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Cowboys vs. Eagles: The Angst Bowl

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If the fans' reactions are any indication, Lincoln Financial Field will swallow up both teams next Sunday. 

The Cowboys Nation's response to yesterday's Ravens loss can be summarized as follows: 

Fire Wade!  Flog Romo!  Force Jerry to Divest!  Send Jason Garrett to coaches remedial school!  We're doomed!   Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhh!

The Eagles Nation has a surprisingly different response to yesterday's 10-3 loss in Washington, where the Eagles ceded control of their playoff destiny to the Bucs, who had lost earlier to San Diego:

Dump McNabb!   Can Andy Reid!  Draw and quarter the GM, who still can't seem to find a good wide receiver!  There's no way this team makes the playoffs! Rrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!

So who is happy today in the NFC?

 

  • The top seeded Giants are happy.  Their running game returned last night, to supply 302 yards, and they avoided a three game losing streak with two late scores.
  • The second seeded Panthers are okay, but looking over their shoulders.  They' had the top seed in their hands and now may drop to fifth seed if they lose to New Orleans next week and the Falcons beat the Rams.  Their hot running game obscured the fact that their defense gives up a lot of points. 
  • The third-seeded Vikings are nervous.  The Falcons spanked them today and if the Bears beat the Packers tomorrow, Minnesota has to win against the Giants next week to assure themselves a post season spot.  The Giants may rest some starters but if they bring their A-game the Vikings are vulnerable.
  • The fourth seeded Cardinals are embarrassed.  They've lost four of five and their defense is yielding an average of 35.4 points in that streak.
  • The fifth seeded Falcons are happy.  They completed a dramatic one-year turnaround with a wild card berth today.  Mike Smith is the slam-dunk choice for NFC Coach of the Year and Matt Ryan is the odds on favorite for Rookie of the Year. They still have a very real shot at a bye.
  • The sixth-seeded Cowboys are red faced and yet relieved.  They somehow control their fate.  Win, and they get the last NFC slot.
  • The seventh seeded Bucs are not happy.  They've lost three in a row and need the Eagles to beat Dallas to get them into the post-season.
  • The eight seeded Eagles face a similar scenario.  They must beat Dallas and hope the Raiders can send the Bucs to a winless December. 

These are the playoffs.  The NFL's holiday season.  And in the NFC, there's an abundance of gloom and doom.  Lots and lots of playoff teams have been on the naughty list this month.