Week 14 already includes the smell of the dates around Christmas: most of the games have implications for the postseason and the duels carry a load of drama that reminds us why the NFL is the best league in the world.
In the menu we find the complicated duels that the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills will face, understanding that the result they obtain against Washington, Arizona and Tampa, respectively, will draw much of the panorama that awaits them for the final stretch of the calendar.
Again, forecasting the results is a complicated task due to the large number of surprises that are being presented, but ESPN Deportes analysts put their chests to the fore to give their analysis and predictions.
SHOULD COWBOYS USE TONY POLLARD MORE AND REGULATE EZEKIEL ELLIOTT’S WORKLOAD HEADING TO PLAYOFFS?
SEBASTIÁN M. CHRISTENSEN / Twitter: @SebastianMCESPN
I think that will depend on the health of Ezekiel Elliott, who is clearly not 100 percent now. Pollard is a more explosive running back, while Elliott is more effective running between the tackles and in the red zone. I think they are complementary runners, and one backfield per committee would be ideal. Having said that, there is no doubt that Pollard has looked really good this year, and his touches will only increase as a result.
ALFONSO MANCILLA / Twitter: @poncho_mancilla
Assuming that the Dallas Cowboys will not make another paperwork that throws them out of the playoffs (because it won’t happen, right?) The option that Tony Pollard’s performance is presenting is music to the team’s ears.
Of course, in a season that is longer and tiring this year, Elliott will urge some rest heading into the postseason.
It would only be necessary to define the ideal method: if the number of snaps is divided between the two from now on, or else, Elliott’s participation is reduced, betting that he will arrive much fresher to the Postseason.
IVIS ABURTO / Twitter: @IvisAburto
Fortunately, the Cowboys have a Tony Pollard who has proven capable of carrying the weight of the running attack with an average of 5.1 yards per rush and who can be the centerpiece of Dallas’ running attack to give Ezekiel Elliott time to get there. fresh to the postseason and less knee sore.
The ideal would be to maintain that “1-2 punch” in the final stretch of the regular season, but the Elliott-Pollard combination could be even more effective if it reaches the Playoffs fresh to face defenses worn down by the hustle and bustle of the regular season.
PABLO VIRUEGA / Twitter: @PabloViruega
The balance of the running game will always be important. Two hit harder than one. This year Dallas has used Pollar much more and Elliott has understood that role on offense, just that there are plays where it is better to have one than the other and there it can be the impression that one is used more than the other.
I think rather that what the Cowboys need is to give Elliot a little rest in the sense of recovering from the knee injury and that can only be given in the course of a game depending on the advantage that you have to do without of Ezekiel’s services.
CARLOS NAVA / Twitter: @TapaNava
The Cowboys have long had to take the load off Zeke Elliott or even unequip him for at least one game. He has dragged a knee injury from Week 4. The problem is that Elliott has more responsibilities and helps more than just running the ball with some other aspects, especially blocking when the line was injured and / or suspended.
Now the problem is that Tony Pollard has a sore foot from the touchdown run at News Orleans, which has not let him practice this week.
IN THE LAST SECTION OF THE REGULAR SEASON, WHO WOULD BE MORE USEFUL TO A VICTORY, BILLS OR BUCCANEERS?
SEBASTIAN: To the Bills without a doubt. Not just because their margin of error narrowed after Monday night’s loss to New England, but if you look at their schedule, they’ve faced five backup quarterbacks so far this season.
In the remaining seven games, they are 2-5. Josh Allen is not showing the same precision as he was last year, the running game is almost non-existent, and the Bills need such a win to prove to themselves that they can remain candidates.
ALFONSO: It will sound rhetorical, but in December all victories are urgent. It’s true that Bills got a good shave to his postseason claims with the loss to the Patriots and they come in with a greater sense of urgency.
However, for the Tampa troop, the dispute for the best mark of the National Conference is still alive, in addition to Tom Barbie (I mean, Brady) he likes to get his best rhythm on that part of the calendar, as well as having the Bills as sons from his time in the biggest mousetrap in Foxborough.
