Thursday Night Football this week will take us to Dallas for a rare Thursday game where both teams are coming off of having a full week to prepare and get as healthy as possible after both teams played on Thanksgiving. Dallas is currently on a three-game winning streak and with the injury to Alex Smith in Washington and the way the Eagles have been playing, their chances of winning the NFC East have really increased and a win here would be huge. New Orleans is on a 10-game winning streak and are sitting at 10-1, but it’s important for them to keep winning to try and get the number one seed in the NFC with the way the Rams have kept winning.
Saints offense vs Cowboys defense
Dallas has been pretty good on defense this season, but New Orleans has been historic on offense. The Saints are extremely balanced and not just in the fact that they can run and pass the ball very well, but they also have a lot of guys that can do damage, and that was showcased on Thanksgiving when they had four different guys catch TD passes and none of them were Michael Thomas, who is one of the better receivers in the league.
The strength of the Dallas defense is the front seven and they can get after the passer and that’s lead by DeMarcus Lawrence and that can be a big concern for the Saints, because Terron Armstead isn’t going to play and he’s been one of the better left tackles in the league this season so the offensive line will have to be shuffled around.
I think with the Cowboys being at home and having a good defense they can do a better job than most have been able to do against New Orleans up to this point, but it still won’t be easy to hold them even under 30 points with how good they have been as of late.
Cowboys offense vs Saints defense
The Dallas offense has been more explosive since the acquisition of Amari Cooper. The strength of the team still comes down to that running game and Ezekiel Elliott, but with this newfound passing game over the last couple weeks they’ve been able to be a lot more balanced and it’s made things easier for that running game.
The tough part of this matchup for the Cowboys is that the Saints have the number one rush defense in the league. Now some of that is a product of them getting leads early and then their opponents having to mostly throw the ball for the rest of the game, because when I watch them, they’re good against the run, but they don’t feel really elite.
For Dallas to be able to move the ball and keep up with New Orleans they will have to try and establish a running game and keep Drew Brees and that offense on the sidelines, and it’ll be really interesting to watch that matchup and see which team can get the best of it.
Wil Lutz and Brett Maher are both really good kickers and with this game being an indoor game, I view this as a really even kicking matchup.
Thursday games are very tough on road teams, but this isn’t the usual set of circumstances around a Thursday game because both teams played on Thanksgiving so they’ve had the same amount of time to get ready for the game and it’s a full week. I think that will make the difference in the Saints being able to go in and get a road win and continue to win.