Browns at Cowboys: The Cowboys have three consecutive home games against bad teams (Browns, Redskins, Eagles). This is an absolute golden opportunity for them to make a serious run at the Giants for the division lead. It starts with the Browns, who have four rookie starters on offense. This section of their schedule reminds me a little of their mid-year stretch last season when they faced 4 consecutive bad teams in the Seahawks, Bills, Redskins, and Dolphins, before blowing a game to a 5th easy opponent in the Cardinals.
The Cowboys have to win this one to continue to put pressure on the Giants, and I think they will. That doesn’t mean that the Browns are some sort of pushover. They have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, and have done a much better job in recent weeks of not turning the ball over (see graph to the right).
The Cowboys need to be smart on offense. They cannot lose the turnover battle in this one and give a team with inferior talent a chance, as they are prone to do. Cowboys 23-17.
Eagles at Redskins: You can make a laundry list of the problems each of these two teams have, but when I look at the glaring weaknesses of the Eagles an Redskins, the only thing (although a very big thing) for the Redskins is their secondary. For the Eagles, it’s their complete inability to block in the running game or the passing game, as well as their recent inability to tackle. For me, the Eagles’ glaring weaknesses are far worse.
Give me the “seasoned” rookie QB over the fresh one. Skins 27-20.
For more on the Eagles-Skins matchup and some Chip Kelly talk, check out my podcast with Tommy Lawlor from IgglesBlitz.
The Giants are on their bye.