NFC Week 11 Hot Takes

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: This train just keeps on rolling. Zeke paired with that offensive line might be the best duo in sports since Jordan and Pippen and if things couldn’t get any worse for the rest of the NFC, Dez Bryant looked the healthiest he has all season. Having said all that and maybe this is my Cowboys hating glasses clouding my vision, but I just do not see how a defense this bad can truly compete for a title. Their defense is in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed per attempt, rushing yards allowed per attempt, sacks and turnovers forced. That’s just not a formula that works in January. – Randy Haines

New York Giants: The Giants are really coming on strong as of late by being winners of five in a row. With ODB tied down by his new relationship to the kicking net and with the two of them deep into their wedding plans, he has seemed to get back to playing football and taking some of the negative attention away from this team. Rashad Jennings also finally seemed to come around into the player everyone thought he had the potential to be. Don’t get too high on this team yet though, they did only just beat the Alshon Jeffery-less Bears and injured Jay Cutler in the process. It is also worth noting that none of the teams they beat in this win streak are better than .500. This team has a daunting matchup next week against the Browns and they better not lose focus. They need to keep pace with their division foe Dallas. – Sean Demetrakis

Philadelphia Eagles: Nelson Agholor is public enemy #1 in Philadelphia. An inexcusable mental error (not lining up properly pre snap) cost Zach Ertz a long touchdown that would have put the Eagles up by 1 in the second quarter. Add in a terrible drop that would have went for at least 25 yards when the game was still close and the second year receiver single handled sucked the life out of his team. Now the Eagles probably wouldn’t have won the game even if Agholor wasn’t “in his own head” as he stated after the game, but it’s plays like those that he has to make for his football team. To top it all off the other three NFC East teams won on Sunday crippling the Eagles playoff chances, but hey at least they’re still number 2 in DVOA. That counts for something right? – RH

Washington Redskins: Are the Redskins (gulp) actually good? Kirk Cousins was a stud Sunday night in the wind and dominated the QB battle against Aaron Rodgers. Also, Fat Rob looks like the real deal at RB, replacing that bum Matt Jones. The offense is absolutely rolling right now, and they will need to keep it up this week. The ‘Skins play archrival Dallas on Thanksgiving in JerryWorld. If they get the upset, Dan Snyder better add a couple zeros to Kirk Cousins’ contract extension. – Nick Bair

NFC North

Chicago Bears: Things are bad in Chicago. They lost again this week, this time to the Giants. Alshon Jeffery is still suspended. Zach Miller and Jay Cutler are now out for the year with injuries. And to top it all off, Matt Barkley will be starting at QB for the Bears this week. On the bright side, the Packers are bad now too. – NB

Detroit Lions: The Lions will take the win over the lowly Jags before their annual Thanksgiving day game. This will be one of the more important Turkey Day games in recent memory as the division is on the line against Minnesota. Both teams currently sit at 6-4 and the winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat moving forward. Matty Stafford better bring his A-Game. – NB

Green Bay Packers: Wow. The Packers were completely dominated by the Redskins. Remember when we were talking about the Packers having the best run defense ever to play the game? The 2000 Ravens are laughing hysterically at them after they were gashed by some guy named Robert Kelley. Maybe all of this beef Aaron Rodgers has with his family is starting to affect his play. This team needs to right the ship fast or they are going to be sitting at home come playoff time, especially with the Lions coming on strong lately. – SD

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings finally got back in the win column due in large part to their defense and special teams. The Minnesota offensive line was less terrible than normal only allowing two sacks and actually opening up a few running lanes McKinnon and Asiata. As ugly as things have been with this team lately they control their own destiny in the division as they head to Detroit on Thanksgiving – RH

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons had a bye this week and had a chance to really stew about their ugly loss in Philly. Atlanta is narrowly clinging on to the NFC South division lead after wins by both Tampa Bay and Carolina. The Falcons will be back in action this week with a tough match-up against Arizona. – SD

Carolina Panthers: Did Carolina ever need a win more badly? They looked to be in total control for the better part of the game and then almost blew another 4th quarter lead. I wrote about the Panthers this preseason and predicted them to coast to the NFC South division title. Was I ever wrong. This defense is not the same and Cam Newton has not played up to his MVP caliber play from a season ago. The defense really misses Josh Norman and I bet this team is wishing they had paid up for the guy. The defense also took another hit when Luke Kuechly went down with a concussion. You really have to feel bad for a guy who puts his heart and soul into every play and has to leave the field while riding the back of the gator. – SD

New Orleans Saints: The Saints had another frustrating loss Thursday night against Carolina. The offense didn’t wake up until the 4th quarter when it was just too little too late. At 4-6, it is unlikely they will make the playoffs, but at least they get to face rookie Jared Goff and the Rams this week at home. If the Saints offense can score 20 points, they should be able to notch a win. – NB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A huge statement win for Jameis Winston and the young Bucs that puts them back into the heat of the playoff race. The good news for Tampa is they currently sit just one game back of Atlanta in the NFC South, the bad news is the red hot Seahawks come into town this weekend. Followed up by a trip out west to face the Chargers and the Bucs playoff hopes could vanish about as quickly as they appeared. Nevertheless this team is showing signs that maybe they are finally ready to turn the corner. – RH

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Oy. That loss to Minnesota might be the final blow to the Cards’ playoff hopes. The game really swung on just two plays: the Pick 6 and the Kickoff Return TD. Take those away and Arizona probably leaves town with a win. Now they are three games back in the NFC West and two games back of the last Wild Card spot with just six games to play. This does include three games against current NFC playoff teams (Atlanta, Washington, and Seattle). Arizona will have to win all of those games to give themselves a shot at the Wild Card. – NB

Los Angeles Rams: I’ve been calling for Jared Goff to start since Week 3 and although he looked pretty mediocre in his first NFL start I’m still happy with the Rams decision. This team was never making the playoffs, let the guy you traded half a draft to acquire play some damn football. Now all the Rams need is a new head coach, new offensive coordinator, new general manager, new offensive line and another receiver or two. Ok so maybe playing Goff sooner didn’t really matter that much after all. – RH

San Francisco 49ers: Nothing makes me more happy to see this team struggle the way they do each week. I was a big fan of Jim Harbaugh and thought he really got the short end of the stick in the Bay Area. They now have Chip Kelly who is not a good NFL coach. He belongs back at Oregon calling the shots for the Ducks. And while we are at it, their QB belongs back behind the counter at the Krusty Krab taking orders for his guy Spongebob. The one bright spot of this team, Carlos Hyde, looked to get going again after finishing the game with 4.5 yards per carry on 19 carries. It’s a shame that the Browns play in the NFL too, otherwise the Niners would be in a nice position for the 1st overall pick. – SD

Seattle Seahawks: TRUST THE PROSISE. Seattle looked like they had finally found their running back with CJ Prosise and the return of Thomas Rawls. There must be a curse on that backfield though, Prosise only managed to stay healthy for one half of football after gaining the starting job. He will be missed by this team. The Seahawks defense has always been one of this team’s greatest strengths and they once again showed why on Sunday. Mid-way through the 3rd quarter they had held the Eagles receivers to 15 total yards. 15. Rusty himself had 15 receiving yards. I will have to say they did get some help from the Eagles receivers in this one as well. Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews might as well have two bricks for their hands. Seattle is firmly atop the NFC West and looked primed again for another Super Bowl run. – SD

-Nick Bair, Sean Demetrakis, and Randy Haines

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