NFC East Pick ’em record: (26-12)
The NFC teams playing this weekend have the potential to blow out their opponents, and I’m not talking about the New York Giants. It’s not often NFL teams have the opportunity to test things out in the back half of a season, but the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles can.
Dallas is taking on the Davis Mills Texans, while Jalen Hurts will play the smoldering New York Giants. Here is your NFC East roundup for Week 14.
Dallas Cowboys (9-3) vs. Houston Texans (1-10-1)
The twenty-year-old rivalry between both historic franchises is renewed again. If you can’t sense the sarcasm in that sentence, I will spell it out for you.
The Dallas Cowboys should have beaten the Indianapolis Colts last week. There is no reason they should lose this game on Sunday. From player No. 1 to No. 53, the Cowboys have the better roster. The Houston Texans’ best player, Derek Stingley Jr., will reportedly miss the game due to injury. He won’t be the only one. Wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins will be out as well.
Texans wide receivers Brandin Cooks (calf) and Nico Collins (foot) and Derek Stingley Jr. (Hamstring) are all expected to miss the Cowboys gs— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 9, 2022
When Anthony Brown was lost for the season with his Achilles injury, it put Kelvin Joseph into a starting role on defense. There couldn’t have been a better week to get him ready for the rest of the season than the one this weekend. The Texans starting receivers will be Chris Moore and Phillip Dorsett. Both players have combined for 494 yards and three touchdowns.
It’s possible we see DaRon Bland get snaps on the outside to see if he might be a better option than Joseph. Bland has shown a quicker development coming off his best game of the season, recording two interceptions and being the highest-graded defender by Pro Football Focus.
It’s crazy to think the Cowboys are getting a preseason game in December, but that’s what this matchup feels like. The key for Dallas to win this game is not to make any mistakes, to score early and often, and to play your backups. James Washington and Jalen Tolbert will go over 50 yards a piece because they get reps in the fourth quarter. If the Cowboys can leave the game healthy and win 41-13, that’s all one can ask for.
New York Giants (7-4-1) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (11-1)
After the Washington Commanders and New York Giants decided to tie, it created a scenario where the Giants almost have to win out in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. ESPN has a great playoff machine where fans can mess with picks and see a team’s path to the playoffs. After picking a couple of games between now and Week 18, it becomes evident that the Giants, Commanders, and Seattle Seahawks will be fighting for the final two wild card spots.
The Giants are facing the league’s best team, the Philadelphia Eagles, this weekend. It’s not impossible to envision a world where New York wins because it is a familiar opponent. The last time Jalen Hurts lost to the Giants was in 2021 when he threw for 129 yards, no touchdowns, and three interceptions.
This season, the Colts found a way to limit Hurts’ scrambling ability by bringing pressure up the middle and containing him in the pocket. When Hurts would try and climb to avoid outside pressure, there was always a linebacker waiting for him. The Giants can win if they follow a similar game plan when defending Hurts.
Unfortunately for New York, they are without their best cornerback, Adoree Jackson, and have Leonard Williams and Saquon Barkley questionable for this game with neck injuries. Those are three players the Giants needed on the field if they had any chance to win.
RB Saquon Barkley is officially QUESTIONABLE for the Giants for Sunday against the Eagles.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano) December 9, 2022
DL Leonard Williams is DOUBTFUL. pic.twitter.com/CrlW4q5lJX
What will the Eagles gain from winning this game? I feel the same about this matchup as the Cowboys game against the Texans. This game allows both teams to clean up their problems, but they need to leave healthy. There is no reason starters should be in the game if Philadelphia is up 34-7 entering the fourth quarter. That is the final score prediction as the Eagles keep stacking wins.