IVIS: The victory would be more useful for a Bills who suddenly fell to the seventh seed in a playoff race that is very tight in the AFC after falling to the Patriots and with several teams breathing down their heads, with the duel against the Buccaneers and Another pending game against New England in Week 16, the margin of error for Josh Allen and company is little and the risk of being left out of the Postseason is latent … this, regardless of whether they close the season against the New York Jets, a game that could being too late for Buffalo.
On the other hand, the Buccaneers can win the NFC South with a victory over the Bills and focus their attention on stalking the Green Bay Packers to snatch the second seed and two pending games against the Carolina Panthers and in the middle of them another against the Jets they can serve as a springboard for that purpose.
PAUL: In the last month of the regular season and if they are in the fight for the playoffs every victory is useful. Buffalo is bound to win because New England is slipping away in the Division and they would be moving away from the wild card spots, while Tampa Bay has to keep winning in order to catch up with Green Bay and Arizona in the top two positions.
The fact that Bucs has won his Division does not give him the luxury of losing a game, since the goal of everyone involved is to finish in the first position to rest the first week.
Both of them will use a victory to be in a better playoff position, because the teams that are in postseason position not only look at the Division but where they can finish in the conference to be able to receive a game and finish the best seed. possible.
CHARLES: Of course, a victory would be much better for the Bills, who are not only in jeopardy in their career for a divisional title, but even in the playoffs themselves at the end of the season.
The Buccaneers go alone in the National Conference South, where no one can even overshadow them. The only concern for Tom Brady and his friends should be seeding the conference into the playoffs.
IS THE DUEL AGAINST THE CARDINALS THE LAST CHANCE FOR THE RAMS TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE CANDIDATES TO WIN THE NFC?
SEBASTIAN: It will not be the last chance because they will be in the playoffs. But it would certainly be important for team morale, considering they have lost the last three games to teams with a winning record.
The win against the Jaguars represented a better version of Matthew Stafford, but both the franchise and his fans want to see him shine against a good team.
After all, Stafford and the big games are a pending account, given that he has never won a division, and has never won a playoff game.
ALFONSO: It is time for Rams to launch a thunderous message to the rest of the league regarding what is known to be their highest claim: playing the Super Bowl next February at home. Cardinals will allow them to measure the real level of their claims and a game as a way for their veteran stars to show that they can take the victory despite the fact that in the collective coupling they continue to have notable deficiencies.
IVIS: Probably yes, because literally the Rams are bullies with a 2-4 record against teams with a winning record and 6-0 against teams with less than .500 records. Plus, not only have they lost to heavyweights from both conferences but they’ve actually been dominated in those four losses to the Cardinals (Week 4), Tennessee, San Francisco, and Green Bay.
The only relevant win for Los Angeles, which armed itself to the teeth to play the Super Bowl at home, was over the Buccaneers in Week 3, but it was still very early in the season and Tampa Bay was not the team it is today. . Even if they lose for the second time to Arizona, the Rams will be in the Playoffs and having been dominated by several of the teams that will play in January could be a double-edged sword for a Los Angeles team that could be motivated to show that they can beat anyone. or that you may get mentally weak for those encounters ..
PAUL: I do not rule them out among the candidates at the Conference. His record is 8-4, which in the AFC would be one of the best; Of course, I understand that they are not there and it would be to play with their positions ..
Due to the talent it has on both sides of the ball, it is a team that cannot be ruled out, it is a team that can find the rhythm at the most important moment of the season and link with the playoffs, they just need to play more as a team than as individuals. , and it is not because they do not want to, simply because they have not found that coordination, especially with the newcomers, Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr.
This could be the last chance to win their Division, but with the team they have it can be a very uncomfortable wild card, whom no one will want to face and who can eliminate a better seed.
CHARLES: Not at all. The Rams will have more opportunities but that will be until the postseason. For now, they are still competing with the same Cardinals for the first division. But if they get indigestible for a couple more games, the playoffs can get complicated.
That must be their real concern at this time and playing better football, without so many deliveries of the ball … and showing that they are the best in the National is inconsequential before reaching the postseason ….