New England Patriots Playoff Bye in Sight With Win Over Dallas Cowboys

Patriots Playoff Bye
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On Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys entered Gillette Stadium to less-than-desirable conditions. Fans and players alike saw winds gusting to over fifteen miles per hour and rain falling throughout the game. The hopes of a Patriots playoff bye look in sight after a 13-9 win over the Cowboys Sunday. The win moves the New England Patriots to 10-1, while the Cowboys drop to 6-5 on the season.

The weather definitely played a factor, as both offenses struggled throughout the game. The Patriots made the most of their turnovers, and the defense had a strong showing today. The Patriots held an offense led by passing yards leader Dak Prescott to just nine points. With the win, the Patriots extended their streak of holding teams to fourteen points or less in every win this season.

Patriots Playoff Bye in Sight With 13-9 Win Over Dallas Cowboys

Patriots Capitalize on Turnovers in First Half

As both teams struggled to get any momentum offensively to start the game, the New England Patriots got a spark from their special teams. seven-time Pro Bowler Matthew Slater blocked a punt attempt by Chris Jones, and Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones recovered the ball at the Dallas 12-yard line. Two plays later Patriots rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry caught his first touchdown of his career. The former Sun Devil caught a spinning toe-tapping score to put the Patriots up 7-0 late in the first quarter.

On the following drive, cornerback Stephon Gilmore caught his fourth interception on the season, setting the Patriots up at the Dallas 29-yard line. The turnover marked Dak Prescott’s tenth interception of the season. Although the Patriots followed up the turnover with a three-and-out, they were able to cap the drive with a Nick Folk 44-yard field goal. In the first half, the Patriots were able to score ten points off of the Cowboys’ two turnovers. In a game where offense was difficult to construct, the Patriots did a good job of making the most of their opportunities.

New England Defense Shuts Down Dak

Entering Sunday’s game, Dak Prescott had set the league on fire this NFL season. Despite the Cowboys now 6-5 record, Prescott entered Week Twelve leading the NFL in passing yards. Despite having Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Dallas has relied heavily on Dak in the passing game this season. Prescott, who was reportedly offered a 30-million dollar per year extension this offseason, chose instead to bet on himself and play out the final year of his rookie deal.

Prescott had another good game Sunday, finishing the game with 213 passing yards. That being said, the Patriots defense was able to hold the Cowboys offense to just three field goals in the game. Prescott’s performance marked his lowest passing yards total this season. Meanwhile, New England’s defense has now allowed only 4 passing touchdowns to their 20 interceptions on the season.

Patriots Look to Continue Post-Bye Week Success

Going into their bye week, the New England Patriots were looking back to the drawing board after a Week Nine 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The offense looked shaky as they had for a lot of the season. Defensively, the Patriots had work to do after allowing 372 yards to the Ravens offense. Thankfully for New England, they had their bye week to head back to the classroom and figure things out.

The Patriots came out strong after their week off, posting two straight victories against strong NFC East teams. The next two weeks will finish off their tough stretch of the season. The Patriots will look to overcome the Houston Texans (7-4) and Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) in their next two matchups. With Buffalo trailing near behind the Patriots in the AFC East at 8-3, New England will look to continue their winning ways to clinch their eleventh straight division title and a Patriots playoff bye.

Next Game: The Patriots head into NRG Stadium to face the Houston Texans next Sunday. The game is scheduled for primetime, so look for the Patriots and Texans to be at their best for the Sunday Night Football Matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 ET. (NBC)

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