Sunday NFL Preview: Eagles-Cowboys Should Get Big TV Ratings

AP Julio Cortez
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

While Dallas owner Jerry Jones fights his co-owners and Roger Goodell off the field, his Cowboys have a huge battle on the field against division rival Philadelphia.

If Dallas loses, their chances of winning the NFC East will suffer a significant blow.
Another marquee game features the surprise team of the league, the 7-2 Los Angeles Rams, facing off against the red-hot Minnesota Vikings, also 7-2.

Here is a preview of Sunday’s action:

Los Angeles Rams (7-2) at Minnesota Vikings (7-2)

The Rams have been red-hot, beating their past three opponents by a total of 93 points.
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum wants revenge after getting unfairly benched by the Rams last year. Keenum will have a big challenge facing a Rams secondary leading the league with 12 interceptions.

This game could go either way.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Dallas Cowboys (5-4)

It’s been a tough year for NFL TV ratings, but this game should do well with Nielsen.
This game should be a good one at “Jerry World” in Arlington, and will likely have a huge crowd in person, and watching at home.

Both teams are without their starting left tackles, so each quarterback better have his head on a swivel.

This game is a toss-up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-5)

Jon Gruden rumors are flying around in Tampa, so current Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter needs a strong finish to the season, and a win a Miami would help. Tampa Bay will be without their best cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves, due to a hamstring injury.

Miami might be without two anthem-kneelers – wide receiver Kenny Stills and safety Michael Thomas – both questionable due to injuries.

This game is too close to call.

Detroit Lions (5-4) at Chicago Bears (3-6)

The Lions travel to Chicago without star defensive end Ziggy Ansah out with a back injury, but aside from that, they are pretty healthy. Detroit got back their talented left tackle Taylor Decker from an off-season arm injury last week. He should be much better in his second game back now that he has sea legs back. He is very important to the Lions’ offense.

The Bears are trying to win games by minimizing the quarterback position, with rookie Mitch Trubisky under center. But it’s hard to win with that approach in a QB-driven league.

Led by a much more accomplished QB, Matt Stafford, the Lions should win this game.

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-9)

The Browns enter this game beat up on the offensive line, which is far from ideal against Jacksonville’s front, perhaps the best in football.

The Jaguars are thin at wide receiver. They will be without starter Allen Hurns, with their other starter, Allan Robinson, already on injured reserve. Also, key reserve Arrelious Benn is out. So while Jacksonville should win this game, this could be closer than expected.

Baltimore Ravens (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-4)

The Ravens’ offensive line disaster continues. They already have five offensive linemen on injured reserve, and now will be without left tackle Ronnie Stanley, due to a concussion. They will have a rough time protecting QB Joe Flacco against the Packers coterie of talented pass rushers.

The Packers could have protection issues of their own with starting right tackle Brian Bulaga out.

If Green Bay had Aaron Rodgers, this would likely be an easy Packer win, but without him, this game is a toss-up.

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Houston Texans (3-6)

This game could be unwatchable.

The Texans are starting their backup QB, and the Cardinals, their #3 signal-caller.
Not only are both teams starting reserve quarterbacks, but both have major offensive line problems.

With all the uncertainty at QB for both teams, this game is impossible to call.

Washington Redskins (4-5) at New Orleans Saints (7-2)

This has the potential to be a highly-entertaining game.

The Redskins do have some injury issues, but their secondary is fairly healthy, which should come in handy facing QB Drew Brees and his myriad of weapons.

The Saints could be without two defensive starters – safety Kenny Vaccaro and linebacker A.J. Klein.

While most people think this could be an easy win for New Orleans, don’t be shocked if the Redskins give them a major scare.

Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) at New York Giants (1-8)

Not only are the Giants a banged-up, demoralized team, with a coach close to losing his job, but they now have to face Andy Reid’s Chiefs coming off a bye-week. Reid is 16-2 lifetime after an off-week.

Reid, one of the game’s best tacticians, is lethal with extra time to prepare.

The Chiefs should win this game.

Buffalo Bills (5-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)

The Buffalo Bills made a strange decision in benching their starting quarterback while in the playoff hunt, especially considering the alternative is a rookie fifth-round pick, named Nate Peterman.

Peterman’s first start will be against a San Diego team with the best pair of edge-rushers in football – Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. And the Bills will be without their starting left tackle, Cordy Glenn to protect the rookie’s blindside.

The Chargers will likely win this game.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) at Denver Broncos (3-6)

While it looks bleak for both of these teams, the winner will put themselves back in the watered-down AFC wildcard playoff race.

The Broncos QB play after Peyton Manning’s departure continues to be pretty bad, and now their defense is starting to fall apart.

This match-up is too close to call.

New England Patriots (7-2) at Oakland Raiders (4-5)

This game is being played in Mexico City.

When you play New England and Tom Brady, you need all hands on deck in the secondary.

That certainly isn’t the case with Oakland, who will be without cornerbacks David Amerson and Gareon Conley. The Raiders also have one of the NFL’s worst third-down defenses. It’s hard seeing the Raiders holding up in coverage against Brady and company.

The Patriots have won five straight, and should make it six.


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