Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
The Eagles will show up on Dale Mabry Blvd. today to take on the Bucs. With a rabid Tampa team looking to eke out a playoff spot, the Bucs won’t be a push over.
The Eagles are allowing 30-plus points against in five of their last 8 consecutive losses. They’re second in the league in turnovers. They are the butt of many jokes.
That being said, Tampa is sitting at a shaky 6-6. They are easily flustered, QB Josh Freeman may have a good game, or he may forget to show up at the Pirate Ship. I said I would not bet on Philly anymore this season, but because I love my Eagles so much, I will go out on a limb and say the Eagles will find their way today in Tampa and improve their season to 4-9.
Dallas at Cincinnati
The Cowboys have a lot on their minds right now. The loss of a player and the incarceration of another teammate has cast a pall over the team.
Cincinnati is a hot team. They have won their last four. They are already 2-0 against NFC East teams this year.
Tomorrow they should be 3-0 after beating Dallas today.
Baltimore at Washington
In a battle of the shortest trip on I-95, this one is going to be a good one. The Ravens are sitting pretty with a two-point lead in the AFC North. Losses today by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, coupled with a Raven win, will clinch the division for the Ravens. They have one hurdle to get over for that to happen: Robert Griffin III.
Bal’mer let Steelers QB Charlie Batch find the breaking point of the Ravens’ 23rd-ranked passing defense. Griffin, should he find that hole, stands to put up big numbers today.
Look for Washington to go to 7-6 today.
New Orleans at New York
In a showdown between two previous Superbowl-winning quarterbacks, this is a must-win for both teams, a must-win for the Saints to win out the season and maybe a shot at a wild card berth, and a must-win for the Giants because they have a tough turf down the final stretch.
The story, however, may not be in the QBs, but in the running game. New Orleans has turned its running game around and is averaging 120 ypg on the ground over the last five games (before that, they were averaging a league-worst 72.6 ypg). New York is giving up 140 rushing ypg in the same time span. So while going airborne may be the quickest way to put points on the board, the sure and steady ground game could win this one for the Saints.
Even if the Giants go to the air, Manning is, in his past seven games, six touchdowns and four INTs in the black. Three of those TDs came in the Giant romp over Green Bay as they came off their bye.
Still, New Orleans should take this one out of Jersey and return to the Big Easy with a smile and a little more hope for postseason play.