Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (-7)
Shanahan really has a way with his players. No doubt free agents will come a runnin’ to Washington after witnessing Shanahan’s professional and courteous touch. Haynesworth probably deserved some of the treatment, but McNabb surely does not. McNabb struggled this season but the Redskins gave him a long term deal. However, the Skins added a caveat allowing them an out after this season if they should decide to part ways with McNabb. The benching announced today makes that look like a psychological ploy to get McNabb comfortable and see what happens. Shanahan dropped McNabb to third on the depth chart behind Rex Grossman and John Beck. That’s an attack on McNabb, he’s still got a couple of decent years left in him and could provide a franchise some stability while developing a future starter. After all, he isn’t Derek Anderson. McNabb once faced Jake Delhomme in a NFC championship game- that seems like a life time ago. The Redskins are throwing in the towel and unless they can get Ryan Torain rolling they’re getting their doors blown off.
I attended the Dallas game last Sunday night and I’ve got to say, the crowd was very lively for a seemingly meaningless game. The fans appreciate how the team has played since Jason Garrett took over. Despite injuries and an atrocious record, the team continues to work hard. DeSean Jackson is the fastest human being I’ve ever seen in person, but fortunately for Dallas, the Skins do not have anyone that can match his speed. Jason Garrett hasn’t locked up the head coaching position yet and Jon Kitna knows this might be his last year in the sun. Many of the other players are playing for their roster spots next year as it appears the Cowboys will have a high draft pick and almost every position is a need.
Dallas get a big win (big for them- it’s all they have left) in a route.
PICK: DALLAS -7
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts (-5)
It would seem Vegas has little faith in the Jaguars. The Jags have played very well as of late and Jones-Drew has been unstoppable. Manning played well last week but I can’t shake the image of him throwing pick after pick in the 2 weeks prior. The team is still missing a number of key players and they can’t seem to stop the run against anyone they play. The Jags can’t stop the pass and the Colts have the number one passing team in the league. That’s partially due to their having the worst running game in the league. They rank 29th against the run and face a Jags team with the second best rushing attack in the NFL.
Look for Jacksonville to play keep away from Manning and limit his chances to score. The Colts will do their best to get after Gerard and force him into a few poor choices. The Colts will do just enough to pull this one out but the Jags cover and the AFC South picture gets muddier.
PICK: JACKSONVILLE +5