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Six weeks into the 2023 NFL Season, teams are starting to feel the pressure of their seasons. The last two undefeated teams of the season are now defeated. The Monday Night Football matchup between the Dallas Cowboys (3-2) at the Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) will end a chaotic week.
The Cowboys started the season 2-0, but have lost two of their last three games with a tough loss at the Arizona Cardinals and a week five 42-10 loss at the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chargers started the season with two losses to the Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans. Their last two wins were against the Minnesota Vikings and the Las Vegas Raiders, two of the worst teams in the league.
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The defense for the Dallas Cowboys started the season dominant thanks to the stellar play of their pass rush led by outside linebacker Micah Parsons and the pass defense led by cornerback Trevon Diggs. Shortly before the week three loss to the Cardinals, the Cowboys lost Diggs for the season due to an injury. The defense hasn’t been the same since. Dallas ranks seventh in the league in points allowed per game (16.6), eighth in total yards allowed per game (292), and third in passing yards allowed per game (168.6).
The Chargers are taking on the best defense they have faced all season. Los Angeles has one of the most reliable and efficient quarterbacks in Justin Herbert and a dynamic weapon in running back Austin Ekeler. The Chargers are ranked fifth in the league in points per game (27.5), third in total yards per game (388.8), and second in passing yards per game (269). There is concern for the offense's health and stability as the season progresses.
There are even more concerns with the Chargers' defense, however. The Chargers defense ranks 25th in points allowed per game (26), 31st in total yards allowed per game (404) and 32nd (last) in passing yards allowed per game (299.8). The Chargers continue to be a team free-falling toward the bottom of the NFL, which is disappointing due to the young talent on their team.
There has been some instability in the Cowboys' offense through the last three games of the season. Dallas went from averaging 35 points in the first two games to averaging 21.3 points in the last three games. The Cowboys' offense is one-dimensional with their passing game being the only productive unit.
The Cowboys are going against the worst pass defense in the league. They are looking for more consistency from the passing game and Dak Prescott, who has thrown for five touchdowns.
Dallas’ defense is the least efficient at stopping the run. The Chargers have one of the most productive and dynamic running backs in the league in Austin Ekeler, in his first game back on the field.
To go along with a highly productive game from Dak Prescott, his number one receiver should have a big game. CeeDee Lamb has not accounted for over 53 receiving yards in a game since the 30-10 week two win over the New York Jets. He is due for a big game against the worst pass defense in the league.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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