Cowboys (+3.5) at Baltimore
Bad News: Their "vulnerability" came during a 4 games in 17 day stretch. Flacco looks almost competent. The Chiefs game was at Arrowhead
As always, the everything starts with defense for Baltimore. They have all the usual suspects, minus Terell Suggs. That's a big loss for the Ravens and a welcomed subtraction for the Cowboys line that improved last week, Tony Romo rugby-pass play aside. As with last week, I am the one person in Dallas expecting another improved game from the line, even with the complex blitz packages Baltimore runs. The line has had an extra week to prepare and some of them may well be playing for their jobs.
HOW-SO-EVER... The Ravens have good tackling linebackers that also can drop into coverage fairly well, taking away shaky Romo's security blankets. What compounds the problem is the big corner in the secondary, Jimmy Smith (if they ever wise up and make him the number 2 corner). They're strong, but I am actually going to expect Romo to make the right reads in this game ... I know, I know.
On the defensive side of the ball, theXcowboys have to be ready to tackle. It starts with the run then moves to the pass. If they can shut down the run, I like our secondary against the pass. The key will be the safeties and 'backers covering up Pitta and Dickson, which could be a challenge. At the end of the day I give the Cowboys D the upper hand because I still think Flacco is garbage. He also looks dumb, so there's that too.
On an emotional level, I'm shocked to say this, but Cowboys 24, Ravens 17.