Following their win against the New York Giants last week, Dallas has renewed playoff hopes for this season. However, right now the focus is on the Washington Commanders on Sunday. … including who on the injury list is in (Michsel Gallup) and who is out (Jayron Kearse, as first noted by @Schultz_Report. …
Here, we ask Commanders expert Jeremy Brener five key questions about the game. Here are his answers:
1) How does Washington scheme around the Dallas pass rush on Sunday?
Brener: The easiest way to beat a pass rush is to run the football and get quick passes out. Carson Wentz isn't someone who loves a check down, but that might be necessary to get the offense in a rhythm. Look for rookie Jahan Dotson to be involved in that part of the offense. As for the run game, Antonio Gibson should get a bulk of the carries, but don't be surprised to see J.D. McKissic or even Curtis Samuel get more opportunities.
2) What's the biggest matchup to watch for?
Brener: I think this game will be won in the trenches. The Cowboys lead the league in sacks, while the Commanders lead the league in sacks allowed. That's a major weak point for the Commanders and the team needs to play better on the offensive line if it wants to win the game. If the Commanders can pull off the upset in this matchup, their chances of winning will skyrocket.
3) Does this have the feeling of a "must-win" game for the Commanders early in the season?
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Brener: Considering the Commanders lost to the Philadelphia Eagles last week, a loss against the Cowboys would mark two straight NFC East losses and it would place Washington two games back of the top two teams in the division and the tiebreaker. So if the Commanders want to win the division, this is a "must-win" game. However, I don't think the season is over if Washington loses today.
4) What's the biggest key to success for Washington on Sunday?
Brener: Washington needs to protect Wentz on offense and prevent big plays on defense. The big plays have been an issue for Washington in each of the past two weeks, which lead to quick scores in the first half. If the Commanders can limit these big plays and keep Wentz afloat on offense, that's a winning combination for Washington.
5) Prediction for the game?
Brener: I think Washington's offensive line is going to struggle against the vaunted Dallas pass rush and it will prevent the Commanders from generating much flow on offense. However, I think Dallas' lack of explosiveness on offense will keep the game close.
Dallas 19, Washington 16
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