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Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Kickers may have a big role to play in Denver

Rushing battle should be key

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott
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Sky Sports Action, 9.25pm Sunday

All the talk in Dallas has been about the personal-conduct suspension hanging over star running back Ezekiel Elliott, so both the player and the team will be delighted to have put that all in the background to beat NFC East rivals New York Giants.

As the issue rumbles through the judicial process, plenty of observers believe Elliott can eclipse the 104 yards he rushed for last week.

The Broncos were famed for the quality of their defence that led them to Super Bowl glory in 2016, but it was their pass rush that earned all the plaudits.


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They were ranked first against the pass last year, but 28th against the run, so things may not bode well against one of the strongest offensive lines in the game.

However, Denver restricted Los Angeles Chargers' Melvin Gordon to just two years per carry after an initial 12-yard run so they could make a decent fist of containing Elliott, with quarterback Dak Prescott perhaps unlikely to gain the freedom to run that he tends to enjoy.

The home side also need to get their running game going, using CJ Anderson and former Kansas City Chief Jamaal Charles as limited faith is being placed in quarterback Trevor Siemian, so it could become an attritional battle. 

The Broncos blocked a last-gasp field goal that would have earned the Chargers overtime on Monday and there looks a decent chance there will be a few three-point attempts in this clash.

Denver were ranked 31st in third-down conversions last season and teams will be more open-minded about trying to kick points in the thin air at Mile High Stadium.

Recommendation
Over 3.5 field goals
1pt 23-20 Coral, Ladbrokes

Team news
Dallas
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is out with a hand injury while fellow corner Byron Jones has been struggling with a groin problem.

Denver
Defensive lineman Jared Crick needs surgery on a back injury while guard Ronald Leary (concussion) and safety Darian Stewart (groin) are questionable.

Key stat 
The points total has gone over in six of the last seven meetings.


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The Broncos were famed for the quality of their defence that led them to Super Bowl glory in 2016, but it was their pass rush that earned the plaudits
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