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Preview: New England at Dallas
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, October 11, 2015
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Tom Brady has turned it up a notch since the reversal of his four-game suspension, throwing nine touchdowns without an interception to lead the New England Patriots to three straight victories. Fresh off the team’s bye, the three-time Super Bowl MVP looks to keep steamrolling ahead when the Patriots visit the sputtering Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Brady originally was expected to miss this contest before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman lifted the league’s original four-game ban for his role in Deflategate. Speaking of suspensions, Dallas’ Greg Hardy is back after seeing his 10-game ban for a domestic abuse arrest reduced to four, but the defensive end immediately put his foot in his mouth by saying his return would be “guns blazing” before referencing Brady’s supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen. “I love seeing Tom Brady.” Hardy told reporters on Tuesday. a1serviceplays.com “Have you seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game, all her friends come to the game. One of my favorite games of the year, guys.” Dallas hasn’t been enjoying its last two games, as it has struggled since losing stars Dez Bryant (foot) and Tony Romo (clavicle) to injury.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -8.5. O/U: 49.5
ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (3-0): Tight end Rob Gronkowski and wideout Julian Edelman remain Brady’s most trusted targets, as the former has 10 touchdowns in his last nine contests – including playoffs – while the latter’s 30 receptions are tied for sixth-best in the league despite being accumulated in just three games. LeGarrette Blount had a career-high three rushing touchdowns in a 51-17 rout of Jacksonville on Sept. 27 and faces a Cowboys defense that was gashed for three rushing scores by Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman two weeks ago. With numbers like those, it’s no mystery why New England’s 446.3 offensive yards per contest are significantly more than the next closest team (Cincinnati, 422).
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (2-2): In order to keep Brady and company off the field, Dallas will need to rely on Joseph Randle to control the clock. The 23-year-old running back has recorded all four of his touchdowns in the last two games, although Randle’s near-fumble following a plunge at the goal line earned him a brief benching in the second half of the Cowboys’ 26-20 overtime loss to New Orleans last week. Brandon Weeden has completed 45-of-59 passes for 551 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in two-plus games in place of Romo.
1. New England has won each of the last four meetings, but is making its first visit to AT&T Stadium.
2. Dallas LB Sean Lee returned to practice on Thursday after clearing concussion protocol.
3. The Patriots have scored a touchdown on 14 of their 34 offensive drives this season.
PREDICTION: Patriots 34, Cowboys 16