Another Sunday approaches and once again the boys enter the meat of the week with records of 1-0.
Thursday night, in the final Thursday night game of the season, the Cincinnati Bengals whipped the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13. This one was close for a while, but then the Eagles started to cough up the football and our prediction came to life.
Here’s how Dr. Football and The Coach called it:
The Eagles ended a two-month winless drought last week in Tampa Bay but are still out of any kind of playoff contention…in fact one may say Andy Reid is just trying to pad his severance package at this point. Rookie QB Nick Foles looked sharp last week tossing for 381 yards, but he now faces a Bengals secondary that not looked sharp as of late; they’ve allowed 320 yards the past two games. This is a must-win for the Bengals coming off their disappointing loss to the Cowboys. I think they can regroup, even on the road in a close one. The Coach says: “The Bengals must win. The Eagles would like to win. I’ll take Andy Dalton, even on the road, before I’d take Nick Foles in his own backyard. I just don’t think Foles can hang on to the football.”
Here’s how the game turned out:
Cincinnati 34 Philadelphia 13
The Eagles turned over the football five times, one fumble was returned for a touchdown, as Cincinnati came back from a 13-10 halftime deficit and beat Philly handily. The Bengals are now 8-6, a half a game better than rival Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Bengals offense wasn’t very good. QB Andy Dalton went 13-for-27 for 127 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for a TD. However, the in the third and fourth quarters the defense was almost flawless. They forced turnovers on four of five plays in the fourth quarter and scored 24 unanswered points on turnovers. The Eagles are now 4-10 and it looks like Andy Reid’s days as head coach are numbered. After all, owner Jeffrey Lurie said 8-8 was “unacceptable.”
With Andy Reid on the outs and Norv Turner, Mike Mularkey, Romeo Crennel, Mike Munchak, Jim Schwartz, Ron Rivera and Ken Whisenhunt trying desperately to hold onto their jobs, Week 15 should be more fun than a monkey at an IKEA.
Last week The Doc was 10-6 straight up (133-75) and 9-7 (103-105) against the spread. The Coach was 10-6 straight up (134-74) and 10-6 against the spread (103-105).
Once again, The Doc writes our insightful and learned justifications while The Coach eats popcorn and coughs…
Green Bay Packers (9-4) at Chicago Bears (8-5) Line: Packers by 3.
The Packers have won five in a row over the hibernating Bears. Sunday will make it six. The Coach says: “Whether Jay Cutler plays or not, the Bears are in the midst of their December collapse.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.
New York Giants (8-5) at Atlanta Falcons (11-2) Line: Falcons by 2.
Despite how well the Falcons play at the Georgia Dome and Matt Ryan’s 32-4 home record, I don’t expect them to mentally recover from getting humiliated last week by Carolina. The Giants are a better team right now and they need the win more. The Coach says: “Eli will have to be better and the Falcons are at home. I’ll take the home side before Eli gets better. And he will get better.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE GIANTS TO WIN IN AN UPSET.
THE COACH: TAKE THE FALCONS TO WIN AND COVER.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at New Orleans Saints (5-8) Line: Saints by 3.5
Ever just played a hunch? I think with all the back slappin’ and “I told you so” going on in the Saints locker room about the bounty scandal, they come up flat. The Coach says, “The Saints will be a lot of things on Sunday and flat won’t be one of them.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BUCS TO WIN IN AN UPSET
THE COACH: TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) Line: Rams by 2.5.
This will be like a home game for the Vikings as they are proving to be an indoor team built around the brilliant Adrian Petersen (1,107 yards rushing in the past seven games). Vikings need this game more before a tough couple against the Texans and Packers. The Coach says, “With three weeks to play in the regular season, 24 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII. The Vikings and Rams are two of them. Who knew?”
THE DOC: TAKE THE VIKINGS IN AN UPSET
THE COACH: TAKE THE VIKINGS TO WIN.
Washington Redskins (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (5-8) Line: Off
Both teams are coming off wins and playing good ball, but the Redskins (even without RG3) are a way better team and could still make the playoffs. The Coach says: “This is the week when Brandon Weeden demonstrates he deserved to be a No. 1 draft pick.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE “SKIN TO WIN” AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BROWNS TO WIN.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) at Miami Dolphins (5-8) Line: Dolphins by 7.
Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus…and the Jags are that bad. Miami isn’t much better. The Coach says: “This is not quality viewing for children or seniors with heart conditions. This is just going to be a bad football game.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE DOLPHINS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE DOLPHINS TO WIN AND COVER.
Denver Broncos (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4) Line: Broncos by 2.5.
Can’t expect much from the Ravens offense with the coaching change. Denver has the playoff bye clearly in sight, and Peyton doesn’t take his foot off the gas. The Coach: “The second Game of the Year in less than a week. Great offense vs. a great but banged-up defense. Can’t wait.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BRONCOS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BRONCOS TO WIN AND COVER.
Indianapolis Colts (9-4) at Houston Texans (11-2) Line: Texans by 9.
The Texans need this one bad to clinch their division and are out to prove that their bumbling Monday night was just a “one off”. The Colts O-line is hurting bad and Andrew’s luck has run out this week. The Coach says, “Amazingly, the Indianapolis Colts (9-4) can clinch a playoff spot this weekend and, with a win, still have a chance to win the AFC South division. Won’t happen.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE TEXANS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE TEXANS TO WIN AND COVER.
Carolina Panthers (4-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-8) Line: Chargers by 3.
Both teams are terrible, but Norv Turner, like Andy Reid is just padding his severance package with a few more wins before he gets told to hit the bricks. Home team wins. The Coach says, “Cam Newton can pretty much end Norv Turner’s head coaching career. Probably won’t though.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Seattle Seahawks (8-5) vs. Buffalo Bills (5-8) at Toronto Line: Seahawks by 5.5.
Even those dinks in Toronto who are always pining for an NFL team HAVE to be sick of the Bills by now. Seattle scored 58 points last week, and might do it again at the Rogers Centre. The Coach says, “Seattle QB Russell Wilson has thrown 20 touchdown passes this season. With three touchdown passes against Buffalo on Sunday, Wilson can surpass Cam Newton (21 in 2011) and Charlie Conerly (22 in 1948) for the second-most TD passes by a rookie in NFL history. Peyton Manning holds the record with 26. It would be cool if Wilson could pull off the feat in Canada.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE SEAHAWKS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE SEAHAWKS TO WIN AND COVER.
Detroit Lions (4-9) at Arizona Cardinals (4-9) Line: Lions by 6.
Now I know what you’re thinking…how many Carib beers did the Doc drink in Trinidad last night when he wrote this nonsense. But how many teams lose 10 in a row? Lions have nothing to play for and I think they play dead for the rest of the year. The Coach says, “15. The number of Carib beers The Doc drank in Trinidad last night when he wrote this nonsense.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE CARDINALS IN AN UPSET.
THE COACH: TAKE THE CARDINALS TO WIN AND COVER.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6) Line: Steelers by 1.5.
The only reason I’m going with the Steelers is that Big Ben rarely loses two in a row. Oh, and the fact that Dallas never can win the big one. The Coach says, “Dallas quarterback Tony Romo can surpass 4,000 yards in passing this season with a decent week against Pittsburgh. He already has 3,928. Shouldn’t be a problem if San Diego can put up 34 on Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh’s house. Dallas can put up 50.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE COWBOYS TO WIN.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) at Oakland Raiders (3-10) Line: Raiders by 3.
These teams were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs during the pre-season. The Raiders won first meeting, 26-16, and they’ll win again. The Coach says, “I think I speak for everyone when I say, Y-e-e-w.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE RAIDERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE RAIDERS TO WIN AND COVER.
San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) at New England Patriots (10-3) Line: Patriots by 5.
The Patriots have won something like their last 20 consecutive games at home in December and possess the league’s No. 1 offense averaging over 36 points a game. San Fran’s defense is the league’s best only allowing 14.2 points per game. In what could be a Super Bowl preview, go with Tom Brady at home. The Coach says, “Brady puts up five TD passes this week.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
New York Jets (5-8) at Tennessee Titans (4-9) Line: Titans by 2.
If I were ESPN I’d sue the NFL for non-support with this Monday night stinker. Titans are out of it while the Jets still have a small chance. I think Rex Ryan’s squad can do it away from all the pressure at home. The Coach says, “It’s shocking, but the New York Buttfumblers will improve to 7-7 with this one and Rex Ryan will keep his job.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE JETS TO WIN IN AN UPSET.
THE COACH: TAKE THE JETS TO WIN.