Are more surprises on tap for this weekend? Well, it can’t get any wackier than Mac Jones attempting only three passes and the Patriots still winning!
In this edition of the Showstopper, we’ll head back to the gridiron for breakdowns of Rams vs. Cardinals and Cowboys vs. the Washington Football Team.
And for all the hoop heads out there, we’ve got a Saturday night showcase between the Warriors and the 76ers. It’s time for some action!
Golden State Warriors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Saturday, December 11 | TV: ABC
Not many pegged the Warriors to be sitting atop the NBA standings, but the former champs are serving up a refresher lesson. Steph Curry ranks second in the league with 27.5 points per game, but it’s been a collective team effort on the scoring front. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole both averaged over 19 points per game in November. In their last game against the 76ers, the Warriors dominated 116-96 and Curry drained six 3-pointers, but that was without Joel Embiid on the court. Embiid played through an abdominal injury in Thursday’s loss to the Jazz, so it’s worth checking in on his status before tipoff.
The Warriors continue to score the ball at a torrid pace with 113.2 points per game, and their defense has allowed the least points per game at 100.3. Even if Embiid is ready to rock, Philadelphia could have a tough time keeping up with Golden State’s 3-point barrage. Also, the 76ers have not defended their home court particularly well. They’re 5-6 at home this season, including recent losses to the Jazz and Timberwolves.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team
Sunday, December 12 | TV: FOX
The Cowboys remain in control of the NFC East heading into the first of two battles against their divisional foe. Washington has reeled off four straight wins and its defense has regained its spark after a brutal first half of the season. Dallas, on the other hand, just won versus New Orleans after losses to the Chiefs and Raiders. Both teams rank near the top of the league in play count totals, which could lead to a fast-paced, high-scoring game if Washington QB Taylor Heinicke can keep the chains moving. Heinicke will have one less weapon at his disposal, however, as tight end Logan Thomas was placed back on injured reserve.
Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, who continues to deal with a knee injury, has been held under 50 rushing yards in four consecutive games. The matchup ahead might extend that streak to five. Washington has limited opponents to only 91.3 rushing yards per game, which is the third-best mark in the league. The good news for the Cowboys is that wideout Amari Cooper appears to be ready for his full share of snaps and defensive end Randy Gregory could be active for the first time since Week 9. Defensive tackle Neville Gallimore is also set to make his season debut, so the Cowboys D will finally be at full strength.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
Monday, December 13 | TV: ESPN
Monday Night Football features the best showdown of Week 14, as the 8-4 Rams take on the 10-2 Cardinals in a battle of NFC West rivals. The Cards are just 3-2 at home this season, which includes recent losses to the Packers and the Panthers. There’s more at stake this time, though, as Arizona has a chance to clinch its first playoff berth since 2015. When these two squads met back in Week 4, the Cardinals trounced the Rams by a score of 37-20. James Conner has totaled 14 touchdowns for the season and tallied 20 or more carries in Arizona’s last three wins. The Rams have shown more vulnerability through the air, so it’ll still likely be on Kyler Murray’s shoulders to lead the way, especially with star wideout DeAndre Hopkins back in action.
The Rams have lost three of their last four, but they rebounded with a blowout victory over Jacksonville last week. There’s a good chance Darrell Henderson will return for the Rams after missing one game with a thigh injury. In his absence, Sony Michel became the Rams’ first 100-yard rusher of the season. Los Angeles may keep Michel in the mix to give their 23rd-ranked rushing attack another boost. The Cardinals have allowed opponents to rush for 4.7 yards per carry, and even the Bears found success against them on the ground. The question is whether the Rams can stifle Arizona’s offense early and not fall behind on the scoreboard.