Remember when it was called the NFC Beast? Now, it’s a pussy cat.
Washington leads the division at 2-2, followed by Dallas and Philadelphia at 2-3, New York at 1-4. The Giants host the Eagles — the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles, who have looked anything but title worthy so far — on Thursday night.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson has cited “self-inflicted wounds” as a major reason for injury-riddled Philly’s struggles. His offensive coordinator, Mike Groh, concurs.
“We obviously don’t condone those kinds of mistakes,” Groh says. “The guys that are responsible for that, we’ve talked to those guys. Those things can’t happen. I mean, they just can’t happen. That’s simple football. We’ve got to get out of the huddle, we’ve got to get lined up, and we’ve got to know where we’re supposed to be and what our assignment is.
“We’ve got to do a better job collectively of teaching that, and then when we get out there, everybody has to know what to do and where to line up. Those things have to be eliminated.”
The Giants eliminated a lot of those things at Carolina last Sunday and made an impressive comeback, only to fall on Graham Gano’s 63-yard field goal with 1 second remaining.
“These guys love to play the game, it’s their livelihood, but they certainly play it with great emotion and great passion and they just keep playing,” coach Pat Shurmur says.
“As we get better — I think we played better last week — we need to find 63 more yards somewhere to get the win. But we played better and we’ve got to continue on that path. Then eventually it will crack.”
Philadelphia, ranked 15th in the AP Pro32, is a 3-point favorite over the No. 28 Giants. The short week probably is more damaging to the Eagles.
No. 6 Carolina (pick-em) at No. 18 Washington
Getting Panthers at a bargain price.
BEST BET: PANTHERS, 26-20
No. 12 Pittsburgh (plus 2 1-2) at No. 5 Cincinnati
Really like what Bengals are doing, but pick them here? Sorry.
UPSET SPECIAL: STEELERS, 21-20
No. 1 Los Angeles Rams (minus 7) at No. 25 Denver
NFL’s most talented roster keeps unbeaten season going.
No. 2 Kansas City (plus 3) at No. 4 New England
Expect a load of points, and a victory for ...
No. 11 Los Angeles Chargers (minus 1) at No. 16 Cleveland
Chargers remember that 2016 loss to Browns, who went 1-15 that season.
No. 19 Seattle (minus 2 1-2) vs. No. 31 Oakland at London
Is Jon Gruden wondering about going back to ESPN booth?
No. 8 Chicago (minus 3) at No. 17 Miami
Bears favored on road? Dolphins should have won last week, will this week.
No. 29 Indianapolis (plus 2) at No. 24 New York Jets
If only Colts were healthier, this would be upset special.
No. 22 Tampa Bay (plus 3 1-2) at No. 27 Atlanta
Injuries have ruined Atlanta’s season already.
No. 26 Buffalo (plus 7) at No. 21 Houston
Bills are gutsy, Texans are gutsy and more talented.
No. 10 Baltimore (minus 2 1-2) at No. 13 Tennessee
Titans are gutsy, Ravens are more talented. But ...
No. 7 Jacksonville (minus 3) at No. 23 Dallas
Is anyone more inconsistent than Jacksonville? Well, maybe Dallas is.
No. 30 Arizona (plus 10 1-2) at No. 9 Minnesota
So the Cardinals got a win. Big deal.
No. 32 San Francisco (plus 10) at No. 14 Green Bay, Monday night
Packers make too many mistakes to be so heavily favored.
Last Week: Against spread (5-9-1). Straight up (9-6)
Season Totals: Against spread (33-40-3). Straight up: (48-28-2)