Dallas Cowboys (6-2, 1st)
Last week: Def. Philadelphia 20-16 on the road
We thought: You really have to love the national media sometimes. A steady stream of "Let's see if Romo can play well in a big game for once" stroylines. This set up 2 scenarios: 1) Romo plays poorly, leading to him getting hammered for playing poorly again in a big spot, and 2) Romo plays well, leading to the significance of the game getting downplayed, and Romo needing to win a playoff game to prove himself to the critics.
They are: We got option 2. Whatever. The 'Boys lead the division, the QB is playing well (because he's, you know, a good player), the defense is being overlooked a bit, and Miles Austin can't be covered right now.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-3, 2nd)
Last week: Lost to Dallas 20-16 at home
We thought: Least shocking stat of the weekend: Brian Westbrook has never played all 16 games in his 8-year career.
They are: Thankfully, Andy Reid gave everyone something to talk about after the game. Because if he hadn't made 2 or 3 questionable decisions, we'd just be grumbling about what a boring, crummy game it was.
New York Giants (5-4, 3rd)
Last week: Lost to San Diego 21-20 at home
We thought: Sure, the secondary has been bad. But the Giants haven't been doing the things that gave them their identity the past few years: a kick-ass line that could run the ball on anyone, and a ridiculous four-man pass rush that terrorized QBs. A fired-up Meadowlands crowd could definitely get those two facets of their game fired up.
They are: Early in the year, the Giants were getting interceptions on balls that deflected off a receiver's toe. Now, their holder is muffing snaps, untimely holding penalties are turning would-be clinching TDs into just-enough-to-lose FGs. So karma doesn't appear to be on their side. That and the whole shaky o-line, no pass rush thing.
Washington Redskins (2-6, 4th)
Last week: Lost to Atlanta 34-17 on the road
We thought: The Falcons were a safe bet for suicide pools this week.
They are: You know it's a bad year when the highlights of the season are your injured tight end's online reality show, a former player hanging out in the middle of the woods to do a YouTube rant on how much the organization sucks, and the most buzz is generated by a ban on bringing signs into the stadium.