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The Sunday Slate (Week Six): The "Must Wins" Begin

Posted: Oct 11, 2008

The NFL is a game of inches.  Each week matters.  The stories of each of our SPF teams are told as the season unfolds.

There have been enough games to know that this week has more than a few teams in desperation mode.  Simply put, more than a few of our teams have to win this week to keep their seasons on track.

As Always, SPF teams in CAPS with (Week 5's T.I. Poll Ranking)

CAROLINA (6) @ TAMPA BAY (6) - This Swampland Showdown leads off the our Sunday Slate.  With New Orleans playing as inconsistently as ever and Atlanta still likely a year away, the winner of this game becomes the NFC South favorite.

Although it seems early to talk about "must win" games, Tampa must win this game to keep the NFC South in their control.  Winning home division games in the alway tight NFC South is the only way to stay in the hunt.

Jeff Garcia will likely start for the Bucs.  He has been in Gruden's doghouse since the opening week loss at New Orleans.  The Panthers should play with a sense of confidence knowing that they aren't expected to win this game.

A Bucs loss puts the 2008 season in jeopardy.

MIAMI (5) @ HOUSTON (12) - The Houston press is welcoming the Dolphins to town figuring that the Texans finally have a game that they can win.  Unfortunately, this Dolphins team isn't the same one as a year ago.  They are coming off big wins against New England (away) and San Diego (home).

If the Texans take a home loss to Miami, the angry fervor surruonding this lackluster franchise will only hit a new pitch.

ST LOUIS (13) @ WASHINGTON (1) - The last Swampland Showdown game provides us with our most lopsided game.  The Redskins come home after winning at Dallas and Philly in consecutive weeks.

Despite having all the basics of a trap game, don't expect one here.  The Redskins seem way too prepared to let an easy one slip away.

DALLAS (3) @ Arizona - Randy Galloway knows that this week's game against the Cardinals is more dangerous than it looks.  The Cards aren't a bad team, and the Cowboys have been looking kind of bad for the last few weeks.

If the Cowboys don't win this game without looking a little better than they have been over the past two games, questions will continue to arise about this year's team.

JACKSONVILLE (11) @ Denver - Jacksonville simply must win this game if they have any chance of living up to their pre-season billing as one of the AFC's best.  Although Denver is a good team, they are deeply flawed on defense.

Any loss to Denver, especially one that features Jay Cutler shredding the Jags defense, must be seen as a sign that the Jags season is nearly done.

Baltimore @ INDIANAPOLIS (4) - Indy will need another big game from Peyton Manning to stay in the AFC hunt.  Baltimore can play defense, just ask Tennessee.

Chicago @ ATLANTA (9) - What can we make of Atlanta's surprising record?  Is it for real?  So far, the Falcons have shown quite a lot of grit and resilience.

The Bears still struggle on offense.  The Falcons have better balance over all.  Although unlikely, this would be an impressive win for this young Falcons team.

Oakland @ NEW ORLEANS (8) - Chalk this up as another must win.  The Saints have only lost close games this season, but they still have too many of them.

Easy wins like Oakland don't come around very often.  They must take advantage of them.

CINCINNATI (10) @ NY Jets - This may be the week that Cincinnati finally gets a win.  Carson Palmer won't play which doesn't help.  We'll see if the close losses to the Giants and Cowboys can help them put it all together this week.


related tags

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New Orleans,
Southern Pro Football,
Mercenary Territory,

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