Week Ten begins with a Happy Veteran’s Day. No, not in honor of a bygone Philadelphia stadium, but heartfelt thanks to the millions who have served our country through the years.
Speaking of bygone things that are Philadelphia, how about their winning seasons? They’ve been trying to claw their way out of the NFC East’s basement for the past five weeks. To do so, today they’ll have to climb over the Cowboys’ heads. As I stated before, if there were ever a way for two teams to actually lose the game to each other, this is it.
That being said, two solid teams with minor QB/coaching/defense/offensive line issues should be an opportunity for players to stand out. Coach Andy Reid and QB Michael Vick need to win this one to (most likely) retain their jobs. Unfortunately for Philly, there is no team chemistry, and this discombobulated group will fall to the Cowboys and their tougher defense.
The Giants play the Cincinnati Bengals today, and the mere thought of that inter-conference match up is like popping two Ambiens. But wait, this might turn out to be a better game than it sounds.
On paper, the teams look the same. The Bengals are a 3-5 team, as are all the teams in the Giants’ division (well, Washington is at 3-6, but you get it). The Giants have fallen to both 3-5 teams this season: Both the Eagles and Giants dropped them in September, and they barely squeezed by the Redskins in Week Seven by a score of 27-23. The Bengals, meanwhile, have had an arguably harder schedule this season, and when they lose, they lose by big numbers. Starting the season with a 44-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Cincy went to 3-1 by beating the Browns, Redskins and Jaguars. Since that September 30 loss in Jacksonville, the Bengals have been winless. In fact, they’re allowing 27 points per game against them but only putting 23-1/2 on the board against opponents.
Quarterbacks Eli Manning and Andy Dalton look about as even on paper as both teams do as a whole. Manning’s 12 TDs and nine INTs are on a par with Dalton’s 14-11. They are both passing for over 2,000 yards, so it’s the tale of the 8-year starter versus the second-year newbie from Texas Christian. Manning has historically faltered in past Novembers, so the QBs are virtually even. If it comes down to a running game, the Giants are going to be hard-pressed to keep RB Cedric Peerman’s legs in check.
The Bengals will shock the Giants (and their fans) with a win at home.