NFC Week 12 Hot Takes

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys: With the Bucs upset of Seattle, the Cowboys now have a real chance of locking up home field advantage in the NFC before Christmas. Dallas’ next four games are all against teams with winning records, but even if they just split those games the road to Houston will go through Dallas. – Randy Haines

New York Giants: You don’t get a pat on the back for beating the Browns. This division still may send three teams into the playoffs, but the Giants road there gets a bit harder with four straight difficult games after this weekend’s cupcake. If New York wants to be one of those teams, they’ll need Manning to keep his family’s good name intact. – Jordan Curet

Philadelphia Eagles: Can someone please get Carson Wentz some receivers? It was painful to watch the second half of Monday night’s game when Jordan Matthews was out and it was DGB and two undrafted rookies trying to get open down field. The Eagles 2016 season is officially on life support. – RH

Washington Redskins: The Thanksgiving loss was a tough one to swallow, but the ‘Skins played well and have hung in there with Dallas twice this year (albeit losing both times). Washington has one of the elite offenses in the NFL and will be a tough out come playoff time. Can Jordan Reed please stay healthy though? Hate to see one of the best players in the league constantly on the sideline. – Nick Bair

NFC North

Chicago Bears: BREAKING NEWS: Matt Barkley might be competent! Barkley made a lot of good throws on Sunday, keeping the Bears in the game until the very end. His receivers also dropped a ton of passes, so his day could have been even better. With Carson Palmer struggling, Barkley may now be the best USC QB in the league (Sorry Sanchize, Cassel, and Kessler). – NB

Detroit Lions: Your FIRST PLACE Detroit Lions folks. After an important Thanksgiving win (and a season sweep of Minnesota), the Lions head into December with sole possession of first in the NFC North. This week, they travel to NOLA to play the Saints in what figures to be a high scoring affair (Vegas has the O/U at 53.5). This will be a good test to see if the Lions are for real. – NB

Green Bay Packers:  Can we all be honest with ourselves for one second? The tent was the best part of the Packer’s game versus the Eagles. Well, that and Rodgers becoming the superhuman he has been in season’s past again. His dimes to DaVante Adams were unreal and luckily the defense did enough to see the game through. Now they can only afford to drop one game (Seattle) if they want to steal the division. – JC

Minnesota Vikings: What a brutal loss for the Vikings. They pretty much outplayed the Lions for most the game on Thanksgiving only to give the game away at the end. The Vikings will host Dallas this week on Thursday Night Football with their season hanging in the balance. – RH

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta took care of a business against a feisty, if underperforming, Arizona team. Most impressively, the Falcons’ defense didn’t allow David Johnson to get going on the ground and helped get the offense back on the field. The biggest question now is if they can hold off the red hot Saints. – JC

Carolina Panthers: Pack it in. After their close loss to the Raiders, this is officially over for the Panthers (if it wasn’t before). That’s a long fall from grace for Carolina but losing a handful of games by three points will do that to you. This season won’t be a total loss if they can figure out who on the defense is worth keeping and everyone on offense stays healthy. – JC

New Orleans Saints: I would say that running up the score on the Rams was mean, but then I remembered how terrible of person Gregg Williams is, so really he deserved it. Drew Brees continues to be one of the best players in the whole league and the Saints offense is still deadly. They would be a fun team in the playoffs, but I think they might have dug themselves too large a hole to overcome. Sidenote: Has anyone seen Brandin Cooks? – NB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Someone break up the Buccaneers! After disappointing people like myself who thought the Bucs were a real sleeper team this year the first month of the season, the young Bucs have now beaten Kansas City and Seattle in back to back weeks. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans have carried this team back into playoff contention and have the look of the next team ready to make a big jump. – RH

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals: Welp. That might be all she wrote on the Cards’ season. Arizona currently sits in 12th(!) place in the NFC, a disastrous fall from their 13-3 record last year. Aside from David Johnson, their offense has sputtered considerably and the real Carson Palmer has come back this year. Will they stick with him in 2017 or start looking for a new QB… maybe Tony Romo? – NB

Los Angeles Rams: If I’m a Rams fan all I’m doing this week is watching the first half of Sunday’s game against the Saints when Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes on repeat. I’m also completely ignoring the second half where Goff managed to throw for just 47 yards against one of the worst defenses in the league. – RH

San Francisco 49ers: If this were any of the last few years, losing to the Dolphins would be a real bummer. Happily enough for the 49ers, the Dolphins are on a hot streak and I guess decent? So no shame in that. Being 1-10 is a tough spot to be in but this just wasn’t the year for them despite the division being relatively subpar. If the defense can improve, Chip Kelly can find a  way for them to score points next year. – JC

Seattle Seahawks: What an ugly game. Also, if Tampa Bay can figure out how to exploit Seattle’s nonexistent offensive line, why can’t every team? Seattle’s defense let them down in the first quarter but that’s all you need against this team. Score early and then just make life hell for Wilson. They’ll have a hard time catching you. – JC

-Nick Bair, Jordan Curet, and Randy Haines

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