NFL- Dallas Cowboys VS Los Angeles Rams
NFC Divisional Playoff Dallas Cowboys versus Los Angeles Rams: Will Dallas be able to take down the Rams?
The Rams narrowly missed out on the number one seed in the NFC, but settled for the number two seed with a 13-3 regular season mark. The host the Dallas Cowboys, who are coming off a 24-22 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card round.
Examining the teams statistically during the regular season, Dallas relied heavily on a strong defence and running attack. They gave up the sixth fewest points in the league, while ranked just 22nd in scoring. On the flip side of the coin, the Rams featured a potent offence that averaged 32 per game, but just 20th in points allowed.
There has been much talk about the great running back battle between Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley. Elliott had more rushing yards 1434 to 1251 and receptions 77 to 58, but Gurley found the end-zone with more regularity, 21 touchdowns compare to nine for Elliott.
Of course, the game will be decided by more than the performance of the running backs. Dak Prescott provided a total of 4190 yards and 28 touchdowns when factoring in passing and rushing. However, Prescott was sacked an extraordinary 56 times and Dallas will have to contend with a pass rush that includes All-Pro Aaron Donald, who recorded 20.5 sacks this season. Prescott is also down a receiver following last week’s injury to Allen Hurns. Cole Beasley is also hobbled, putting more pressure on Amari Cooper.
The Rams have the luxury of numerous weapons to compliment Gurley. Second-year quarterback Jared Goff threw for 4688 yards and 32 touchdowns. He will look for favourite targets Robert Woods (86 catches, 1219 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Brandin Cooks (80 catches, 1204 yards, 5 touchdowns). Five other members of the Rams had at least 20 receptions making defending them extremely difficult.
The Rams have an advantage in the kicking game as well. Greg Zuerlein hit nearly 90 percent of his 31 attempts, including 4-for-6 from beyond 50 yards. Brett Maher demonstrated a strong leg, having hit from 62 yards this season. However, accuracy is sometimes an issue, as he missed seven kicks from beyond 30 yards this season.
Dallas has been hot and clearly has enough to stay competitive for a while, but the Rams should be able to pull away later in the game with their fire power. The Cowboys won’t be able to keep pace in this high scoring game. The Rams will win by more than a touchdown.
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