Two teams that were once titans of the NFC East have fallen on some pretty hard times. If you have been following football at all over this season, you’ll know that they are the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. I could include the Washington Redskins in this category, but we knew that this would be somewhat of a rebuilding year after drafting Robert Griffin III this year.
In Dallas and Philadelphia, we have two head coaches under fire, two mistake-prone quarterbacks that aren’t inspiring confidence in the fans and two owners that seem fed up.
Currently, Jason Garrett and Andy Reid are having their asses burned on their respective hot seats, and the temperature is only getting worse. Garrett can’t get his offence moving, which is odd because that is supposed to be his specialty. His play-calling has been bizarre at times and his team often looks out of sorts.
Reid has already scapegoated his defensive coordinator, but that hasn’t helped at all. He has led this stacked team to disappointing returns for the past season and a half now.
And as far as clock management goes, these two are both atrocious and could use some lessons from a 14-year-old in Madden 13.
To say that ball security is Michael Vick’s biggest problem is an understatement. He has turned the ball over 14 times this season, many of those coming while in opposition territory. The fans are calling for the Eagles to move on from the beleaguered QB to rookie Nick Foles, who impressed during the pre-season and represents the future of Eagles football. It has become overwhelmingly clear that you cannot win in the playoffs – or apparently make them – with Vick starting.
Tony Romo’s crunch time failures have been well-documented. From the fumbled field goal to the fact that he has only won a single playoff game in his career, it seems that Romo shrinks when the games get big. That doesn’t bode well for any thoughts of a Super Bowl run under his watch. He also leads the league with 13 INTs – including one game with four and one with five. At least backup Kyle Orton isn’t exactly the type of guy that fans clamour for as a replacement.
Both owners, Jerry Jones and Jeffery Lurie have expressed their displeasure with their teams and that they can see change coming. Jones basically admitted that he has done a poor job as GM while Lurie stated before the season that a .500 record won’t be good enough for Reid to keep his job.
With Sean Payton potentially coming on the market this off-season, it should be prudent for either of these teams to fire their current coach and go hard for the Saints wunderkind.
Where does this leave us now? Well, at this rate, this week’s game between these two teams could very well be a loser-leaves-town match. But even one win might not be enough to save either side’s season.
The lines are from 5Dimes and the home teams are in CAPS.
NEW ENGLAND -12 over Buffalo
The Patriots scored 52 points against the Bills earlier this season and there’s no reason they can’t beat them down again.
CINCINNATI +4 over New York Giants
This is a must-win for the Bengals, who don’t want to go 0-fer their three-game homestand.
TAMPA BAY -3 over San Diego
Many will be over-reacting to seeing the Bucs become an offensive juggernaut these past two weeks, but I’m picking them because the Chargers suck when playing at 1 p.m. EST.
Denver -3.5 over CAROLINA
The Panthers beat the Redskins last week because Washington’s defence stinks – the Broncos’ does not.
Tennessee +7 over MIAMI
The Dolphins are a much better team, but the potential of Jake Locker coming back could keep this close.
BALTIMORE -9 over Oakland
The Ravens rule at home and the Raiders are down their top two running backs.
Atlanta -1 over NEW ORLEANS
The Saints might be turning their season around, but you have to respect the undefeated Falcons.
Detroit -1 over MINNESOTA
The Vikings should be missing Percy Harvin, who is basically their entire passing game.
New York Jets +7 over SEATTLE
The Jets will lose this one in dramatic fashion, not in a blowout.
PHILADELPHIA +1 over Dallas
How the Cowboys are favoured, I’m not sure. Both teams have everything on the line and – all things even – I’d rather back the home side.
St. Louis +12.5 over SAN FRANCISCO
The 49ers are far superior, but I’m not sure if they can win by 13 against an underrated division rival.
CHICAGO (pick) over Houston
This is a potential Super Bowl preview, but you have to like both a NFC team over an AFC team and a home team giving less than three points.
PITTSBURGH -13 over Kansas City
The Chiefs are downright awful while the Steelers are on the rise.
This week: 1-0
Last week: 9-5
This season: 61-68-5