Saints at Cowboys: The Saints gave up more than 400 yards in every single one of their first 10 games. They were historically bad. However, in their last 4 games, they have not allowed more than 400 yards in any game despite facing 4 good offenses (Niners, Falcons, Giants, Bucs). And yet, as their defense began to improve, Drew Brees had a few uncharacteristically bad games and the Saints dropped 3 of those 4 games.
It was a tale of three seasons for the Saints this year. It started off very ugly:
Then they bounced back:
And then they fell apart again:
Last week, they blew out the Bucs 41-0. If the Saints’ streaky trend continues, the Cowboys will have their hands full. The Saints are the absolute last 6-8 team I would ever want to have to face if I were a team fighting for the playoffs. Their defense is playing better, and that offense can still be dominant. But there’s just something about this Cowboys team this year. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s very un-Cowboy-like. In previous years, they lost games they should have won. This year, they’re winning games they should have lost, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This one’s for you, Derf Diggy… Cowboys 31-30.
Redskins at Eagles: I did a Q & A with my friend Kevin Ewoldt over at Hogs Haven. I don’t have much to add that I didn’t already say over there. I get the vibe that Redskins fans are very nervous about facing the Eagles this week. Why? No seriously… Why?
Here were the Eagles’ projected starters on offense way back around February, and where they are now:
- QB Michael Vick– Played very poorly, got concussed, missed a few games, and by the time he got healthy again the season was over, so it made more sense to evaluate Nick Foles.
- RB LeSean McCoy– Concussed in the last Eagles-Skins matchup, returns this week.
- FB Stanley Havili– Hamstring. IR.
- WR DeSean Jackson– Broken ribs. IR.
- WR Jeremy Maclin– Healthy.
- TE Brent Celek– Concussed a few weeks ago. Returning this week.
- LT Jason Peters– Ruptured his Achilles… twice. IR.
- LG Evan Mathis– Healthy, and playing well.
- C Jason Kelce– Partially torn ACL, completely torn MCL. IR.
- RG Danny Watkins– Got benched for a guy they pulled in off the street (Jake Scott) prior to the last Eagles-Redskins game.
- RT Todd Herremans– Dislocated his cuboid bone (foot). It’s an injury so rare that the Eagles had difficulty finding a player in the NFL that had suffered a similar injury. (They found Larry Johnson). IR.
So do I think the Skins will outscore the Eagles? Yes. Yes I do.
As for the Eagles’ defense, here were the passer ratings they allowed during a 6 game stretch this season:
They’ve been much better since they fired DL coach Jim Washburn, who appeared to be a team cancer, but I’m not exactly confident they can stop RG3. This is a gift Week 16 matchup. Skins, 34-23.
Giants at Ravens: Ugh. Who the hell knows what Giants team will show up anymore? That’s about as good as I can do in analyzing this team at this point. Giants, 26-23, I guess.