The Dallas Cowboys got what they wanted for Christmas, beating the Philadelphia Eagles and making the race for the NFC East a little more interesting.
On the other hand, the Tennessee Titans season seems to be quickly unraveling, after a loss to the NFL’s worst team, Houston Texans.
It is still unlikely the Cowboys will take control of the NFC East, but the win over the Eagles could be an advantage if they see them in the playoffs.
The Titans have blown a four-game lead in the AFC South, and losing five straight is a huge part of that.
Is Prescott On A Path To Getting Hot
Since Dak Prescott returned in Week 7, he has been hit or miss. While he has thrown a touchdown in every game, he also leads the NFL in interceptions, 11, during that stretch. The Cowboys running game and defense have covered up his blunders, only losing twice.
However, Prescott arguably had his best game after throwing a pick-six on the first drive last week. He made difficult passes all over the field for his first game over 300 yards, 347, with three touchdowns, hitting eight different receivers. CeeDee Lamb was the favorite, with 10 receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
It was the first time in a long time, Week 4 to be exact, that the Cowboys running game was held under 120 yards, with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combining for just 74.
There is a good chance they struggle again against the Titans, who allow the second-fewest yards on the ground per game. The offense could again be put on Prescott’s shoulders, facing a struggling secondary.
The defense will be facing their second straight backup quarterback. Last week they forced two interceptions, despite not having a single sack or quarterback hit. But the defensive line was still providing pressure.
Titans Have To Win This Game
This is a must-win for the Titans. A loss could nearly knock them out of the playoffs, with their final game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are hot and tied with the Titans for first place in the AFC South.
The Titans running game behind Derrick Henry should be able to get going. Last week he had 126 yards on 23 carries and one long 48-yard touchdown.
He has been one of the best back half-of-the-season rushers in the NFL in recent years, and in another cold game in Tennessee, signs point to more highlights from Henry. However, he has had five fumbles over the last five games.
On top of that, the Titans have what could be a secret weapon in quarterback Malik Willis. While he only rushed seven times for 40 yards and a touchdown. He used his legs a lot in college, rushing for 878 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season.
Utilizing him more in the run game could open up more holes for Henry or provide his own big plays. It also would keep him from throwing the ball, having two interceptions last week.
While the Cowboy’s defensive line is good, they struggle against the run, allowing 130 yards per game. Also, if the Titans can run the ball, they could slow down the Cowboys’ pass rush.
Furthermore, on defense, while the defense struggles against the pass, it’s because teams can not run on them. The Titans face the second-fewest rushing attempts, while the secondary sees the second-most pass attempts.
The Titans’ secondary also has 12 interceptions in the season, and with Prescott making mistakes, they could have another one.
Cowboy Are Here To Stay
The Cowboys could reach another level now that Prescott is in a rhythm. Despite Prescott’s struggles, they are in the top 10 in the NFL in points scored and fewest points allowed, along with the No.1 turnover ratio. This team is hitting its stride at the right time, and the Titans are not.
Their starting quarterback will miss the rest of the season, the defense has not been what was advertised, and a five-game losing streak is the outcome.
This could be the nail in their coffin for the season while the Cowboys look ahead to brighter lights.