Jackson to be at his best if the Redskins want to get anything going offensively. Also, Pierre Garcon, who was recently labeled an irrelevant player in the league, will look to bounce back from an atrocious past couple of weeks.
Luckily for the Redskins’ defense, it appears Carson Palmer will not return to action this week, so they will face a much less capable Drew Stanton. Their main focus will be on containing uber talented second year running back Andre Ellington. Ellington displayed his speed last week with an eighty one yard touchdown. Washington will need some offensive sparks to come back to east coast with a W.
Final Prediction: The Redskins don’t have much going for them in this matchup, but I believe they’ll shock some people and pull off a huge upset that gets their season back on track. I think Washington’s stout front seven stifles the Cardinals and Cousins pulls off some magic against a great defense. Redskins, 27-21.
The red hot New York Giants travel to the city of brotherly love for a prime time divisional showdown with grand implications. The Giants are looking for their fourth straight win, and in doing so they would jump ahead of the Eagles in the division. The birds will look for some offensive fireworks from their mercurial running back combination of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. McCoy and Sproles do face a tough test in the JPP-led New York front four that has limited opponents to just ninety nine rushing yards per game The birds certainly will need their offense to get it in gear in what has the makings of a shootout.
The Giants’ secondary, which has been very solid, will have their hands full with the likes of Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Mathews, and Zach Ertz. On the other hand, the Eagles’ secondary, which has been plain awful, will have to find a way to contain Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz, and Reuben Randle. All the pieces are there for a high scoring, electrifying, and most importantly entertaining Sunday night on NBC.
Final Prediction: I think Chip Kelly and Co. finally figure it out on offense, especially with a healthier offensive line than they’ve seen all year. Eli and the Giants should have a field day with this putrid Eagles defense, but in the end it won’t be enough to ground the high flying Eagles. Eagles, 33-31.