[caption id="attachment_465" align="aligncenter" width="475"] Jim McIsaac / Getty Images[/caption] Wow! What a big week in the NFL we had last week. The picture is so much clearer with four teams (Texans, Patriots, Broncos and Falcons) all clinching playoff spots. The Giants loss to the Redskins makes things VERY interesting in the NFC, while the Seahawks and Charlie Batch’s Steelers had critical wins as well. Let’s take a look at the two games we’ll see on Fox Sports this week.
Dallas Cowboys (6-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)Time & Date: Monday December 10 , 5:00am Coverage: LIVE on Fox Sports 3 and Fox Sports 3 HD w/Replay at 7:30pm Monday and 3.30pm on Tuesday on Fox Sports 3 and Fox Sports 3 HD (See TV Guide for info) Here’s a match-up of two teams that are both desperate for a win to keep their playoff chances alive. The Giants loss gives Dallas’ hopes some oxygen as they’re now with five NFC teams at 6-6 that are just one game out of the wildcard, while the Bengals are in a dogfight with the Steelers for the final spot in the AFC. The Cowboys: They pulled out a win that they really needed against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football last week. Tony Romo surpassed Troy Aikman as the Dallas Cowboys all-time leader in career TD passes. Dez Bryant had a massive impact on the game, looking dangerous and sharp on every offensive play. He ended up with only six catches for 98 yards, but had two touchdowns and drew defenders to open up the field for Jason Whitten and Miles Austin. They’re heating up at the right time of the year and are a very dangerous .500 team. The Bengals: The Bengals are just above average all over the field and in the NFL this year that’s a good thing! So many teams are great on offence, but suck on defense or vice-versa, that the Bengals being about middle of the road everywhere has translated into a winning record, albeit against dubious opposition in recent weeks (San Diego, Oakland and Kansas City). Watch out for: Lots of passing TDs. The Bengals have scored 25 this year (4th in the league) and the Cowboys have 20 overall (9th) - the corners and safeties will have lots of work to do! Also watch out for the Bengals' 4-3 defense this week - lead by their front four (Geno Akins 9.5 sacks, Michael Johnson 8.0, Wallace Gilburry 4.0 and Carlos Dunlap at 4.0) Cincy has sacked the opposing QB a league leading THIRTY NINE times in thirteen games! Final word and prediction: I’m picking the Cowboys here – I still trust Romo more than Dalton and given that they’ve got a sniff of the playoffs, I’m picking them in a close one, 24-21.
Arizona Cardinals (4-8) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-5)Time & Date: Monday December 10 , 8:25am Coverage: LIVE on Fox Sports 3 and Fox Sports 3 HD w/Replay at 9:30pm on Fox Sports 3 and Fox Sports 3 HD (See TV Guide for info) ‘Zona and the Hawks played all the way back in Week 1 of the season. Now, the Cardinals won that game, but: 1) it was in Arizona, 2) it was Russell Wilson’s first ever start and 3) Kevin Kolb came in to pass the football on the game-winning drive. The Cardinals: They won their first four games and now have lost the next seven straight. They had a particularly ugly loss last week, 7-6 to the Jets. You can’t help but feel for poor Larry Fitzgerald – a superstar on a terrible team who needs to find a way out of the Arizona desert. The Seahawks are constantly up and down, but clearly Russell Wilson is the real thing. He looks poised and is a great athlete. The WR crew of Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are excellent and Pete Carroll’s inventive play calling keeps opposition teams on their toes. Watch out: For the Seahawks crowd causing Arizona penalties, as well as the Seattle defense feasting on the Arizona QBs. The crowd in Seattle is known as one of the loudest in the NFL, they’re a significant part of the reason that the Seahawks are 5-0 @ Centurylink Field this year. Final word and prediction: The Cardinals just plain suck on both sides of the ball at the moment. Give me the Seahawks at home, 28-12.
Ok, enjoy the games, give us a shout out in the pretty white comments box below and we’ll see you here next week!