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Cowboys vs. Buccaneers, 8:15 ET
At the start of the year, most expected that both of these teams would make it to the playoffs, but many probably didn’t expect the path that either took to get here. Things started off bleak for the Cowboys with Dak Prescott getting injured in the first game of the season. They rebounded nicely but after a dominant opening game, the Buccaneers were awful all year
Dallas comes into this game having produced a 12-5 record on the year with just a 4-4 record on the road. That doesn’t bode well for the Cowboys on the road in Tampa tonight, but maybe they can extract some revenge on the Buccaneers for what accounted for their only home loss of the season. The Cowboys claimed that they were playing hard in their last game and looking to win, if that is the case, this is a big issue. They lost to the Commanders 26-6. It seems a bit disingenuous that they claimed they were playing hard, they only gave the ball to Ezekiel Elliott eight times, and Prescott eventually came out of the game, but even when he played, he looked awful. Prescott absolutely needs to be better against the Buccaneer’s secondary. Tampa can be scored on, but they do have a rather capable defense. If Prescott can’t get to CeeDee Lamb, they have almost no shot in this game. I have no faith in the Dallas run game any longer. Dallas had a really strong defense for most of the season, but now they are struggling to stop anyone.
This was a pretty strange way for the Buccaneers to get to the playoffs. They have a losing record, which I have to imagine is a first for Brady – getting to the playoffs with a losing record. In fact, it is actually his first season with a losing record. Even with that, I think they have a real shot to beat the Cowboys. Tampa hasn’t done much right this year, but it really isn’t Brady’s fault. The collected 4500+ passing yards, 25 touchdowns, but did have nine interceptions. The running game never got going, and the team in general looked like they could never find a rhythm. Their longest winning streak of the season was just two games, they did it three times. I’m not really sure what the issue is, maybe it is just that they simply aren’t that good of a football team. Still, I have some faith in them because Dallas hasn’t been good against anyone for weeks. Tampa at least shows flashes of being able to pull it out. Being at home might help them as well but they were just 5-4 in their home stadium, so there isn’t a huge edge there either.
I have two plays on this one. Neither team’s defense is in good form right now, so my first play is on the over. I think they both put up 20 points with ease and we only need a 24-21 game in order for this to cash. I also think the Buccaneers win this game. I don’t trust Prescott this season, and do think Tampa’s offense is better than what we are seeing out of Dallas’s defense. If this game were played maybe a month or so ago, I’d probably have a different play, but it isn’t. I’m taking the Bucs +2.5 as well.
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