NFL Picks Against The Spread, Monday Night: All-but-fired head coaches in national spotlight

Streeter Lecka

The Eagles and Panthers used to be NFC title contenders. Now they're about to get their respective coaches canned.

Talk about an ugly Monday night game, the Carolina Panthers (2-8) and Philadelphia Eagles (3-7) matchup is about as crummy as it gets in the NFL.

It didn't figure to be like that when the season started, the Panthers hoping to build on an impressive rookie campaign from quarterback Cam Newton and the Eagles, with Michael Vick at the helm, having the makings of an offensive juggernaut around the mobile Vick.

But as Week 12 draws to a close, the Panthers can't avoid close losses -- the story of their season -- and the Eagles have lost six straight, and more often than not those haven't been close on the scoreboard. Plus both head coaches, Ron Rivera and Andy
Reid, will probably be looking for new jobs after this season.

It's almost more fun to see what Newton is going to say in his depressing, woe-is-me postgame press conferences (or rather, whom he might offend) than what happens in a Carolina game. And it's quite a sideshow to see how sudden Vick's fall from stardom has taken place and how underachieving the Eagles have been.

Oh, and star running back LeSean McCoy isn't playing, either.

So we are treated to a battle of two teams headed nowhere but to the retooling phase this offseason. And we get to see Nick Foles, the former Arizona Wildcat, at quarterback for the Eagles.

Here's hoping it's at least entertaining. The oddsmakers at Oddsshark.com say Panthers by 2 1/2. But this game, between two teams with nothing to play for but some measure of pride, could go either way. When in doubt, roll with the home team at such low odds, some say. But the Eagles are listless with Foles, the Panthers at least semi-dynamic with Newton and that should give Carolina a close win, at last.

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