Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos
Date and Time: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium
Week 2 Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Cowboys -1, O/U 43
Cowboys vs. Broncos TV Coverage: FOX
All the talk going into the Cowboys Week 1 AFC East Sunday night tilt with the New York Giants was about Ezekiel Elliot and how he got the best of Roger Goodell by filing an injunction that allowed him to play even though he was tagged with a six-game suspension. While the reigning Rookie of the Year did his part rushing for a game-high 104 yards on 24 carries, it was the play of the Cowboys’ defense that set the tone from the opening kick until the bitter end. When it was said and done, NY tallied a grand total of 233 yards and lost the time of possession and turnover battles.
Dallas simply shut the Giants run game down and forced Eli Manning to try and convert numerous third and long instances. While the Giants offensive line played a huge role in the offense’s ineptitude, so did Big D’s defense which limited the duo of Paul Perkins and Orleans Darkwa to a combined 30 yards on 10 overall carries. Rod Marinelli’s stop unit ranked No. 1 against the run last season by giving up less than 84 yards per game. With Odell Beckham Jr. out of the mix, the Cowboys pretty much played with no fear of being beaten deep. That likely won’t be the case in the thin air of the Mile High City.
The Broncos dominated the Chargers through three quarters. The defense flat out stuffed Melvin Gordon on the ground, and gave up very little to Philip Rivers through the air. Trevor Siemian looked calm, cool, and collected running the new offense hooking up with Demaryius Thomas five times for 67 yards as well as Bennie Fowler for his pair of touchdown strikes. Heck, he even got into the scoring column himself on a one-yard touchdown plunge.
But all of that changed in the blink of an eye in the fourth quarter when Los Angeles forced turnovers on back-to-back Denver possessions. Before that, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram wreaked havoc in the backfield sacking Siemian with relative ease. Dallas sacked Eli Manning three times last week and picked him off once. When it was said and done, Denver conceded four sacks and looked to tire out in the late stages of the game. Dallas is likely going to shut the Broncos run game down much better than San Diego did, so the pass protection is going to have to be leaps and bounds better than it was last week if Denver is to remain undefeated in its home digs.
Player to Watch
Trevor Siemian handled himself very well in the season opener by completing 17 of 28 passes for 219 yards and having a part in all three of the Broncos touchdowns. The second-year field general had some nice games last season, but consistency plagued him throughout a bulk of it. Vance Joseph tabbed him as his QB1 early on in the preseason. It’s time for the Northwestern grad to reassure his ‘ol ball coach that he made the right decision. Denver is going to have a tough time racking yardage up on the ground in this game, so if the Broncos are to keep up with the Cowboys on the scoreboard, it will be a must for Siemian to step up to the plate and attack the weak link of Dallas’ defense.
Cowboys vs. Broncos Picks
I bet the Chargers last week and cashed due to getting my action in early at one of my favorite top 5 online sportsbooks. Do you really think I’ll go the other way this week? I’m not sold on Denver whatsoever. They were fortunate to get past Los Angeles, and I think the football gods make them pay for escaping their fate this time around. Say what you will about Ezekiel Elliott, the kid can flat out play! Denver was able to solve the Chargers ground attack, but it’s going to have all kinds of trouble dealing with a fully healthy Big D front wall that bulldozes all that gets in its way. Once that happens, look for Dak Prescott to have an easier time of it getting the best of one of the league’s best pass defenses. Too many things have to go right for the Broncos to win this game, and I’ll be wagering against that perfect storm occurring.
Cowboys vs. Broncos Week 2 ATS Pick: Cowboys -1 at BookMaker.eu
Cowboys vs. Broncos Score Prediction: Cowboys 23 – Broncos 13