This week, the Eagles travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys at home on Christmas Eve. In their last meeting this season, you may recall that the Eagles whupped up on the Cowboys to the tune of 34-7 at the Linc (one of the few home games the Eagles have won this season).
It's really hard to beat a divisional foe twice in the same season.
The Eagles may be heating up, but Dallas reeled off four wins after that whupping in week 8 before dropping their last two, to the Giants and the Cardinals, who inexplicably seem to have had the NFC East's number this year.
This really could go either way. Both teams can score points. Both teams can force turnovers. Both teams can commit turnovers. Both teams can show up big, or not at all, often from one quarter to the next. I'm hoping the Eagles show up, and the Cowboys pull their usual late-season meltdown. Bonus points if Tony Romo does something stupid enough that he starts to cry. That would be an EXCELLENT gift.
I think LeSean McCoy (who, you might have heard, got the most fan votes for the Pro Bowl of any back in the league, coming in 6th in overall voting behind only Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Welker and Calvin Johnson) is the key to this game. He crushed the Cowboys in week 8. Not only did he rack up a ton of yards, he more importantly crushed the confidence of the #1 rushing defense in the league (at the time). Well, Shady and turnovers, which have been the Eagles Achilles heel this year.
I'm throwing caution and good sense to the wind and picking what needs to happen for the Eagles to make the playoffs.
Don't let me down, guys.
As an aside, if it all goes to hell this weekend, know that it's my fault.
(Chef Spouse thinks THIS will be the year the Eagles win the Super Bowl. He's either delusional, cracking under the holiday stress, or he's been hitting the sauce on the sly.)
In the rest of the matchups:
Texans at Colts: Can the Texans win without Wade Phillips? I think so, but only because they're playing the Colts. Texans.
Browns at Ravens: The Ravens will bounce back from last week's loss to the Chargers. Trust.
Broncos at Bills: Broncos. See last week's observation that, in fact, the Bills just might lose all the rest of their games.
Buccaneers at Panthers: Panthers. The Bucs are in a tailspin, and the Panthers got swagger.
Cardinals at Bengals: Interesting matchup. Both teams are in the hunt. With the Bears and possibly the Giants faltering, the door's open for the Cardinals to take the #6 seed. Meanwhile, the Bengals are neck and neck with a Jets team that's on the ropes. Chef Spouse says Bengals, and playing at home, I think he may be right.
Raiders at Chiefs: Before last Sunday, I would've picked the Raiders definitely. Now I'm not so sure. Go Romeo Crennel! Hell, I'm calling the Chiefs in an upset.
Dolphins at Patriots: Sigh. Realistically, the Pats have this. But wouldn't it be awesome if the Fins were able to sneak a win? Not gonna happen.
Giants at Jets: Both teams are reeling, but my Eagles need the Jets to show up. Hey, they took last week off, so they should be nice and rested. Jets.
Rams at Steelers: Steelers. Even without Big Ben. If they can keep him on the bench. Maybe he'll get confused about the whole Christmas weekend Saturday/Sunday thing?
Jaguars at Titans: If the Titans hadn't lost to the Colts...of course, the Jags did win their week 1 meeting... and it's tough to beat a divisional rival twice in a season... and Matt Hasselbeck seems to be OK... I think I just talked myself into calling the Titans.
Vikings at Redskins: The Redskins have been playing up -- or down -- to their competition all season. But even they can't stoop this low. Redskins.
Chargers at Lions: The Chargers have a long way to go to secure a playoff spot, and all the Lions need is a win and they're secured a spot. And they're at home. Lions.
49ers at Seahawks: Regardless of how this game turns out, I'm rooting for David Akers to make three field goals. But I think the 49ers will win.
Bears at Packers: Packers, Josh McCown or no Josh McCown. Sole game on Christmas, too.
Falcons at Saints: The Falcons really need this game, but the Saints are nearly unbeatable at home. I don't expect that to change Monday. Saints.