NFL Week 5: 3 Teams That Must Win
Three teams must win this week to keep their playoff hopes alive. And in one case, the head coach might need to win to keep his job.
I am not necessarily projecting that these teams are going to win, but a loss by any of the three could put them into a deep hole from which they might not be able to escape.
The Philadelphia Eagles have lost three consecutive conference games, as their defense has fallen apart in each of the fourth quarters.
The team changed starting linebackers for Week 4. They have made changes along the offensive line and defensive line for Week 5. But what they need most is a change in attitude.
Someone on the defense has to step up as a leader. Without a Dawkins-like or Trotter-type take-charge player, the defense seems to be a group all looking around for someone else to make a big play.
If the Eagles can beat the Buffalo Bills this week, beat the Washington Redskins next week and limp into the break with a 3-3 record, they might have a shot at recovering and making a late-season surge.
A loss this week will have the fans at Lincoln Field chanting, "Let's Go, Flyers!" by early November, and possibly Juan Castillo or Andy Reid looking for a new job.
With both the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions standing at 4-0, the Chicago Bears' two losses look huge. A loss to the Lions this week would leave the Bears three games behind them, so the time for the Bears to move is now.
The Bears' best chance would seem to be to win the time of possession game by running Matt Forte early and often. If they give Calvin Johnson too many chances to make a big play, it could be a rough afternoon.
The Atlanta Falcons find themselves behind both the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Bucs. A loss this week could put them two games behind both, not a good position. The Falcons host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who so far look unbeatable.
As I wrote in my Upset Specials article for this week, while I still think the Packers are the best team in the NFC, they aren't going to go 16-0, and it is time for Rodgers to have an average week. Julio Jones should have a good day, propel the Falcons to a win and keep them in the playoff hunt.