Sunday Afternoon – New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
Is Week 15 bringing us some good football or what? This is a dandy of a matchup as the Cowboys head to the west coast to take on the Oakland Raiders. You’ve got to love this one as it pits a pair of Super Bowl contenders against one another right at the end of the regular season. Everyone knows exactly what’s on the line here and we get to see it all go down in primetime on Sunday Night Football.
Keys to the Game
The plan will be simple for Dallas but maybe not so simple to execute. They’re going to want to run the ball all night long with Zeke Elliott in order to protect Dak Prescott from a ferocious Raiders pass rush. Running the ball will also keep Oakland’s Carr to Cooper connection on the sideline, which bodes well for Dallas’ defense. Limiting Khalil Mack’s effectiveness as a rusher will be the key focus for the Cowboys’ offense because Mack can take over a game all by himself.
Getting out to an early lead should be the first thing on Oakland’s agenda. The goal here is to force Dallas into passing situations. The first reason is to get the ball out of Zeke Elliott’s hands as he’s the most dangerous player on that talented offense. Second, forcing Dallas into predictable passing situations lets Khalil Mack and company rush the quarterback without hesitation — and that’s every quarterback’s worst nightmare. It doesn’t matter who’s taking the snaps, no one wants to deal with Mack when he’s cut loose. That’s a recipe for success for the Raiders.