Sunday Night Football tonight has the potential to be an absolute clunker. The two NFL teams playing are heading in completely opposite directions, with one competing for the top seed in their conference and the other barely out of the basement of their division. Who is playing tonight, what time does the game start, and how can you watch it?
Indianapolis Colts (4-7) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3)
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Sunday Night Football tonight will feature the Indianapolis Colts as they travel to Jerry’s World to take on the Dallas Cowboys. As mentioned above, these two teams seem to be in very different places right now.
After the shocking hire of Jeff Saturday and his first win as a head coach, the Colts have gone on to lose their next two. They now sit at 4-7 on the season and are lucky to play in the same division as the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are coming off of two impressive wins, one against the Minnesota Vikings in a critical matchup for the NFC standings, and another against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving. Both games were crucial for Dallas to keep pace with the now 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.
In an interesting scheduling quirk, this will be Dallas’ first of three straight games against AFC South opponents. Thanks to the lackluster performance of teams from that division, Dallas actually has one of the easiest strengths of schedule remaining.
Indianapolis will have their hands full in this matchup against this Dallas team. The Colts have been scrutinized all week after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in prime time last Monday, where Saturday mismanaged the game clock trailing by a touchdown and facing a crucial third down from the 26-yard line. But it wasn’t just Saturday’s poor time management that cost them that game.
Veteran QB Matt Ryan has been having the worst season of his career and had even been benched earlier in the year for Sam Ehlinger. Now that he has taken back the reins, the offense has looked a bit better, but not by much.
What has helped this Colts team has been their newfound focus on the run game with Jonathan Taylor. Since Saturday took over and Ryan returned at QB, Taylor has been averaging over 20 rushing attempts per game. That could be useful when going up against the Cowboys’ 24th-ranked run defense.
However, even if Indy can run the ball, it’s defensively where they might be in trouble. The Cowboys’ offense has been getting better each week since Dak Prescott’s return. CeeDee Lamb has continued to impress and the rushing duo of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott has, at times, looked unstoppable.
Oddsmakers opened this game with the Cowboys laying over double digits at home (-10.5). It’s a lofty spread, but Dallas does have an impressive 4-2 record against the spread so far this season. Will they be able to cover this time around against a Colts team still trying to find its identity?
Pro Football Network’s NFL department broke down their Sunday Night Football prediction for Dallas vs. Indianapolis earlier in the week.
“After an initial uptick in play after the Jeff Saturday hiring, the Colts offense found itself back in the mud, giving up pressure after pressure and seeing Matt Ryan struggle to string together drives. Ryan has put together some heroic performances, but it’s still not enough and they can’t effectively use the talents of Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman, or rookie Alec Pierce.
If they do somehow figure out their offense against an incredible pass rush and talented secondary, it should be a lot of fun. But that’s unlikely, especially because they need both sides of the ball to step up in a bigger way.”
As a unit, the NFL team unanimously predicted the Cowboys would get the win and the cover, and I cannot say I disagree with them.
Date: Dec. 4, 2022
Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Sunday Night Football tonight starts at 8:20 p.m. ET. The NFL announcers for this game include Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, and Melissa Stark.
TV Channel and Live Stream for Sunday Night Football
TV channel: NBC
Live stream: Peacock, NBCSports.com
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