Week 16 - Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys

The 9-5 Detroit Lions travel to Dallas to take on the 12-2 Cowboys in this week’s Monday night matchup after coming off very different weeks. Detroit snapped a 4 game win streak with a 17-6 loss on the road to the New York Giants. Even with the loss the Lions are still one game ahead of the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North. Dallas beat the Tampa Buccaneers at home 26-20 one week after suffering its second loss of the season. A win this week will give the Cowboys home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Matthew Stafford struggled against the Giants defense finishing with a quarterback rating of 69.2 He completed 24 of 39 passes for 273 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite target was Golden Tate who had 8 catches for 122 yards. Zach Zenner was second on the team with 52 yards on 4 catches. They had trouble running the ball gaining only 56 yards on 19 carries, which is an average of 2.9 yards per rush. Dwayne Washington led the team with 31 yards on 14 carries. Overall, their offense has averaged 19 points per game over the last 5 games. Defensively, they did not force a turnover and sacked Eli Manning twice for a loss of 15 yards. They held New York to 114 rushing yards on 32 carries. Over their last 5 games the Lions have allowed their opponents to score an average of 18 points per game.

Dallas’s offense gained over 460 yards of offense and Dak Prescott led the way completing 89% of his passes. He finished 32 for 36 for 279 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Jason Witten who had 10 catches for 51 yards. Dez Bryant had a nice game with 8 catches for 82 yards. They had a lot of success running the ball gaining 185 yards on 32 carries. NFL Rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott led the way with 159 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. On the year Elliott has rushed for 1,551 yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively, they forced Tampa Bay into 4 turnovers including 3 interceptions by Jameis Winston. They also completely shut the run game down as the Buccaneers gained only 52 yards on 20 carries, which is an average of 2.6 yards per rush. They also sacked Winston 4 times for a loss of 23 yards. Over their last 5 games their defense has allowed their opponents to average 17 points per game.

Detroit has gone 9-5 against the spread this season including 4-3 on the road. Dallas has gone 8-6 against the spread this season including 4-3 as the favorite. Dallas will have home field advantage in this game as they are favored by a touchdown. This is a meaningful game for both teams as each has something still left to play for. The Cowboys last 4 games have been decided by 6 points or less.

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