The End Is Near

NFC Game Of The Week

Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts

Cowboys: The boys are rolling right now. Five straight wins and they’re coming off a huge win on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. I’ll continue to say it because it’s the truth: When you continuously feed Zeke the football, they are a much different football team. You see just how much of a difference maker he is on the field compared to when he’s not. His presence makes life easier for those around him and he commands a lot of attention. He forces defense to put so many additional men in the box and that’s what opens the passing game for Dak Prescott and the rest of the offense. I remember when the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper, many questioned the move. Was he a good pick up? Could he make a difference? Only time would tell I said after the move and he’s been excellent for the offense along with giving Dak a weapon down the field, something they haven’t had much of since the Dez Bryant days. The offense has improved since the beginning of the year, but the defense has really been the backbone of this team. I think this is the third best defense in the league right now behind the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens. They have pass rushers that can get into your face, move all around and push you into your backfield, the linebacking core is excellent and it’s anchored by Smith and Vander Esch and the secondary has held its own. They are closing in on winning their second division title in the last three seasons and they will travel to Lucas Oil Stadium for a showdown with the Colts.

Colts: Sunday against the Texans was huge for them. They needed to make a statement after that awful performance in week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars where they didn’t score a touchdown. They showed up big time and got a big win on the road in Houston to snap the Texans nine-game winning streak. I can sit here and say I like the direction that the Indianapolis Colts are headed in the right direction for the next few seasons. Of course, having a healthy Andrew Luck makes all the difference, but the coaching has also been good. Frank Reich is a former player that can relate to his players and in a short period of time, I’ve seen them play harder and show more effort for Reich, coaching can truly make a difference. That win on Sunday keeps their playoff hopes alive in the AFC and believe it or not, the division title. Had they lost, they would’ve been mathematically eliminated from contention to win the division. Heading into that game, I said that they had to treat it as a playoff game which they did. Andrew Luck is one of my top candidates for comeback player of the year. I can truly say that the league is better when he’s healthy. To remain alive in the playoff picture, they will need to win this game on Sunday against a hot Cowboys team coming to Indianapolis.

Cowboys Player To Watch: Byron Jones– In this game, he will have the task of trying to limit the big play of T.Y. Hilton. Byron is a taller corner with long arms to really disrupt the receiver he’s guarding. I think he’s ready for this task. He can’t let up and let Hilton sniff any open space or it will be a long day for him.

Colts Player To Watch: Eric Ebron– For years, I’ve been saying that they needed a second weapon to complement Hilton. I think he’s it! He’s finally looking like the guy we were hoping for in Detroit. He’s my pick for most improved player of the year.

Final Analysis: This could be a fun one on Sunday afternoon. Both teams are rolling, and this is a very big game for them in their conferences. With a win on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will clinch the NFC East. Another win for the Colts will keep them in the running for the AFC South. The Colts need to be ready to shut down Zeke which isn’t the easiest task. The Colts defense held Deshaun Watson to 267 yards passing last week and if they can make Dak pass it, all should work for them. How will the Cowboys limit the big play of Ebron and Hilton? They must also limit the scrambling of Luck in open space.

Prediction: Colts 26 Cowboys 23