November 23, 2017, 12:20

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins: NFL Sunday on Sky Sports

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins: NFL Sunday on Sky Sports

This Sunday’s live NFL triple-bill on Sky Sports is full of playoff implications.

Kicking us off on Sky Sports Action (407) from 4.30pm is the Oakland Raiders (3-4) and their trip to the Buffalo Bills (4-2). Two AFC wild-card contenders are looking for crucial wins.

Next, at 8.25pm, it’s a battle between two of the most storied franchises in the NFL and fierce divisional rivals. The Dallas Cowboys (3-3) are on the road at the Washington Redskins (3-3), who will hope to bounce back from a second in-division loss against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.

Finally, at 12.20am, the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2), who seem to have hit their stride in recent weeks, head to Detroit to face a Lions (3-3) team coming off two straight losses.

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills, Sky Sports Action (407), 4.30pm

In 140 Characters…

Will the Bills continue their perfect home record in 2017 as they host the Raiders fresh off a big win?

What’s the latest?

The big absentee on Sunday will be running back Marshawn Lynch, who misses the game after foolishly shoving a referee last week, while the list of ailing players in Buffalo is long. Multiple players missed practice early in the week, including Richie Incognito, E.J. Gaines and Jordan Poyer. All three will be sorely missed if they can’t suit up.

Stat attack

The Raiders have 24 touchdowns of at least 20 yards in the last two seasons, which leads the NFL. Receiver Amari Cooper has seven TDs of at least 30 yards, which also tops the league in that span.

Key battle

Can Derek Carr take advantage of a gambling Bills defence? Buffalo leads the league in turnover differential this season (+10), and it comes in large part due to their 13 takeaways. Safety Micah Hyde is tied for the league lead in interceptions, with four, and next to him, Jordan Poyer has two picks, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Buffalo Bills v Oakland Raiders

October 29, 2017, 4:30pm

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Last week, the Raiders opened up their offense and attacked the Chiefs downfield. With Poyer potentially not playing, and possibly others, will that allow Carr and the Raiders to put up points against one of the most stingy defences in the league?

Game-changer

LeSean McCoy. One of the all-time great running backs. But, he has had a slow start to the season. Through the first five games, he averaged only 55.8 yards on the ground per game and didn’t score a single touchdown. Last week, he exploded back on the scene with a 91-yard performance, finding the endzone twice. Buffalo would be wise to use their shifty, nifty veteran in the backfield as much as possible.

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins, Sky Sports Action (407), 8.25pm

In 140 Characters…

Two of the most famous franchises in football, the Cowboys and Redskins, face off in massive NFC East battle.

What’s the latest?

Washington have had a short week to recover from a gruelling Monday night defeat to Philadelphia. Their biggest issues are on the offensive line, where four of the five starters are banged up and didn’t take part in practice on Thursday. The Redskins had as many as 17 players listed on their injury report! Star cover corner Josh Norman may be finally ready to suit up on Sunday though.

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys

October 29, 2017, 8:00pm

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For Dallas, Ezekiel Elliott has again fended off his upcoming suspension and will play. Kicker Dan Bailey is out with a groin injury, but veteran Mike Nugent takes over. A few key names are questionable, but should be ready to go – Maliek Collins being the biggest of them.

Stat attack

This rivalry is epic! Between them, these two teams have won 31 divisional titles, have 50 playoff berths, and won eight Super Bowls.

Redskins running back Chris Thompson is the only player in the NFL to currently lead his team in both rushing (213) and receiving yards (366).

Key battle

Washington’s offensive line might struggle to protect their quarterback Kirk Cousins from the onslaught brought by the Dallas defensive line. This Cowboys group includes Demarcus Lawrence, who currently has 9.5 sacks – second-best in the league – and is going up against a Redskins O-Line that will either be hobbling or missing starters. If the Redskins can’t keep Cousins upright, he and the team could be in for a long day!

Game-changer

Ezekiel Elliott. True workhorse backs are rare in the NFL, and in only his second year, Elliott is one of the best in the game. The fourth overall pick in last year’s draft might not be on track for another 1,631 yard, 15-touchdown season, but he’s sixth in the NFL in rushing yards (540) and showed his supreme talent again last week with a 219-yard, three-TD day in San Francisco.

In two previous meetings with Washington, Elliott has averaged over 100 total yards and scored three touchdowns. This year, the Redskins have a top-10 rushing defence, but stopping ‘Zeke’ will be a big ask.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Detroit Lions, Sky Sports Action (407), 12.20am

In 140 Characters…

A meeting of two teams heading in opposite directions as the stumbling Lions host the in-form Steelers. Will Detroit save their season?

What’s the latest?

Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt will miss the game, and right tackle Marcus Gilbert is at risk too after missing practice on Thursday. The good news though is promising young receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has found the field after going through concussion protocol.

Detroit Lions v Pittsburgh Steelers

October 30, 2017, 12:00am

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The Lions have offensive line issues, as both starting and back-up tackles, Greg Robinson and Emmett Cleary, could be absent with ankle injuries. Brian Mihalik, a former Steeler and seventh-round draft pick, who played the first snaps of his career in Detroit’s last game, might start at left tackle. Receiver Golden Tate’s status is up in the air after a shoulder injury, but he would be a major help if he suits up.

Stat attack

Strength versus strength. Pittsburgh have won eight of their last 10 road games, while Detroit are strong at home, having won seven of their last 10.

Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell has had 137 touches over the past four weeks, 40 more than anybody else – Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is next with 97.

Key battle

Can Detroit’s offensive line help their quarterback Matthew Stafford and their struggling running backs? They’ve allowed 23 sacks – fourth-most in the league – and have a bottom five rushing attack in terms of yards per carry (3.5). Simply put, they are bad.

On the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh are second in the league in terms of sacking opposing QBs, with 24 so far this season. If they bring the heat again on Sunday night, how will the Lions handle it?

Game-changers

Bell and Antonio Brown. There are two men worthy of this mantle – and they are both arguably the best players at their positions in the league. Before the start of the season, RB Bell was the NFL’s all-time leader in yards from scrimmage per game with 128.5. His number this year? 128.3.

Wideout Brown, meanwhile, already leads the league in receiving by a staggering 220 yards, with 765 on 52 catches. He’s finished in the top five in receiving yards for four straight years. This pair are nigh on impossible to defend.

Week Eight continues on Sunday with three live games on Sky Sports Action, starting with Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills, from 4.30pm.

Follow the 2017-18 NFL season with us on Sky Sports and through our website skysports.com/NFL also our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL

Sourse: skysports.com

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