By Alex Al-Kazzaz
Dallas and Tampa met last season in Week 1. Tampa was the reigning and defending Super Bowl Champions while Dallas was coming off a disastrous season plagued by injuries. Tampa would emerge victorious with a final score of 31-29, taking advantage of missed opportunities by Dallas to win the game.
The rematch is on Sunday and it takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. No doubt, Dallas is determined to get even. Dak Prescott says that Dallas is ready to silence the critics. If Dallas is to stun the haters, the only way they can do so is on the gridiron. Words don't mean much. Quite frankly, words mean absolutely nothing. It's about results. Most importantly, it's about WINNING.
Is Tampa the overwhelming favorite?
Tom Brady has never lost to Dallas, but there's always a first time for anything! Tampa is facing issues of its own, specifically with the offensive line and other various injuries. With a banged-up offensive line, Brady will be in danger as he goes against a hungry Cowboys defense that is hoping to build on last season's respectable performance. But Brady has always faced danger, hasn't he? So it won't be new for him, but being 45 years of age, the circumstances aren't the same.
Julio Jones signed with Tampa in the off-season and it's unclear how it will go for the former Atlanta Falcon. Tampa's still got weapons. The advantage is clearly theirs despite being the visiting side. Dallas' defense can put up a fight and they'll need turnovers and QB sacks if they're to finally defeat the one and only TOM BRADY!
Does Dallas have a chance?
Dallas is Dallas, but regardless, they can't be taken out of the equation. But Dallas has offensive line issues of their own. They did sign veteran tackle Jason Peters but it'll be weeks before he's ready to see any playing action. For now, he's on the team's practice squad. However, Dallas cannot rely solely on a veteran offensive lineman. So with many unanswered questions about the offensive line, this isn't good for Dallas.
Interesting how both Dallas and Tampa come into this game with offensive line issues, huh? Because without an offensive line, the running game and passing game negatively affect both teams. The rhythm of the game can be negatively impacted.
For Dallas, if they can find a way to make it through despite their offensive line issues, they can win. The offense needs to be highly productive and the defense needs to be able to take advantage of Tampa's offensive line woes. Tampa will surely do the same to Dallas. Right now, it could very well be anyone's game.
Keys to victory for Tampa
- Power through the Dallas defense
- Keep Prescott out of his comfort zone
- DO NOT GIVE DALLAS A RUNNING GAME
- Force turnovers
-Sack the quarterback
-DO NOT RELINQUISH CONTROL
Keys to victory for Dallas
- Register at least six sacks and remind Brady that un-retiring was a bad move
- Force at least three turnovers
- DO NOT COMMIT PENALTIES! ESPECIALLY OFFENSIVE HOLDING
- Establish an effective running game that can stay effective
- KEEP THE OFFENSE IS RHYTHM
- TAKE CONTROL AND KEEP IT
- SETTLE FOR SIX AT ALL COSTS!
Final prediction: Tampa Bay wins 34-27