Season is winding down and some key games and playoff positioning coming up and the RoundTable crews opines about it all… Dallas and Giants in a rivalry… can the Zeke and Dak show be stopped? NFC North winner… Baltimore or Pittsburgh? Pats open as a 7-plus point line in favor… can the Ravens cover or will we see their defense shock some people and win outright? And… the 49ers and Jets appear in what might be called this year’s Loser Bowl… are the Jets really that sad?
And some early talk about who the MVP is in this season’s NFL.
This week’s questions…
1) The only loss on the Dallas Cowboys record this season is by the Giants who edged the Cowboys by a point in the opening game of the season by as score of 20-19. This upcoming week is the rematch between the two teams. The Cowboys are the top team in the NFC by 2 games, so even if they lost this Sunday they would still be the #1 team in the NFC as far as playoff rankings are concerned. The Giants are the 1st Wildcard team and a loss wouldn’t change that much for them either.
Regardless of all of that… Who wins between these two rivals this Sunday night? Why?
Chad: The Giants win at home.
I believe they are good enough to contain the Cowboys at home.
David: The Cowboys have not won enough lately to do anything but what they have been doing. I can’t see them stopping anything that has been working for them.
The Giants have regressed a bit lately, but are still a challenge. Let’s not also forget the revenge factor. I can’t see this being a competitive game.
Earl: I’ll pick the Giants here.
Why? I think they are probably the only team the Cowboys have faced this season, that knew how to play them. With that said, if, the Cowboys wide receiver got out of bounds, the Cowboys could be 12-0 and this question would be moot. BUT, I’ll go with the Giants on Sunday night because they will be pumped to play the Cowboys, and, they will need to redeem themselves for that lackluster performance they put in last week at Pittsburgh.
2) The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be recovered from their mid-season slump now that Big Ben is back in the saddle at QB. The Baltimore Ravens have a dominate defense. The Steelers season ending schedule appears to be easier than the Ravens. They both sit atop their division with 7-5 records.
Who wins the AFC North and why?
Chad: Steelers, for the reasons stated in the question…Big Ben back in the saddle; easier stretch to close out the season.
I’m not a fan of Tomlin here lately, but, thankfully, Big Ben knows when to blow him off and when to listen.
Earl: I’ll go with Baltimore because of that defense. Also, you never know how healthy Big Ben is. I admire Rothlisberger and his determination to play but he’s always one hit away from sinking the Steelers season and that uncertainty is why I’ll go with Baltimore.
The Ravens are far from flashy, but, with their defense, they always have a chance.
3) Talk about getting no respect… the early line in the 1-11 49ers vs 3-8 Jets game favors the 49ers. Yes, it’s only 1 point. And, yes, the 49ers are the home team. But, in your opinion, are the Jets really so bad that they deserve this smack down?
Chad: After that performance on MNF against Indy? Yes, they do deserve that kind of line against the 49ers.
I really don’t see how they have won 3 games.
David: Vegas loves offense and the Niners still have talent on that side of the ball.
The Jets have quit on the season.
So, yes, I’ll also take the Niners in this one.
The question is, where do the Jets go from here? They spent a good bit o’ cash this offseason and have to spend this offseason to keep what they have. I bet Rex Ryan is loving this.
Earl: The Jets will be starting Bryce Petty from here on out and that is a good thing.
The Jets are coming off a disappointing loss to the Colts and they have been beaten senseless in the media, so, they might come out on fire against the Niners, but, I have to go with San Francisco here. They, too, are coming off a humiliating loss, but, they are at home and playing against an opponent that cannot wait for this season to be over.
The Jets are a mess. Just End The (damn) Season.
4) Next Monday Night Football has the Ravens vs the Patriots. Outwardly, it appears as if it’s one tough defense against maybe the best QB ever. The early line is favoring the Pats by 7 ½.
Who comes out with the win? Why?
Chad: I will say Ravens in an upset, because of the absence of Gronk over the middle.
The Pats main weakness is a lack of a pass rush. The Ravens have a good offensive line, and, if, the Pats can get Flacco Flustered, it bodes well for the playoffs.
Vegas loves offense, and the Niners still have talent on that side of the ball. The Jets have quit on the season, so yes, I’ll also take the Niners in this one. The question is, where do the Jets go from here? They spent a good bit o’ cash this offseason, and have to spend this offseason to keep what they have. I bet Rex Ryan is loving this.
Earl: See my answer to question 2.
I keep saying that the Pats will win the Super Bowl but the way the Ravens are playing on defense, I think Baltimore can go into New England and get the win.
As far as that line? It’s ridiculous. 7 and a half? Way too big a spread.
5) The 2016 season is nearing its end. So, right now, who is your early MVP pick? Who is second?
Chad: Derek Carr would be one… leading the Raiders to a 9-2; the second, right now, would be Ezekiel Elliott for his consistency in the Cowboys backfield.
David: Damn sure ain’t Derek Anderson.
I think we might have to look at Tom Brady vs Elliot. If we could name a group, I’d go with Dallas’ entire line.
In the Non-Positional MVP? How about Alex Mack? I think a good chunk of the Falcons turnaround can go with his leadership.
Earl: I’d give it to Matt Ryan who statistically having a solid season and as long as the Falcons can finish strong, I’d give it to him.
My second choice goes to a rookie in Ezekiel Elliott. Yes, Dak is doing it all for Dallas, but, if, it wasn’t for Zeke the Cowboys wouldn’t be 11-1 right now.
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