USMNT begins World Cup quest, plus Cowboys destroy Vikings in statement win


Happy Monday morning, and happy U.S. men’s national team at the World Cup Day for those who celebrate. It’s been over 3,000 days since the last one, and I am absolutely ecstatic (and, you know, even more nervous) as the Stars and Stripes take on Wales.

Of course, it’s not the only match of the day — far from it — and I cannot encourage you enough to sign up for our new Golazo Starting XI newsletter. It has everything you need to know about the action in Qatar, which seems, well, important, considering the largest sporting event in the world is happening there.

So sign up for it here. Do it. It’s so, so worth it.

The Football Five 🏈

  • My goodness, Patrick Mahomes. He led a six-play, 75-yard game-winning drive in 1:15, capping it with a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce as the Chiefs beat the Chargers, 30-27. Mahomes finished with 329 passing yards and three scores, all to Kelce. Kelce, meanwhile, registered his 33rd career 100-yard receiving game, passing Rob Gronkowski for most ever by a tight end.
  • With Buffalo buried under snow, the Bills won a “home” game in Detroit, beating the Browns, 31-23.
  • The Eagles rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to beat the Colts, 17-16. Jalen Hurts ran for the game-winning score to cap Philadelphia’s first double-digit, fourth-quarter comeback since 2010.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson recorded his NFL-record ninth career kickoff return touchdown — breaking a tie with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington — and the Falcons beat the Bears, 27-24.
  • Matthew Stafford exited early to be evaluated for a concussion as the Rams lost yet again, 27-20 to the Saints. It’s the Rams’ fourth straight defeat following their bye week.

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

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If you could pick a dream game for the Cowboys — and an absolute nightmare for the Vikings — Sunday’s contest was exactly it. Dallas dominated in every single facet in a historic 40-3 win that makes us look at both teams very differently.

Dallas, coming off a loss to the Packers, simply overwhelmed Minnesota to bounce back in emphatic — and historic — fashion. It’s the largest road win in Cowboys history and the fifth-largest win against a team at least seven games over .500 since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger overall.

  • Tony Pollard had 189 yards from scrimmage and a pair of receiving touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott had two scores on the ground.
  • The Cowboys sacked Kirk Cousins seven times — a season high for both parties involved — and pressured him on nearly 57 percent of his dropbacks, the third-highest rate of any quarterback in any game this season.
  • Heck, even kicker Brett Maher made some history.

This was the Cowboys at their best, and that got an A+ in our weekly grades. The defense wreaked havoc on an overwhelmed Minnesota offensive line. The offense moved the ball with ease. Our NFL expert Jeff Kerr says they’re the second-best team in the NFC, only behind Philadelphia. I have to agree. The championship-caliber ceiling has always been there for the Cowboys, and they played to it Sunday.

Cousins, meanwhile, falls to 2-9 in his career against the Cowboys, and he’s also 0-7 as a Viking when pressured on at least half of his drop backs. The Cowboys were the perfect team to take advantage of his struggles — and his offensive line’s struggles — in a manner that brings the Vikings crashing back to Earth after beating the Bills last weekend.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for… Visit Source

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