Cowboys Seek Redemption. “Show me” Time for Buffalo and Who Prevails When The Browns & Patriots Clash in New England?
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys (Cowboys -9)
What’s going on with Dak and the Cowboys? That was one headline this week as the metroplex went into a frenzied meltdown. Bottom line – Dallas stunk the joint out last Sunday! Poor on offense, poor on defense, poor on special teams and they got their tails handed to them by Denver.
If it was a wake up call the Cowboys needed, they got it. Expect a different Dallas Cowboys to take the field this weekend. A more focused, precise, ruthless team against Atlanta. Despite last weekend’s humiliation, Dallas are still the number 1 offense in football and number 3 in points scored. True – Atlanta did go into New Orleans and came away with a win but that was a Saints side quarterbacked by Trevor Siemian and Atlanta’s defense is still giving up around 27 points per game (ranked 28th in the NFL). Let’s not forget, this is the same Falcons team which lost to Carolina on home soil a week earlier. Simply put, if Atlanta can’t get production out of Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts, they won’t put points on the board. For Dallas, this is a “show me” game. If they are the contenders they are supposed to be, they take care of business on Sunday.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (Bills -12)
Like Dallas, last Sunday was a humbling experience for the Buffalo Bills. Hailed as perhaps the best team in the AFC, Josh Allen had a day – but it wasn’t Bills QB Josh Allen, it was Jaguars defensive end, Josh Allen.
A Bills team which leads the AFC in scoring and owns the number 8 ranked offense in football was stifled and held to just 6 points by a Jaguars defense which hadn’t held anyone to below 20 points in a game since the 15th December 2019!
My message to the New York Jets……watch out! The Jets are already depleted and will have backup QB Mike White under centre again for this game. After his heroics against the Bengals, White was knocked out of last week’s defeat to the Colts early. The Bills have a point to prove. Since their bye week, they haven’t looked themselves – struggling early before beating the Dolphins and then suffering a huge upset in Jacksonville. The Jets are a team in transition and look ripe for the taking. Their defense is the worst in football, shipping 31 points per game. Their offense is barely any better, ranked 27th in points scored – 18 per game.
Buffalo were double digit favourites last weekend and lost! My Belief is that Sean McDermott has this team refocused on Sunday and the unfortunate Jets stand in their way.
Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots (total Points – Under 45.5)
This might end up being one of the games of the week. Odell Beckham left Cleveland and they were outstanding in their win in Cincinnati. Equally, the Patriots are a team on the up and at the time of writing, they are rumoured to have a serious interest in signing Odell Beckham.
The one unknown heading into this matchup is the effect Covid will have on the Browns. It already likely leaves them without running back Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson is their only healthy RB available.
Johnson proved to be a more than capable backup in his lone start – rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown in the week 7 win over Denver but Bill Belichick is known for taking away the one thing a team does best and in Cleveland’s case, that’s to run the ball.
Expect this to be a tight, low scoring affair. New England’s defense has only given up 43 points in their last 3 games. Now healthy again, Cleveland’s defense looked ominously good in last weekend’s win over Cincinnati and have only given up 45 points in their last 3 games.
Browns defensive end, Myles Garrett leads the league with 12 sacks and Mac Jones can expect to have an uncomfortable day at QB for New England. Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield won’t have things much easier – Patriots linebacker, Matt Judon ranks 3rd in the NFL with 9 sacks this season.
Total Points – Under 45.5