NFL on Sling TV: Bears vs. Cowboys on NBC; FOX Regional Action

Sep 25, 2016 by Scott Ross

(All times Eastern, starters subject to change)

Chicago Bears (0-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
8:30pm ET Sunday on NBC

The Chicago Bears got run over by the Wentz Wagon on Monday, falling to the Philadelphia Eagles and rookie QB Carson Wentz 29-14, at one point surrendering 26 unanswered points. Adding insult to injury, starting quarterback Jay Cutler pulled himself from the game late in the 3rd quarter, after throwing an interception, complaining of pain in his thumb. After Cutler spent much of Monday morning getting beaten up by ex-jocks on sports talk radio, it was revealed that he had ligament damage in his thumb from Week 1 against the Texans that will cause him to miss several weeks. Cutler finished the day with 157 yards on 12-of-17 passing, getting intercepted once and sacked three times for 15 yards. His backup, Bryan Hoyer, hit on 9 of 12 for 78 yards, but did no better getting the ball in the end zone, as Chicago’s lone TD came on a 65-yard punt return late in the 4th. Chicago’s D held the Eagles to just 280 yards, forcing them to settle for field goals on three occasions, but they couldn’t force any turnovers, and allowed Philly to convert on 3 of 3 fourth-down attempts. Cutler is just one of a slew of Bears who are unlikely to play, handing over the reins to Hoyer, a 30-year-old career journeyman – good thing Chicago didn’t draft a QB this summer!

The Dak Prescott Era in Dallas seems to be going well, as the rookie QB out of Mississippi State has the Cowboys at 1-1 after last week’s 27-23 win over Washington. Prescott completed 22 of 30 passes for 292 yards, but failed again to throw a touchdown, and got sacked 4 times for -14 yards.

Dallas went up 10-0 late in the 1st quarter when rookie Ezekiel Elliott capped an impressive 11-play, 94-yard drive with a 1-run run up the middle and into the end zone. Washington would take the lead at 17-13 following a an 11-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to Jamison Crowder, but it was short lived, as Prescott responded with a 6-yard TD run on the ensuing drive to put Dallas back on top 20-17. It would take less than 6 minutes, however, for Washington to kick a pair of field goals to take a 23-20 lead into the 4th quarter. But early in the 4th quarter, on 3rd-and-goal from the 6, Cousins threw over the middle to Pierre Garcon, only to have DB Barry Church step up and intercept it in the end zone for a touchback. Starting at his own 20, Prescott led the team on an 80-yard drive, completing 5 of 6 passes for 66 yards, with Alf Morris finishing things off with a 4-yard TD run to make it 27-23 Dallas with 4:49 to play. Washington would fail on their final two possessions to get within 40 yards of the Dallas end zone.

Prescott’s been great working when he’s got room to work, completing 43 of 65 outside the red zone, but once he’s within striking distance, he’s just 5-of-11 for 25 yards this season, and inside the 10 he’s even worse, hitting on 2 of 5 for 2 yards. Where Prescott has excelled is in taking care of the ball, as he’s one of just starting QBs in the league who’ve yet to throw an interception. But he’s also the only starter who’s yet to complete a pass for 30 yards or more – coincidence? You decide.

It’s important for Dallas to get wide receiver Dez Bryant firing on all cylinders following offseason surgeries on his foot and ankle. In Week 1, Bryant caught just 1 of 5 passes thrown his way, for 8 yards. Against Washington, he was much more effective, pulling in 7 receptions for 102 yards. And Elliott made a big leap forward against Washington, rushing for 83 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries – not exactly what one would hope for from a man who so completely dominated over the previous two seasons at Ohio State, but still several steps in the right direction. Obviously, this is an offense going through a steep learning curve, with a rookie at quarterback and running back, and a star receiver coming off injuries. But if they continue to improve at this rate, they should have a shot in the NFC East. For now, they’ve got more than enough firepower to handle the likes of Chicago.

Watch the Chicago Bears vs. the Dallas Cowboys at 8:30pm ET Sunday on NBC by subscribing Sling Blue.

And here’s FOX’s lineup of regional action:
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-2)
Sunday at 1pm ET on FOX

Minnesota VIkings (2-0) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-1)
Sunday at 1pm ET on FOX

Detroit Lions (1-1) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Sunday at 1pm ET on FOX

Washington Redskins (0-2) vs. New York Giants (2-0)
Sunday at 1pm ET on FOX

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Sunday at 4pm ET on FOX

Los Angeles Rams (1-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
4pm ET Sunday on FOX

Chicago Bears (0-2) vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
8:30pm ET Sunday on NBC

Watch football on FOX by subscribing to the Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy ESPN and Pro Football Reference.

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