DALLAS- If there is such a thing as the middle point of a 17 game season, we’re a little bit past that now. It’s Week 10 in the NFL! The race to the playoffs is heating up and several teams are contesting for their position in the postseason. In America’s heartland, a contested game between two teams will play a vital role in shaping the playoffs. Tomorrow, the Atlanta Falcons will face the Dallas Cowboys. Atlanta has suddenly come back with a vengeance with a 4-4 record. Dallas is coming off of a devastating blowout loss to the Denver Broncos.
Dallas is definitely an up-and-coming team that comes across as the potential NFC representative in the Super Bowl. This team has the offense to take on any defense with Dak Prescott at the helm and one of the best trios at receiver with Cee Dee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. Ezekiel Elliott consistently provides the Cowboys offense with plenty of balance and big-play excitement. The Cowboys offense goes against the Atlanta defense and the Falcons need to step it up and get stops early. Atlanta is a team known for moving the ball well especially with quarterback Matt Ryan, receiver Calvin Ridley and tight end Kyle Pitts. Dallas has the edge with home-field advantage. Their improving defense has rising stars like linebacker Micah Parsons who has the speed and excellent tackling technique to stop anyone from gaining big chunks of yards. Parsons has his work cut out for him this time though.
Another very important game takes place between the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots. Several weeks ago, New England wasn’t a factor at all. If there’s one thing NFL fans can usually count on, it’s the Patriots making the playoffs. Last year was a different story. This time, the Patriots are making a serious run at the AFC wild card.
Both teams are 5-4. One of these teams will get a much-needed boost of confidence. Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones is making the Massachusetts faithful forget about Cam Newton. The Patriots are winning with Jones running the offense and this team suddenly looks comfortable. New England has one of the top defenses which is no surprise. The Patriots won’t have the tough task of slowing down Browns running back Nick Chubb as he will miss the game because he tested positive for COVID-19. However, D’Ernest Johnson presents a different kind of challenge with his insane speed and agility. Johnson rushed for over 100 yards against the Denver Broncos in his first start so perhaps he will do it again.
With the Browns offensive line, one could just about fit a pickup truck through those gaps. That’s a joke but the holes that the offensive line provides can give most running backs an edge over any defense. The Patriots still have a challenge on their hands. Also, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is playing at a high level despite the torn labrum on his non-throwing shoulder. It seemed like too much of a risk at first but perhaps Mayfield can still get the job done. Cleveland is looking to put the pressure on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North standings.
Meanwhile, the Patriots are closing in on the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East. Both divisions could have wild races to the finish. Jones will face a lot of defensive pressure up front with defensive ends Myles Garrett and JaDaveon Clowney. Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah returns to action so the Patriots offensive line has a tough challenge.
Browns 31 Patriots 24
Cowboys 45 Falcons 31