November 12th @ Philadelphia -- Crucial division matchup could leap frog us over the hated Cowboys in the NFC East (should they lose to Arizona -- not likely) and would leap frog us over the Eagles. It would also give us the best division record in the East south of the Giants which keeps us in contention for a Wild Card spot. The Iggles are currently the number 1 ranked offense in the NFL, and we will need to win this one defensively.
November 19th @ Tampa Bay -- Very winnable game against a thus far underperforming Tampa Bay team. Rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski has played mistake free football but hasn't done much to move this offense. He has the lowest YPA in the league at 4.61. We'll beat ourselves if we lose this one.
November 26 Carolina -- We beat the team that destroyed the Panthers and we face them at home. Given our schedule I view all winnable games as must wins and this is one of them. They've played everyone close besides the Cowboys in their wins and losses but have struggled offensively.
December 3 Atlanta -- The story of two Vicks this year as he's been outstanding (against Pitt and Cinc) and underwhelming; he had two picks and a fumble in a shocking loss to Detroit. I have to think that if the Lions can beat anyone at home, so can we. Disrupting Vick is how we win this game, as I really don't think we're up to the task of stopping this multi-headed rushing beast. Atlanta averages 5.8 yards per rush, a full yard more than any other team in the NFL.
December 10 Philadelphia -- If we lose the first meeting we absolutely must win this one to finish 3-3 in division. Depending on what happens this weekend we'll know a lot more about how this game will go. We must have at least 6 wins after this game, meaning we need 3 out of the next 5 to make a late season run. Even with all that, I fear 9-7 might not win us a wildcard. If the Eagles sweep us, you can kiss the playoffs goodbye (if you haven't already).
December 17 @ New Orleans -- New Orleans is 3-1 at home with wins against the Eagles, the Bucs, and the Falcons (23-3). America's new team will not relinquish a game easily at home and I count this as one of the most questionable games remaining on our schedule. We have to get the crowd out of the game early on. A key to this game will be mimicking Baltimore's successful route of the Saints with runs to play action passes opening up the air game. In other words, vintage Gibbs.
December 24 @ St. Louis -- I don't know how I feel about the Rams yet. They're 2-2 at home though we're the last team they face there. They have one of the worst defenses of the league but one of the best offenses. Our secondary will win (or lose) this game for us.
December 30 New York Giants -- Saturday game against the New York Giants. Assuming we split with Philly a win here will likely be a necessity for post season play, as we'd want to be 3-3 in division to grasp at a wild card. Then again, we might have collapsed prior to this and could be in full rebuild mode. In any event, it's good to close the season at home especially against a division rival (who is likely on its way to the postseason). If the Giants are to lose the NFC East this year then someone in the division is going to have to start beating up on them. Better that be us, right?
Count 'em: I'm kidding, really, because after our loss to the Titans I don't consider any games gimmes. These are the easiest to win on the schedule, in my opinion. @ Tampa Bay, Carolina
Winnable: Atlanta, Philly, @ St. Louis
Yikes: @ Philly, @ New Orleans, NYG
Playoff prediction: Realistically we've got a much better chance of sneaking in at 9-7 then winning seven of the last eight games. As much as I'd love an insane 8 win streak for an 11-5 record, I just don't see that happening. Winning division is likely a pipe dream at this point, but don't count out the playoffs just yet.
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