The 8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Dallas to take on the 11-2 Cowboys in this week’s Sunday night matchup. Tampa Bay extended their winning streak to 5 games last week with a 16-11 home victory over the New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys snapped an 11 game win streak with a 10-7 road loss to the New York Giants.
Dak Prescott failed to throw for at least 200 yards for the third straight game last week. He completed 17 of his 37 pass attempts for 165 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. It was the first game of his career that he has thrown multiple interceptions. His favorite target was Terrence Williams who had 5 catches for 76 yards and the team’s only touchdown. Cole Beasley was second on the team with 4 catches for 41 yards. The lone bright spot on offense was Ezekiel Elliott who rushed for 107 yards on 24 carries. Overall, their offense has scored just 24 points over their last 2 games and have gone just 2 for 24 on third down during that stretch. Defensively, they played very well as they allowed the Giants to gain just 286 yards of offense. They forced 3 turnovers and sacked Eli Manning 3 times for a loss of 26 yards. They did a great job against the run as New York gained 93 yards on 33 carries, which is an average of less than 3 yards per rush. Over their last 5 games the Cowboys have allowed their opponents to average 19 points per game.
Tampa Bay’s defense dominated the Saints as they intercepted Drew Brees 3 times and did not allow a touchdown. They also completely shut the running game down as New Orleans gained just 46 yards on 16 carries and had 4 tackles for losses. Over their last 5 games, the Buccaneers allowed their opponents to average just 12 points. Offensively, they struggled as they only gained 288 yards and their longest play went for just 18 yards. Jameis Winston finished with a quarterback rating of 65 as he completed 16 of 26 passes for 184 yards 0 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Cameron Brate who had 4 catches for 47 yards. Doug Martin led the team with 66 rushing yards and the only touchdown on 23 carries.
Tama Bay has gone 6-7 against the spread this season including 4-2 on the road. Dallas has gone 8-5 against the spread this season including 5-4 as the favorite. The Cowboys will have home field advantage in this matchup and are favored by a touchdown. Tampa Bay is currently tied with the Atlanta Falcons for first place in the NFC South while Dallas is alone atop the NFC East. Both team’s offenses have struggled recently with each team scoring only 6 touchdowns in their last 4 games. Both teams still have a lot to play for as they try to secure a playoff birth.
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