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NFC South Preview: Cowboys vs. Falcons, Panthers vs. Redskins, Eagles vs. NOLA

For Week 9, the NFC South will have all four teams playing.

The Atlanta Falcons (7-0) will continue marching toward a perfect season by playing a frustrated Dallas Cowboys (3-4) team.

But they can’t be more frustrated than the Carolina Panthers (1-6) who have lost five games in a row. They will play an improved Washington Redskins (3-5). If good Cam Newton shows up, this could be a battle of the quarterbacks.

On Monday night, the New Orleans Saints (2-5) will host the skidding Philadelphia Eagles (3-4), who are desperately seeking a win.

The fourth division game is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) vs. the Oakland Raiders (3-4). The bettors aren’t very enthused by the game either, giving the home team -1 with a 47 over/under.

Atlanta vs. Dallas

Falcons QB Matt Ryan

With their undefeated season, the Falcons still don’t get a lot of respect which is most likely due to historically weak postseason performances. But for now, the team has the best record in the league; it is filled with talented players and some luck.

Quarterback “Matty Ice” Ryan will play against a fired up Dallas defense. On Friday, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan sounded like his outspoken twin Rex and all but declared a win against Atlanta.

After their bye week, the Falcons returned with gusto and decisively beat the Eagles last week 30-17. Ryan had season-high pass completion rate (75.9 percent).

His fellow quarterback Tony Romo had a good game last week against the New York Giants, with his career-high passing of 437 yards but you can’t forget about his four picks and the team’s six turnovers.

This type of play has contributed to the team losing its last three of four games.

The Cowboys have been hit by the injury bug offensively, including no play by top running back DeMarco Murray this week.

Dallas has a greater sense of urgency for the win but the Falcons get the nod at -3.5 with a 47.5 over/under.

Panthers vs. Redskins

Panthers QB Cam Newton

After losing five in a row, the Panthers desperately need a win and a momentum change.

Quarterback Cam Newton looked confident last week against the Chicago Bears but couldn’t pull off the win. He did have a good game, going 20 for 39 passes, a season-high 314 passing yards but there were no touchdowns and two picks.

Redskins quarterback and fellow Heisman winner Robert Griffin III is having a good first season but his numbers don’t always translate to wins. And last week, the player had season-low passing numbers with a 47.1 percent completion rate.

This team also is battling a lot of starters’ injuries including Brian Orakpo, Adam Carriker, Brandon Meriweather.

In their last meeting, the Panthers won 33-20. Both teams will view this as a must-win game but in this quarterback battle, the win goes to the rookie at -2.5 with a 48 over/under.

New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Saints QB Drew Brees

For the Eagles and Saints, it’s been a bad season on so many levels. Both teams will enter Monday’s game with strong needs to win.

Through their first seven games, the Saints are the first team in league history to give up 400 or more yards in each game. Their 3,323 yards allowed represents the greatest number through seven games since the NFL began tracking total yards–back in 1933, reported ESPN.

Quarterback Drew Brees is still having a good season but he can’t carry the team on his back. His talented running back and return specialist Darren Sproles just had hand surgery and is out for four to six weeks.

For the Eagles, the Saints’ weak defense may not be a bad thing as their quarterback and coach have their jobs on the line. There has been talk of benching quarterback Michael Vick but Eagles coach Andy Reid is sticking with him.

Vick is having an awful season with eight picks and 13 giveaways. His 78.6 passer rating represents his lowest since joining the Eagles in 2009.

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy could have a good game against a Saints defense but the bettors disagree giving the Saints the win at -3 with a 51.5 over/under.

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