NFC East: Week 9 Preview and Point Spreads

The NFC East is frequently associated with entertaining football, and this season has certainly been no exception. RGIII is perhaps the single most entertaining player in football, while the Cowboys are always fun to watch for their comic bumbling. And the Eagles, after being shellacked at home by an undefeated Atlanta squad, appear to be in free fall. Oh, and those boring, dry-as-sand Giants? They’re 6-2, and look like the best team in football once again. What’s new? Let’s take a look at the Week 9 action in football’s most entertaining (and competitive) division.

Carolina Panthers (+3) at Washington Redskins, Sunday, 1:00 p.m.  EST

Well, the ‘Skins got smoked last week, and made a lot of prognosticators (including me) look like fools. After the Redskins’ close loss to the Giants and dominating win over the Vikings, I thought the sky was the limit for this frisky young team. It was an easy result to see coming, if you wanted to look close enough: Pittsburgh smoked them, 27-12, at Heinz Field. Lesson learned.

With all that being said, I still love the Redskins in this game. The Panthers have not demonstrated a single reason this season why they should be favored or bet upon in any game. Cam Newton has played pretty dismally thus far this season, and Carolina’s expensive backfield has yet to get going. They’re a tough team, and gave Chicago everything they could handle last weekend, but I love the Redskins at -3 here.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) at New York Giants, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST

Speaking of those pesky Steelers. Right when you want to shovel dirt on them and count them out, they go and lay the wood on a team like they did last weekend. But the Giants are the same way; this could be a contest of both head coaches screaming “nobody believes in us,” “no, nobody believes in US,” louder and louder. Pittsburgh has played some ugly football so far this year,, but the statistics bear out that they’re doing something right: they’re giving up the fewest passing yards to opposing quarterbacks in the NFL, and the ninth fewest rushing yards. Still, it’s the Giants at home, and I think Eli comes through in the clutch again. As much as these Giants want to fly under the radar, they can’t anymore: they are legitimately good, and I think this game proves just how good they are. Take the G-Men at -3.

Dallas Cowboys (+4) at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST

I’m frankly stunned this line isn’t double digits. That speaks volumes about Vegas’ confidence in the betting public (read: dumb saps) to continue betting on the Dallas Cowboys. There is no reason they should be such narrow underdogs in this game. Atlanta drubbed the Eagles last weekend, and its opportunistic defense will look to jump all over Tony Romo early. Yes, the same Tony Romo that threw four interceptions to a suspect Giants secondary last weekend. Oh, and the Falcons are 7-0, AND they’re at home. How in the hell are they only four point favorites? Their only real weakness is in their run defense (they’re ranked 26th in the league in that category) but the Cowboys best running back, DeMarco Murray, will probably not play. I love the Flacons here.

Philadelphia Eagles (+3) at New Orleans Saints, Monday, 8:30 p.m. EST

Yikes, this could be an ugly one. A team,, Philly, that struggles to move the ball versus a defense, New Orleans, that couldn’t tackle the broad side of a barn. God help me, I like the Eagles here, despite everything. If they’re ever going to right the ship, this will have to be it.

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