The Los Angeles Chargers are set to square off against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. On the biggest stage of the year, the Chargers must rely on the play of their defensive line.
The Los Angeles Chargers enter Thanksgiving with a 4-6 record and a decent chance at making the playoffs. The Dallas Cowboys enter Thanksgiving with a 5-5 record and a hard path to the playoffs. At 1:30 PST time the two teams are set to do battle on the biggest stage of the year thus far: primetime Thanksgiving.
Ask any football fan four months ago and they would have written the Chargers off in this came. The Dallas Cowboys were coming off of a 13-3 season. Although they were not the same Cowboys of last season, their reign atop the NFC East seemed inevitable.
On the other hand, the Chargers were coming off of 5-11 record in a new city in a soccer stadium. Los Angeles was touted as a dark horse candidate to make the playoffs early on, but did not seem fit to compete with a stacked Dallas Cowboys team.
Now, 11 weeks into the NFL season the Chargers can turn around their fortune and benefit from the massive stage in Dallas. Dallas, however, must win this game to keep their name in the playoffs hat. A loss here could be the ultimate dagger to a playoff run.
For the Chargers to come away with the victory against the Cowboys they must rely on one thing: the play of their defensive line. Led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, this Chargers pass rush is scary. In fact, Bosa and Ingram are the two best edge rushers in pressuring the quarterback this season.
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Dak Prescott, who showed that under pressure cannot thrive, will be looking straight into the teeth of Bosa and Ingram. Without Ezekiel Elliot to lean on — who is serving his third game into his six-game suspension — the offensive options look bleak for the Cowboys.
With Casey Hayward defending Dez Bryant the Cowboys do not have much more in their arsenal. This Chargers pass rush played a huge role in the team’s six takeaways against the Buffalo Bills.
Prescott certainly is no Nathan Peterman. However, by making him uncomfortable Prescott will begin to look much more like a second-year quarterback.
Thus, the door is opened for veteran Philip Rivers to manage the game and put the offense in positions to win. Ignore the shoddy at times coaching, the home field advantage and the overall support for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Los Angeles Chargers have the perfect tools to take away a victory in Dallas on Thanksgiving. As that LA defensive line succeeds, Dallas’ playoff chances will crumble.