Cowboys @ Rams
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The Cowboys have defied the odds all year. I predicted them to lose last week, I was wrong. Ezekiel Elliot is the best running back in football and its not even close. While the Rams went 7-1 at home and look to use the obvious home field advantage for 1 more week in a season that has made them easily 1 of the top teams to watch from an enjoyment standpoint across the NFL.
Cowboys Defense has been really impressive down the stretch, between that and Elliot they have found a recipe which suits them to win games in the NFL. Compliment this ground attack, with minimal errors from Dak Prescott and a reliable catcher in Amari Cooper the Cowboys can win a lot of games.
For the Rams, if the offense can provide anywhere near the levels of excitement it has all year they might not only win this game, but send out a statement. This game to me feels much bigger for the Rams than the Cowboys, I feel that Sean McVay needs a playoff win early in his coaching career to really start a trend and let the NFL know that he is not only one of the brightest upcoming coaches but already up with the best around the league.
The defense has had questions all year, they do still remain but if they can force the game to be won by Dak and Goff, Gurley and co can keep piling on points, I expect them to win.
Prediction: Rams by 10.
Prediction – Last Week I predicted 27-24 and it finished 24-22, not bad ay? I think The Rams as 7 point favourites is too much. I see another close game. This was also the game I predicted the Cowboys would lose in but that’s because I assumed we would play the Saints. I fancy our chances against the Rams, who are 32nd in the league for rushing yards per attempt and we’ve got the leading rusher. I’m gonna go Cowboys 17-14 Rams.
What impressed me most – As usual the Cowboys Defence. They completely shut down the Seahawks running backs bar one decent run. They show up for the big occasion and I expect them to on Saturday night.
Player I fear the most – Last week it was Russell Wilson and I think that turned out to be accurate. This week it’s Aaron Donald. Of course Todd Gurley deserves a mention but AD is just a freak. I hope Dak Prescott can let the ball go quick and not give him a chance to cause more sacks or forced fumbles. Cowboys OL V Rams DL should be a good competition to watch.
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Prediction– Rams 27-20 Cowboys. Rams should have enough offensive firepower to see them through a tough matchup.
How far can we go – No reason why the Rams can’t win it all. They are good enough offensively to outscore anyone. It will possibly be down to how far the defense can take them, a unit which has underperfomed at times. But if both units are firing, the Rams will be hard to beat.
Opposition player – Has to be Zeke. Amari Cooper has been a great pickup for the Cowboys, but the Rams defensive struggles have been in stopping the run. If they can’t stop Zeke, he will dominate and open up the passing game for Prescott.
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Eagles @ Saints
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Its unfair to talk about the Eagles victory in Chi town and not give them a lot of credit, as far as Defense go, the Eagles display against the Bears was the best in the Wildcard round. This weeks game between the Eagles and Saints for me will come down to if the Eagles defense can stop the rampant Saints. These 2 teams met each other more recently than any other match up in the divisional round, in week 11. In ended up as a 48-7 blowout win for the Saints. Since then the Eagles have only lost once, they look and feel like a different team, I expect a closer game this week but ultimately the same result.
The Eagles in the post season have a touch of magic and a special feeling about them, the Defense is as good as any in the “Final 8”. The defensive backs in particular seem to have found some rhythm and look like one of the best units across the NFL, they will be key to slowing down this Saints offense this week.
One thing I want to see this week though from the Eagles is a running game, I feel the offense really needs it, Darren Sproles led them with a total of 21 yards against the Bears but this week, they will need to control the clock to keep the Saints scoring down, this may prove hard though as while the Eagles rank 28th on the ground, the Saints defense ranks number 2 in stopping the run.
Moving on to the saints, the previous fact about that superb run defense could be critical this week and a potential game winner before we even start discussing the offense. Drew Brees is rightly a MVP candidate. The Saints not only had last week off, they rested Alvin Kamara and Drew Brees in week 17, with these 2 special talents fresh, if they get off to a quick start I fear for the Eagles. At home, in perfect conditions in the Dome. If he is afforded time in the pocket to pick his pass the Saints could score on every possession, they are that type of offense.
Prediction: Saints by 10, I do like the Eagles Defense, I think it will be a tighter game but Drew Brees in the dome can pile points on in a matter of seconds.
Prediction: Tough call this one. Going up against a very strong Saints team. We can only believe in Foles after everything he’s done previously. We will say 20-17 Eagles.
What impressed me most Our D impressed us the most last week. The DB’s have stepped up big time and we couldn’t ask any more from them. They have come on massively over the course of the season and since we last played New Orleans in the regular season.
Player I fear the most Drew Brees is our most feared player. A class consistent QB that could tear any Defense apart on his day. He’s in amazing form this season and is a massive worry for us. Nothing Cox & Bennett can’t handle though…
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Prediction – Saints 31-21 Eagles. This game won’t be a blowout like the regular season game but given the home field advantage and Brees/Payton’s record in home playoff game the Saints pull away late.
How far can we go in the playoffs – We are superbowl favourites for a reason, we have the most balanced team left in the playoffs, one of the top 5 QB’s of all time and the similarities to 2009 are uncanny.
Eagles player I fear the most – Got to be Nick Foles at this point, something happens to him in January and we need to stop him.
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