Week 13 NFC East picks

Eagles at Cowboys:  If you bet this game way back in May, you could have gotten the Cowboys at +1.  If you bet them this week, you got them at somewhere close to -10.  Last week, the Eagles were 2.5 underdogs… at home… to a 2-8 team.  And I actually thought that line was too low.

As noted earlier in the week, the Cowboys are hurting on defense up the middle.  Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, and Barry Church are all out for the season.  Meanwhile, Jay Ratliff is listed as doubtful with a groin injury, and has yet to practice this week (as of Wednesday).  Here is what Dallas’ starters were supposed to be on defense up the middle, and what it has become, if in fact Ratliff is not a go tonight:

 

If I’m the Eagles, and I really want to win this game, I go run-heavy.  Right at them.  Again and again.  Punts are OK, turnovers are not.  I doubt that will be the case.  The closest comparison to this 2012 disaster of a season in the Andy Reid era was the 2005 “Terrell Owens season.”

As the team played out the string, they remained pass heavy with QB Mike McMahon, instead of feeding the ball to Ryan Moats, who at the time had some similarities to Bryce Brown, in that they were both rookies who were putting up good numbers.  Here were the Eagles’ pass vs run numbers in their last 4 games that season (Side note: This game has been so thoroughly washed from my memory that I don’t even know who “L. Gordon” is):

26-23 OT loss to the Giants:

Continued…

17-16 win over the Rams:

27-21 loss to the Cardinals:

31-20 loss to the Redskins:

I don’t expect Andy Reid to run the ball more in his last few games as the Eagles head coach, and in turn, I don’t expect them to win any of their final 5 games.  That includes this week in Dallas, where the Cowboys have to have this game to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.  DeMarco Murray is expected to return tonight, which should help the Cowboys 32nd ranked run game.

Cowboys 27-21.

Giants at Redskins: The first matchup between these two teams earlier in the season was one of the more entertaining games of the season.  The Redskins have some juice all of a sudden, but I wonder how warranted that really is.  The last two weeks, the Skins faced two of the most injury-decimated teams in the NFL.  Hell, just look at the Eagles’ and Cowboys’ injury reports:

That’s a long list with some big names.  Some of those guys listed above played against the Skins, but the point remains that both teams were incredibly banged up when the Redskins faced them.  And those lists don’t even include Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Sean Lee, and Bruce Carter.  It’s not always about who you play… It’s about when you play them, and the Skins benefited greatly by how their schedule played out.  Meanwhile, the Giants are relatively healthy.  Jason Pierre-Paul is listed as questionable, but I wouldn’t count on him sitting this one out.

The bottom line for me is… “Can the Redskins consistently stop the Giants’ passing attack?”  My thinking is an emphatic “No.”

The Redskins haven’t won a meaningful division game this late in the season… in ever, Jerry… in ever.

OK, so maybe not “in ever,” but it sure feels that way.  Of course, RG3 was never a part of the Redskins’ stink over the last decade and a half, but until they actually come through, I’ll side on the “tried and true.”  Hey, that rhymes.  Giants 31-17.

13 Comments

  1. A Fine Messi says:

    ummm… injury list for the redskins vs those 2 teams?:

    OUT
    S Brandon Meriweather (played 3 quarters… the only 3 quarters he played all season before going on IR)
    WR Pierre Garcon (out vs Giants, played vs Cowboys)
    CB Cedric Griffin
    OLB Brian Orakpo
    DE Adam Carriker
    TE Fred Davis (lost for the season in the 1st quarter vs Giants)

    those are 6 starters.

    are you really going to pull the “cowboys and eagles were injured” card?

  2. Gary says:

    There’s no way “L. Gordon” is a real person. That has a be a player the game created who gets drafted in like 2024 in a Madden franchise, right?

  3. Look for Dez 2 have a Big Night!

  4. troy o says:

    Kenny Phillips not playing would be a considered a “key player”.

    1. Yeah, but he’s been out most of the year, and Stevie Brown has filled in nicely for him.

      1. brisulph says:

        Yes and no… He has some picks, but he has blown some coverages pretty badly as well. it is a step down in quality safety play.

  5. Harry says:

    Skins fan here. Your points about Eagles and Cowboys being injury-ridden are valid. However, the Giants were not when we played them (at least not a key player). Only a mental/coverage breakdown allowed a 77 yard strike at the game’s end prevented a win. That TD strike from Manning to Cruz was the only TD pass Manning had against the Redskins in the past 3 games and 2 in the past 5 games.

    I think this game will be a lot closer than people expect it to be.

    1. brisulph says:

      Healthy DTs to stuff the run were missing… that was pretty key last game.

      1. Harry says:

        I looked at an injury report. I didn’t see any DTs listed. Who are you thinking of?3

  6. mjoedgaard says:

    I think we should just snap it directly to Brown on every down. Bryce Browns ypc is higher than Foles ypa anyway and by the 4th quarter the Cowboys LBs and DL should be tired.

  7. Joe D says:

    How bad was Mike McMahon? Worst QB we have had that I can remember.

    1. I remember liking that acquisition when they got him. Mobile guy, arm was strong enough. Seemed to fit the Eagles’ offenseive, and Marty liked him enough to bring him in from the Detroit. But holy shit, he was terrible.

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