The Chargers (2-2) will face the Cowboys (3-2) on Monday Night Football to cap off the Week Six slate of games in the NFL. Dallas is coming off a 42-10 loss to the 49ers a week ago while the Chargers haven’t played since their 24-17 win over the Raiders in Week Four.
As of this morning, the Chargers are 1.5-point underdogs at home, per DraftKings Sportsbook.
For the first time since Week One, the Chargers will have Austin Ekeler back in the lineup who has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury. Derwin James is also back after a hamstring injury kept him out of the Raiders contest.
The Cowboys are ranked just 17th in the NFL in total yardage but still average the sixth-most points per game. Some of that, however, can be attributed to the defense which has multiple touchdowns on the season. Overall, it may not be as daunting of a challenge to keep this unit in check. If the Bolts defense can rise to the occasion, it’d go a long way in keeping pressure off Justin Herbert and Co. as they attempt to exploit a defense that’s coming off their lowest point of the young season.
With plenty of star power between these two teams, this is going to be one game you don’t want to miss. Let’s go ahead and dive into the predictions.
Michael Peterson: After a long wait, the Chargers are back on the field inide SoFi Stadium tonight to face off against the Cowboys. Dallas is 3-2 and coming off a tough loss to the 49ers. Over the past three seasons, the Cowboys have the highest win percentage following a loss (90 percent) and are 9-1 overall in that span. That doesn’t bode well for the Chargers. The way I see it, history is essentially telling us this is a loss. A three-year and 10-game sample is nothing to scoff at, either.
While the Chargers beat the Raiders in Week Four, edge rusher Maxx Crosby had a strong game against both Rashawn Slater and Trey Pipkins. The Cowboys will trot out Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, one of the best edge duos in the NFL. I don’t have a good feeling about that. The Chargers will have to be on top of their protection plan from the first whistle until the last if they hope to pull this one out.
Knowing the kind of offensive firepower they have in CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard, I’m worried the Chargers’ 31st-ranked defense won’t be able to play a complete game and they’ll wind up in another suspenseful one-score game. In the end, I’m going the reverse psychology route once again for this week.
Final Score: Cowboys 27-24
Kyle DeDiminicantanio: Since Mike McCarthy has taken the reigns as the Cowboys had coach, the team has done a great job of bouncing back from disappointing losses, and it doesn’t get much more disappointing than their Monday Night Football blowout last week.
They’ve looked like Super Bowl favorite at points this season, but the 49ers brought them crashing back down to Earth by serving a 42-10 loss. However, the biggest loss of the game might have been losing Leighton Vander Esch to another neck injury, and with Trevon Diggs on the IR the defense is missing some key contributors.
If the Chargers can find pay dirt early and force Dallas into a shootout, it’s hard to imagine Dak making it through the game without some key mistakes. The biggest concern Dallas fans seem to have is Dak’s ability to answer back when the team gets behind, and his tendency to make big mistakes in big moments, which leads to their losses often coming as blowouts despite winning by significant margins as well.
Micah Parsons is the disruptor that can change the course of this game, but David Halprin from Blogging The Boys informed us Dan Quinn will likely only shift Parsons over Trey Pipkins’ side situationally. That should bode well for the Chargers, as Rashawn Slater will get one of the biggest tests of his short career but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be up for the task.
Final Score: Chargers 27-17
Ryan Watkins: Kellen Moore has probably had this day circled since the day the Chargers took less than 24 hours to pick him up after the Cowboys decided to move on from their offensive coordinator of three years. I believe he will have the answer to whatever Dan Quinn has to offer and he has the weapons in Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen and a healthy Austin Ekeler to pull it off. I see the run game being vital, it might not end on a high total number but if it averages 4-5 yards a carry it will give enough room behind the front seven for Herbert to operate particularly if play action is utilised. The Cowboys' defense are banged up and missing their key alpha linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and I don't think their backups are going to have enough to stop the Bolts often enough to make a difference. My bold take is that I see Ekeler ending the day as the leading receiver.
On the other side of the ball I think the defense will have a tough time slowing down CeeDee Lamb, he is a master at exposing soft spots in zones and he moves around too much for Michael Davis to lock him up. He'll likely get big numbers but if the Chargers focus on slowing down Tony Pollard and forcing a surprisingly shaky Dak Prescott to win them the game with his arm, I think they'll have enough to let the offense win them the game.
Final Score: Chargers 27-24