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San Diego Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys Free Pick 9/29/13

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-2)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm (Qualcomm Stadium)

The Line: San Diego Chargers +1.5 -- Over/Under: 45 See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox

The Dallas Cowboys get set to face the San Diego Chargers Sunday afternoon when the Cowboys head to Qualcomm Stadium.

The San Diego Chargers have to be glad to be home this weekend after back to back road games at Philly and at Tennessee.  The Chargers are sitting at 1-2 on the year so far, but despite their losing record, San Diego is playing better than most anticipated at the beginning of the season.  The Chargers offense is clicking under Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt, especially the passing game, which is currently ranked 12th in the league, averaging 257 yards per game.  The Ground game is effective, ranking 18th in the league at just over 102 yards per game, but the real surprise here is Rivers and how well he is playing thus far.  The Chargers, in their loss to the Titans this past weekend, did struggle offensively, but I feel a lot of that has to do with back to back road games on the East coast, and the fact that the Titans have a decent defense.  The Chargers had just 277 yards of total offense against the Titans on the day.  Rivers was solid again however, completing 20/24 for 184 yards and a score, while not turning the ball over.  The ground game did have trouble finding its footing as the Chargers rushed for just 102 yards total on the day on 27 attempts.  San Diego isn’t a contender this season, at least not for the Super Bowl, but the Chargers are much improved it appears and as the season goes on, look for this offense to become more and more efficient as Rivers is looking like the Rivers of old so far.

San Diego Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys Free Pick 9/29/13

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are playing good football this season, and currently are sitting at 2-1 and atop the now very weak NFC East.  The Cowboys defense under new DC Monte Kiffin is playing very well this season, especially against the run, where the Cowboys are ranked second in the NFL, allowing just 66.3 yards per game.  The Cowboys offense has said all season long that they are making a new commitment to the running game, but even after last week’s impressive performance against the Rams, the Cowboys are only averaging 105 yards per game on the ground, so we’ll wait and see.  Tony Romo had an impressive game against the Rams in Dallas last weekend, throwing for 210 yards and three scores, while completing 17/24.  The only thing that has me somewhat concerned here with the Cowboys, is that if they do what is actually best for them, which is run the ball, some of their playmakers on offense might start getting frustrated with their lack of touches.  And by mean some of their playmakers I mean Dez Bryant.  I do like the Cowboys this season and unless things change dramatically, the ‘Boys should have no problem winning the East and making the playoffs this season.

In the past three seasons as a favorite, the Cowboys are 7-14 against the spread, and 15-7 overall.  In Dallas’ last nine non-conference games, the Cowboys are an impressive 7-2 against the spread.  The Chargers are 13-7 against the spread in their last 20 games against the NFC East, and in San Diego’s last nine non-conference games, the Chargers are 1-8 against the spread. 

I’m going to go with the Chargers here.  San Diego has played very well this season, and being back at home this weekend against the Cowboys should be a big boost.  Dallas is playing well, but their two wins, against the Rams and the Giants aren’t looking as impressive as they once did.  The Chargers will be able to move the ball through the air against the Cowboy defense, and once the Chargers put up some points I look for the Cowboys to once again abandon the ground game, and attack through the air, which as we have seen in the past equals turnovers and mistakes for this team.

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San Diego +1.5

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