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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Chargers geared to make presence felt in Dallas

Cowboys' playoff chances now look slim

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been suffering
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 9.30pm Thursday

The second Thanksgiving clash seems to be between a team whose season is in danger of falling apart and one whose campaign could just be beginning.

The legal rows concerning Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-match suspension rumbled through the first half of the campaign and it is no wonder his lawyers and the Cowboys approached the discussions with such gusto as he has been desperately missed in the last two weeks.

Jason Garrett's side failed to reach double figures in matches against Atlanta and Philadelphia and it is now or never for their playoff ambitions as they sit four wins behind the Eagles in the NFC East.

Quarterback Dak Prescott has been sacked 12 times in his last two matches and, with injuries to their usually excellent offensive line, there have to be concerns about how they are going to cope with a Chargers team who have the bit between their teeth.

The Chargers have won just four of their ten matches in their first season in Los Angeles and they took advantage of some appalling quarterback play from Buffalo's Nathan Peterman in last week's 54-24 win over the Bills.

However, their AFC West rivals are slipping. Kansas City have lost four of their last five games and with Oakland and Denver also on the wane, they could still make a surprise charge for the division.

Four of their six defeats were by three points or fewer – they lost their first four games – but there are reasons for their followers to be upbeat and this looks a good opportunity for them to show they mean business in front of a holiday TV audience.

Recommendation
LA Chargers
2pts 20-23 Betfred


This week's power rankings


The lowdown
Venue AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Surface Artificial
Weather Clear, 20C (retractable roof)
Vegas handicap Chargers -1
Vegas points line 48

Team news
LA Chargers
Linebacker Hayes Pullard (neck) and wide receivers Travis Benjamin (abdomen) and Mike Williams (knee) have been limited in practice this week and are questionable.

Dallas
Linebacker Sean Lee is out with a hamstring injury while running back Ezekiel Elliott has served two weeks of a six-game ban. Offensive tackles La'el Collins (back) and Tyron Smith (groin) have both been struggling.

Key stat
The Chargers have covered the handicap in five of their last six matches.


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Jason Garrett's side failed to reach double figures in matches against Atlanta and Philadelphia and it is now or never for their playoff ambitions
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