If the 2021 season of the NFL ends today, before the teams meet on “Sunday Night Football,” both the teams Dallas cowboys Like the Minnesota Vikings they would make the playoffs. For the Cowboysof course that’s not a surprise. Most are familiar with his return to prominence, a high-flying offense led by the MVP level of Dak prescott and a defense electrified by an aspiring Deion Sanders, Trevon Diggs.
You may not be familiar with the rise of the Vikings to respectability after an unlucky start. Their first two games were painful losses, a fumble in overtime sent to the Bengals followed by a missed field goal late in regulation against the Cardinals. They have lost all three of their games by a total of 11 points, all of them against teams currently in the playoff position.
Does that leave you with enough momentum to attack the Cowboys at home, especially with Prescott less than 100 percent? Or does that give too much credit to a team of Minnesota whose three wins were against teams with a combined 5-16 record?
The Cowboys have a historical advantage of 17-15 over the Vikings, with that narrow lead coming from Dallas’ 3-1 record of the past 10 years. The United States team has even won two games in a row in Minnesota, including last year’s 31-28 victory in November.
Time and Channel Vikings vs Cowboys
Beginning: Sunday, October 31 at 5:20 pm PT / 8:20 pm ET in the United States. 6:20 pm in Mexico.
TV: NBC in the United States. ESPN in Mexico.
Spread: Vikings -3
Three things to keep in mind
1.- Will Dak Prescott play?
That has been the question surrounding the Cowboys for almost two weeks since Prescott injured his calf on the last play of an overtime win against the Patriots. The quarterback walked out of the game with a walking boot, said it “was fun” and has been the source of injury speculation ever since.
Even with the bye week, it’s clear that Prescott it is not completely cured. Limited in training throughout the week, he is officially listed as questionable as both the team and the player believe the calf strain is linked to his devastating ankle injury last year.
Prescott He claimed that he “pushed” him in practice and said that if the decision was up to him, he would play. But with a 3.5 game lead already in a sold out NFC East, there is a legitimate concern for Cowboys that the risk outweighs the reward.
“It is not totally my decision because there is a bigger picture,” he told reporters this week. “It’s more than just one game … I don’t know if it’s just my decision.”
Sounds familiar? We heard these bites from Baker Mayfield before Thursday night’s game against the Denver Broncos. Mayfield, who suffered from a torn labrum, ended up sitting out of the game despite desperately wanting to play.
Yes Prescott can not go, the task falls on Cooper rush, an undrafted fifth-year pro from Central Michigan with three career passes in the NFL in your name. That changes the dynamics of the Cowboys’ top-ranked offense and brings back the nightmares of life without Prescott– The team was 4-7 after he was injured in 2020. Even with the weapons they have, from rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb to pinch-hitter Tony Pollard, the threat running back, you can’t run this machine well greased from an offense if an untested quarterback can’t keep up.
For what it’s worth, the broker Ezekiel Elliott gave a public vote of confidence to his backup quarterback on Thursday. But the offensive without Prescott is a great unknown, which allows Vikings focus heavily on stopping Dallas’s two-front running attack. Even with a running defense ranked 26th, Prescott being questionable has favored the Vikings in a game where they should be the weakest.
2.- Can the Vikings offense continue to function?
Kirk Cousins, wide receiver Adam Thielen and running back Dalvin Cook had the best games of the season against the Panthers in Week 6. Cousins He threw for 373 yards with three touchdowns and had neither an interception nor a sack. Thielen, who got off to a slow start this year, caught 11 balls for 126 yards and a touchdown despite having a foot injury.
But it is Cook who changes the dynamics of this offensive. His 140 rushing yards on 29 carries gave the Vikings a season-high 37:38 time of possession in his 34-28 overtime at Carolina. After limping with a bad ankle earlier in the year, the 7th week of rest allowed Cook to recover. He wasn’t even on the injury report heading into this weekend’s matchup. Alternate Alexander mattison He also appears to be in better shape after dealing with a shoulder injury.
That is important because this offensive of Minnesota it is dynamic when everyone is healthy. In silence, the Vikings They rank fifth in the league in total yards, in the top 10 in rushing and passing offense, while committing only five turnovers in six games. Cousins Has kept this team on track since the beginning, avoiding panic after some initial losses and this veteran team is reaping the rewards. Diggs, who is battling an ankle injury, will struggle to add to his seven league-leading interceptions.
3.- Who are the unstable kicking problems that have been solved?
Here’s the biggest asterisk in a game that should be an offensive blast. Kicker Greg Joseph, out of the league in 2020, has made a shaky comeback after winning the starting job with the Vikings. In addition to the missed field goal late in the Cardinals game, he missed an extra point that could have sent him into overtime.
Against Detroit two weeks ago, Joseph needed redemption after missing a 49-yard field goal with 3:22 left in the game. In the last two weeks alone, he has had three failures and remains a wild card with limited experience.
Veteran Greg zuerlein should be circling around JosephBut he’s had some trouble in a tough year for kickers, too. His two missed field goals made the difference in the season opener against the Buccaneers; missed a third against the Patriots that would have given the Cowboys an advantage in the fourth quarter.
It’s a weak point for two teams that shine on offense. Joseph cannot be trusted, especially, still with the game on the line.
Minnesota Vikings vs Dallas Cowboys LIVE
It is a difficult game to put at a disadvantage with so much at stake if Prescott play and, if so, how effective it will be in the center. The recipe is there for a surprise from Minnesota to put the Vikings back on the NFC map, getting ahead of other teams vying for that last wild-card spot.
But the Cowboys they have a different feel around them this year. Even if Rush replaces the QB, there are enough offensive pieces here for them to outmaneuver their hosts on Sunday night.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Vikings 28
Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Vikings vs Dallas Cowboys, Vikings vs Cowboys Last modified: October 31, 2021
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