The Buffalo Bills play on Thanksgiving Day this year, facing off with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13.
Buffalo is 8-3 on the season, giving them one of the better records in the entire NFL. However, Dallas is far from a pushover. The Cowboys are 6-5, atop the NFC East. They just lost in Week 12 to the New England Patriots, but only by four points (final score of 13-9). Oh, and the Cowboys are home this week.
So this certainly could be anyone’s game. Which raises the question, how can the Bills pull out the victory? Here are four reasons Buffalo could beat Dallas on Thanksgiving Day in Week 13.
The Buffalo defense has been one of the best in the NFL. It is the reason they’ve won so often.
So far, the Bills are allowing 288.6 total yards per game. That’s third-best in the NFL, behind only the San Francisco 49ers and the Patriots. Not only that, but it’s nearly 30 yards better than the Chicago Bears in fourth place (315.6 yards per game). That’s a pretty massive jump.
Buffalo is also in third place when it comes to points allowed per game (15.7) and is sixth in the NFL in sacks (33).
They don’t produce a lot of turnovers (13). However, with the fact that they don’t let teams move down the field on them all that much, turnovers aren’t all that essential.
Dallas has an electric offense. That being said, the Patriots showed in Week 12 that you can shut them down if you play them properly and have the talent to do so. Buffalo certainly has the talent to shut down any offense. Now they just need to execute.
A big knock on the Bills this year has been their competition. They have just one win against a team with a winning record, and that’s the 6-5 Tennessee Titans. In fact, that’s one of just two teams over .500 they’ve played all year (they lost to the Patriots as well).
The only other times they’ve played teams close to .500 have been the Cleveland Browns (a loss) and the Philadelphia Eagles (a blowout loss).
However, a win is a win, no matter the competition. And the Bills are now riding a two-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are in a similar boat with the competition. They are 0-4 against teams that have a winning record this year.
Obviously, they are coming off a loss to the Patriots in Week 12, and team owner Jerry Jones called out the coaching staff afterward.
It’s safe to assume the confidence is not 100% there for the Cowboys. They haven’t proven themselves against winning teams and now the coaching staff is under fire. Could this leak into their play on the field?
Cole Beasley spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Cowboys. Now he’s in his first year with the Bills, and the wide receiver has been great.
He is second on the team in receptions (49), receiving yards (525) and receiving touchdowns (4). And if you don’t think he’s going to build off that nicely in Week 13, you’re crazy.
Beasley also knows the Cowboys system, which the Bills could use to their advantage. He likely knows weaknesses and things to exploit when it comes to the offensive and defensive players that he went to war alongside for years.
Again though, the real story will be his play on the field. Beasley is currently on-pace for a new career-high in touchdowns. He’ll also flirt with new highs in yards and receptions. So the year he’s having is clearly pretty strong.
Going up against his old team, don’t be surprised to see Beasley have one of his best games all season and be a key factor in the outcome of the game.
Buffalo is going into Thanksgiving Day with very few players listed as “questionable” or worse. Meanwhile, Dallas has a little bit of an issue.
At the moment, three of their five starting offensive linemen are listed as “questionable”.
On defense, defensive tackle Antwaun Woods is doubtful and safety Jeff Heath is questionable. The big issue though, is superstar linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch.
With Vander Esch unable to play, the Cowboys’ defense looks drastically defense. He’d be a great piece to have against Josh Allen and the sporadic Buffalo offense. Without him though, the running attack of Buffalo might be able to feast.
Could that lead to a Bills’ win?