Confrontation with high stakes NFL elites


Two things really matter in Sunday’s Cowboys-Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium:

– It should be a shootout.

– This should tell us a lot about both teams going forward.

Each of these teams is looking to validate itself as each team believes – the best in the league in both cases.

Who are the Cowboys?

The team that fell to the Broncos 30-16 at home two weeks ago? Or the team that tore down the Falcons 43-3 last Sunday?

Who are the chiefs?

Are they a “broken” team that has recently scored just 36 combined points in three games? Or is he the team that won the last two Super Bowls (winning one) and defeated the Raiders 41-14 last week – a victory that gave them a half-game lead in the AFC West?

A Cowboys Sunday win gives them an 8-2 record and promises to win the NFC East, where they lead 3 ¹ / ₂ games. This is also a quality win that will probably make them the best team in the NFC.

“We weren’t [in the Denver game], ” Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb told reporters after the win over Atlanta.

Doc Prescott and Patrick Mahomes
Doc Prescott and Patrick Mahomes
USAT Today Sports; Getty Images

Against Denver, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed just 48.7 percent of his passes. Against Atlanta, he completed 77 percent, threw two touchdown passes and ran for another.

Against Denver, the Cowboys defense allowed 190 rushing yards for the Broncos, who were 8-15 in third-down conversions. Against Atlanta, the Dallas defense held the Falcons to three points and a third-down conversion on 11 attempts, while the Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for just 117 yards.

Those statistics indicate that the loss to the Broncos was an aberration for the Cowboys, which won six in a row.

“We’re just trying to get better and try to take it game by game and when you’re in the game, play through the game,” Prescott said. “When we do that, I think we’re capable of achieving what we wanted. We’re not going to get over-confident again. [Denver] It does for you _ it leaves a taste in your mouth and keeps you humble.

A Chiefs win, in which quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the offense play well, validates that they have returned to rhythm and are perhaps ready to seize control of the division.

Mahomes, who threw for 406 yards and five TDs in the win over the Raiders, told reporters it was only a matter of time before the Chiefs regained their offensive mojo.

“We’ve done it before,” Mahomes said. “We’ve done that for the last few seasons. We were doing it early this season. We were moving the ball, we were doing a lot of things.

The 36 points in three games – though two of them were victories – caused some panic among Kansas City viewers.

“I knew we were going to click it again,” Mahomes said. “I’ve been saying that for weeks. We’re going to find it.”

The Chiefs offense is back on track and the Cowboys are averaging 31.6 points per game, which is the highest in the NFL, making the shootout.

Defensively, the Cowboys are allowing 21.7 points per game, which ranks 10th in the league. Opponent quarterbacks have an 82.7 rating against Dallas, which is the fourth-lowest.

Dallas ranks sixth in the NFL in trade margins (plus-5) thanks in large part to NFC-best 14 interceptions – thanks in large part to cornerback Trevon Diggs, who leads the NFL with eight. Digg leads the league in interception return yards with 142 and INT returns for two TDs.

The Kansas City defense actually carried the Chiefs during an offensive fight. Over the last five games, the Chiefs have allowed more than 17 points only once.

“Don’t overlook how the defense is playing,” Mahomes said. “That would make us a better football team.”

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