Brandon Marshall is smelling an upset in one of Week 12’s most anticipated matchups.
It will be a battle of division leaders Sunday afternoon when the New England Patriots host the Dallas Cowboys. New England is in the process of putting the finishing touches on yet another AFC East crown, while Dallas finds itself in a tight race for NFC East supremacy.
Given how tough the Patriots are to beat in Foxboro, oddsmakers currently have the reigning Super Bowl champions favored by a touchdown. Marshall, however, sees the Cowboys winning outright.
“…You look at the New England Patriots defense. Since Week 4, they’ve been gashed,” Marshall said Wednesday on FS1’s “First Things First.” “There’s been one team that’s given up more yards per rush and that’s the freaking Jacksonville Jaguars, OK? So that’s what it comes down (to), to me. I love what the Cowboys have, I don’t like where New England is at right now and I think that because of Ezekiel Elliott and this running game, Dak Prescott is going to be the guy that’s going to lead the way. Everyone is picking New England right now. Everyone. Not so easy, not so fast, OK? The Cowboys will win this game.”
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) November 20, 2019
While New England features arguably the league’s best defense, the unit has proven to be susceptible to the run, allowing 130 rushing yards or more in four of nine games thus far. While the likes of Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook deservedly have garnered the bulk of praise for RBs, Elliott is putting together a fine season. The fourth-year pro currently ranks eighth in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game while sitting in a tie for sixth for scores on the ground.
That said, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick historically has found success subduing an opposing team’s top playmaker. With a lights-out secondary, New England’s front seven can afford to zero in on Elliott. Prescott is no slouch, but it might be wishful thinking to expect him to win a game with his arm at Gillette Stadium.
Regardless, we should be in store for one heck of a matchup when two of the NFL’s preeminent franchises collide.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images