Week 8 is here. After a nice win over the Detroit Lions last week, the Dallas Cowboys welcome the Chicago Bears to town on Sunday.
Before the Cowboys and Bears square off, here are three bold predictions for Sunday’s matchup.
1) Tony Pollard shines in a spot start, surpassing 100 yards on the ground for the fourth time in his career
The Bears' defense has been absolutely dreadful against the run this season. Pro Football Focus has Chicago’s run defense ranked as the fourth-worst in football, behind the Texans, Browns, and Giants. Chicago has given up 1,048 yards on the ground, tied for the most in football with the Seahawks. They also have given up the most rushing first downs in the league (64), nine more than the second-place Lions.
Chicago has surrendered over 115 yards rushing to their opponent in five of their seven games, and they are currently giving up an average of 177 rushing yards in their four losses. Unfortunately for the Bears, their struggles to stop the run are going to continue on Sunday.
Even though the Cowboys are only averaging 21 points per game over the last three weeks, they are running the ball well. Dallas has surpassed 130 yards on the ground in three straight games, averaging nearly 4.8 Y/A during this span.
Ezekiel Elliott seems unlikely to play in this game as he deals with a knee injury, so Tony Pollard will be thrust into the starting spot. Pollard, and the Dallas run game as a whole, will be the driving force of their offense from the opening kick.
Pollard surpasses 100 rushing yards for the fourth time in his career as the Cowboys rack up 150+ on the ground.
2) Dallas’ pass rush dominates once again, recording five sacks and holding the Bears under 14 points
The Bears’ offense has given up the most sacks in football. The Cowboys’ defense has recorded the most sacks in football. You don’t need to look much further to see how this matchup is going to go.
After starting off the season fairly well, Chicago’s offensive line has really struggled to protect quarterback Justin Fields over the last four games. Fields has been sacked 17 times over his last four games, including being sacked six times against the Giants and five times against the Commanders. Fields is a mobile quarterback, but he’s not going to be mobile enough to get away from Dallas’ relentless pass rush.
The Cowboys are currently averaging over four sacks per game, and they’ll surpass that mark on Sunday. For the second straight week, Dallas sacks the opposing quarterback five times as their defense puts together a dominant effort.
3) KaVontae Turpin finally breaks free
It just seems like a matter of time before KaVontae Turpin returns a punt for a touchdown. Turpin currently leads the league averaging 16 yards per punt attempt and has been one broken tackle away from a touchdown a few times.
Fifteen NFL players have returned more than 10 punts this season. Their average yardage per return:— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 24, 2022
*Cowboys WR KaVontae Turpin https://t.co/C2Im3J4acP
Cowboys rookie WR KaVontae Turpin nearly became the first NFL player to return a punt for a touchdown in 2022. He just missed Sunday vs. Lions on a 52-yarder. LB Luke Gifford: "Turp is always a spark." pic.twitter.com/7U55y1Odn2— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 24, 2022
12 years ago against the Bears, Dez Bryant scored his first ever NFL touchdown by taking a punt 62 yards to the house. The Cowboys are going to force Chicago’s offense into plenty of punting situations this week, making this a perfect time for Turpin to follow in Bryant’s footsteps this Sunday.
#FBF to @DezBryant's first ever NFL touchdown back in 2010...— NFL UK (@NFLUK) July 7, 2017
A 6️⃣2️⃣-yard punt return touchdown pic.twitter.com/pXhJAXwncR
Turpin scores his first NFL touchdown, taking a punt to the house and putting the exclamation mark on a Dallas victory.