The Dallas Cowboys head to Nashville to take on the struggling Tennessee Titans on Thursday night, opening the NFL Week 17 schedule.
There’s still a lot on the line for Dallas despite the fact that Mike McCarthy and Co. have clinched a playoff spot. By virtue of their win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve, the Cowboys head into Week 17 still alive in the NFC East race.
Tennessee finds itself in a different situation. The team has now lost six consecutive games after starting the season with wins in seven of its first 10 games. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is sidelined to injury.
Despite this, Mike Vrabel’s squad is tied for first place with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC South with a do-or-die Week 18 outing against the Jags in Duval on the horizon. Below, we provide you with three bold predictions for the final Thursday Night Football game on Amazon Prime of the season.
Micah Parsons stays live in NFL Defensive Player of the Year conversation
For a while earlier this season, it seemed as if Parsons would run away with the DPOY award. The 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year recorded 21 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for loss and 12 sacks over the first 11 games of the season.
Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, it seems as if Nick Bosa has passed Parsons up on this list in recent weeks. The latter has recorded just three quarterback hits and one sack over the past four games.
We fully expect that to change with Parsons going up against inexperienced Titans reserve quarterback Josh Dobbs. A fourth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2017, Dobbs has thrown 17 career regular-season passes in his career. You can do the math from there.
Tennessee Titans rookie Hassan Haskins doubles his season rushing output
With Derrick Henry doubtful to go in this one, the Titans are going to need everything possible from from this rookie fourth-round pick. That’s especially true now that Josh Dobbs will be Tennessee’s starting quarterback Thursday night.
Having put up 50 yards on 11 attempts in 13 games as a rookie, Haskins will get the start here. With Tennessee likely treating this as a preseason game, the expectation is that this former Michigan standout will get a nice amount touches.
The better news? Dallas’ defense has proven it can be run on. Prior to giving up just 87 yards on the ground in what was a high-scoring game against Philadelphia in Week 16, this team yielded an average of 137 rushing yards in its previous three games. It also gave up 240 yards on the ground to the Chicago Bears in Week 8 and another 207 yards in a loss to the Green Bay Packers the following week.
Dallas Cowboys star QB Dak Prescott plays mistake-free game
Dak Prescott was flawless after an early interception against the Eagles a week ago. He completed 27-of-35 passes for 347 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. That came going up against one of the best defenses in the NFL this season.
It was also somewhat surprising given that Prescott had been among the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the league leading up to the game with 10 interceptions in his previous six games.
This won’t be an issue taking on a Titans defense that has yielded 26 passing touchdowns against 12 interceptions on the season while giving up the second-most passing yards in the league. Look for Prescott to turn in his first mistake-free outing since all the way back in Week 11.