New England Visits Dallas

This is being touted at a possible Super Bowl preview! It is partly because both teams are undefeated (uh…so are the Colts?) and partly because both have dynamite offenses and fine defense. And, of course, one is in the AFC and the other in the NFC—so it is a great selling point.Okay, so at 5- 0, the Cowboys and Pats are both tops. How’re they going to match-up this Monday?

QB: The edge here goes to the Pats. Part of it has to do with experience, especially big time experience. Tom Brady obviously holds the decided edge there. But also there’s simply the facts regarding performance this season.

Romo has a QB rating of 93.9 and a completion rate of 59.1%. he has tossed 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, while be sacked 6 times.

Brady is scary this season. His QB rating is 128.7, and the eight-year vet has thrown 16 TDs and onlt 2 INTs. He’s been sacked twice and has a completion rate of 74.1%

RECEIVERS: The Patriots have a field of receivers that features the best one in the game—Randy Moss. In five games, Moss has 7 touchdowns and has averaged 16.2 YPG. Moss caught for over 100 yards in each of his first four games but had just 46 in his last game.

The prime guy for Dallas is Terrell Owens, who has 3 TDs and 18.4 YPC. But Owens has been held to an average of 58 yards in his last two games.

Team wise, Dallas has 301.6 YPG and the Pats have 276.6 YPG. Both teams have a range of guys to whom they can throw.

RB: The running back situation gives the edge to the Cowboys. Dallas has Marion Barber III, who has 56 attempts and an average gain of 6.0 yards each carry. He’s scored 4 TDs on the ground and also caught a pass for one. His best game was against the Bears when he ran for 102 yards. His worst was versus the Bills, which was last week when he was held to 28 yards in eight tries.

To a degree, the New England running game has been hurt by a groin injury to Laurence Maroney, who has missed the past two games. Versus Buffalo, he had his best game racking up 103 yards and averaging 5.4 YPC. The good news is that eight-year vet Sammy Morris has done a good job taking up the slack. He’s traveled over 100 yards in his two games as a starter with an average of 4.9 YPC and 3 TDs.

Team stats tell a different story. If you’re looking at yards per game, then the Pats hold the edge: 155 to 137.2. New England is averaging 4.5 YPC, while the Boys are at 4.7 YPC. The Cowboys have crossed the goal line 7 times and the Patriots only 4 on the ground.

OL: The Dallas offensive line is better at clearing the way for the runners but the New England line protects the QB better.

DEFENSE: Defending versus the pass is where the patriots excel, while the Boys are vulnerable versus the air ball. Still, Dallas leads the league with 10 INTs and New England has 8. NE has 14 sacks and Dallas 12. Neither team is easy to run on as the Patriots have allowed an average of 74.2 YPG and the Cowboys 80.6 YPG. Overall, the NE defense is better, holding teams to a total of 251.4 YPG and a total of 65 points Dallas has given up 285.4 YPG and a total of 96 points.

New England has allowed only 13.0 PPG; Dallas has given up 19.2.

Field Goals: Hey, this is not an exciting category but the fact is that a lot of games are won by three pointers. Give the edge to Dallas in terms of length and accuracy. The accuracy disparity is not big—90.9 to 87.5 with Dallas holding the lead.

This game has the top two teams in point production in the NFL meeting. The Pats lead the league with 36.4 PPG and the Cowboys are second with 35.2 PPG.

Edge? This is as even as it gets.

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