The NFL is a copycat league. It’s an adage that’s consistently repeating itself because the GMs and coaches in the league are just magpies fluttering around from shiny thing to shiny thing. A few years ago, it was 6’4 220 lb. cornerbacks who could jam receivers at the line of scrimmage before blanketing them with their condor-like wingspans (I’ll always remember you, Stanley Jean-Baptiste).
This year’s ‘‘hot new thing’’ seems to be going retro. Like, 1980s retro where the team runs the ball 35+ times a game. That’s what the Dallas Cowboys have done this season. They are the only team in the NFL to average 30 rushing attempts per game; that’s even more than the brand of Exotic Methmouth (credit to Weston) played in Nashville. The Cowboys have done this through the amalgamation of three All-Pro offensive linemen, along with a player who was supposed to be a top five pick but went undrafted and signed with the Cowboys anyway. This line is Dallas’ offensive spearhead. Ezekiel Elliott is a wonderful player, as is Dak Prescott, but the Cowboys would not be this successful if not for what was in front of those two players. Elliott’s a franchise back regardless of where he goes, and Prescott masterfully runs the offense by not turning the ball over and being enough of a threat with his legs to force defenses further into an unending amount of peril trying to stop this offense.
That peril will fall to the Minnesota Vikings tonight. Texans fans have already seen the Vikings’ stout defense once this year. Whereas we couldn’t pose a threat to it and its many stars, Dallas will, and that’s going to be the big match-up tonight.
That being said, the Vikings will be without their head coach Mike Zimmer for this game as well:
Mike Zimmer’s vision became worse after walk-thru. He had surgery for a detached retina. Out tonight. DC George Edwards will run the D.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 1, 2016
That’s your scene for tonight clash. This is your open thread where you can let loose on everything about the game.