NFL Week 15: Sunday Night Football – Tampa Bay @ Dallas

Tampa Bay 47 @ Dallas -7

Monday December 19, 12:30pm AEDT 



Tampa Bay (8-5)

Tampa Bay remains well below average running the ball at 3.5ypr against teams allowing 4.1ypr but is averaging 6.5yps against teams allowing 6.3yps. Overall, because they are running the ball more lately, they rate below average, gaining just 5.2yppl against teams allowing 5.4yppl. The defense has played better as of late but is still below average, allowing 4.3ypr against 4.1ypr, 6.8yps against 6.6yps and 5.8yppl against 5.6yppl. They have forced 25 turnovers this year so despite the below average defensive numbers they only allow 23 points to teams averaging 24 points per game.

Dallas (11-2)

Dallas averages 4.8ypr against 4.2ypr, 7.2yps against teams allowing 6.4yps and 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.5yppl. The Cowboys defense is below average, giving up 6.5yps against 6.4yps and 5.7yppl against 5.5yppl but because they control the clock for so long on offense they only allow 18 points per game against teams averaging 21 points per game

Key Stats



OFR – Offensive yards rushing
OFP – Offensive yards passing
DFR – Defensive yards rushing allowed
DFP – Defensive yards passing allowed
YPR = Yards Per Rush
YPS = Yards Per Pass
YPPL = Yards Per Play


  • For Tampa Bay T Demar Dotson is out. LB Lavonte David and DT Gerald McCoy are listed as questionable as is S Chris Conte. Those first two listed on defense are big losses if they can’t go for TB.
  • For Dallas CB Morris Claiborne is out again as is DE Demarcus Lawrence

The Verdict

The Cowboys qualify in a late season scheduling spot, which is 65-24-1 and they also qualify in a fundamental rushing situation, which is 576-389-27. My numbers favor Dallas by seven points and project about 46 points. Tampa Bay has gone 5-1 ats on the road this year with the only blemish a blowout loss at Arizona following their week one victory over Atlanta on the road. That was a game they admitted they lost focus on following the week one victory. Dallas is 3-1 at at home this year with every win by at least five points. Tampa Bay has won five straight games and they have been running the ball a lot more as of late. That’s also helped their defense of late as they haven’t allowed more than 21 points in their last five games. With that said, two of those five games have been played on the road and they did allow the most points of those last five games on the road, allowing 17 at Kansas City and 21 at San Diego. Also, Kansas City was going in for a score and threw a pick in the end zone in that game so the Tampa Bay defense may not be quite as good as it appears on paper. The Giants and Vikings (two good defenses) have held the Cowboys in check this year, giving up 19, 17 and 7 points. Against everybody else Dallas has scored at least 24 points per game. At home they have scored at least 27 points, including against the Baltimore Ravens.

At the same time the Cowboys offense has protected their defense some but Dallas has only allowed three teams to score more than 20 points on them this year. Two of those teams (three games) came against some of the league’s best offenses in Washington (twice) and Pittsburgh. Philadelphia also managed to score 23 points as well. Tampa Bay has a below average offense so I’m not sure if they will get past 20 points in this game. At the same time Dallas is coming home where they do their best work offensively and should find a way to get to at least 27 points in this game. That may be enough to cover, especially seeing its likely this line will go below seven before game time.


Tampa Bay 17 Dallas 30

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