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Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions among most desperate

Every week in the NFL is important. Some are just more important than others. Here are the NFL teams most desperate for a win in Week 9.

Last week's group went 2-3, which brings our desperate teams' combined record to 11-6. That's pretty good considering NFL teams teetering on the brink of destroyed postseason hopes almost always equal "struggling" teams. To the list:

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5. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have played like a team that looks a lot worse than their 3-4 record indicates. It wasn't so long ago the Bengals were the up-and-coming trendy team. They desperately need a home win against the Denver Broncos or it's a four-game losing streak.

4. Detroit Lions: This is the third time of four weeks that the Lions have made the list. That's the kind of hole they are digging out of heading into this week's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars were feisty last week, but the Lions can't afford to miss this chance to move to 4-4. We'd argue the Lions' performance against the Seattle Seahawks was their best of the season.

3. Washington Redskins: This Redskins team is better than the first two under coach Mike Shanahan. Still, we'd be very curious to see the local reaction if the Redskins fall to a 1-6 Carolina Panthers team. It's not crazy to think Shanahan could be on the hot seat.

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2. Dallas Cowboys: Close losses against quality opponents don't count in the standings. The Cowboys need to win one of these wacky games, and a win on Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons would help (I think they will do it).

1. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eaglesmatchup against the New Orleans Saints has to be one of the most fascinating games ever between a 3-4 team and a 2-5 team in NFL history. I've given up on the Saints as a legitimate threat. The same will be true of the Eagles if they lose this game.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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