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Free Pick: Dallas at Los Angeles Chargers 9/19/21
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Dallas at Los Angeles Chargers 9/19/21

Dallas played an excellent game in the opener before falling late to Tampa Bay and Tom Brady. They’ve had sufficient time to get over the loss and need to build off of their performance as they head for LA. The Chargers went on the road and came away with a 20-16 win over Washington and are looking to win the home opener and get off to a 2-0 start. This one is important to both teams and a must-win for the Cowboys. Time to break it down.

Offense: The Cowboys have star power all over the field on this side of the ball. Quarterback, Dak Prescott laid to rest all doubts on whether he was healthy or not, as he completed 42 out of 58 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns. Amari Cooper caught 13 passes for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns and CeeDee Lamb was dynamic as he added 7 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. They cause matchup problems against anyone. The one concern was a lack of production from the running game as they only managed 60 yards on 18 carries. This will be something to watch in Game 2. The Chargers are led by 2nd-year quarterback, Justin Herbert, who completed 31 out of 47 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown. Wide receivers, Keenan Allen (9 catches for 100 yards), and Mike Williams (8 for 82 and 1 TD) had good games. The running game was a disappointment as they managed on 90 yards on 28 carries. They are going to have to be able to put up some points against Dallas. Advantage: Dallas

Defense: Dallas has to be encouraged with their defense against the run as they held Tampa to only 52 yards. They forced two fumbles and got two interceptions and this are good signs. On the down side, Brady torched them for 379 yards but how many times has he done that in his career? Probably more disturbing, is the lack of a single sack and that has to improve. Defensive backs, Anthony Brown and Jayron Kearse each had 11 tackles and rookie linebacker Micah Parsons had a good debut with 7 tackles. Defensive end, DeMarcus Lawrence was a force upfront. The Chargers played very well on defense against Washington but Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt early and they played against the back-up. So, it is hard to get a read on how they actually played. Kenneth Murray had 10 tackles and Derwin James and Asante Samuel combined for 12 more. Joey Bosa is always a force and he had the lone sack of the game. It is safe to assume they will face a much stiffer challenge this week. Advantage: Neither

The Cowboys really need to win this one. They want to avoid going to 0-2 to start the season, even though they play in a division where they should be able to overcome this. On the other hand, the Chargers can really get a boost if they can win this one and start off 2-0 in a division that includes the Kansas City Chiefs. Los Angeles is a 3 point favorite.


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