This week is going to be, to put it mildly, interesting.
The Eagles are coming off a bye week in which Andy Reid replaced his DC and there are widespread rumors of problems in the entire front office.
The Falcons, also coming off a bye, are the only remaining undefeated team.
Andy Reid has never lost the game the week after the bye, including the infamously disastrous 2005 season.
This is a must-win game for the Eagles. We all have the sense that their season is hanging by a thread. If they come up with a win at home against the undefeated Falcons, one in which Michael Vick takes care of the football, the offense manages to put up some points, special teams doesn't give up big plays, and the defense shows improvement, I think we're all going to release a breath we didn't even know we were holding.
If, on the other hand, Andy and Marty refuse to run the ball, Mike turns it over, the receivers drop passes or can't get open, special teams continues to give up big plays, and/or the defense lets another 4th quarter lead slip away, the wheels are going to come all the way off the bus and roll across the Ben Franklin bridge into Jersey.
This game should be winnable. No, I'm not crazy. Why do you ask?
The Falcons wins have come over:
The Chiefs (1-5)
The Broncos (3-3)
The Chargers (3-3)
The Panthers (1-5)
The Redskins (3-3)
The Raiders (2-4)
So no teams with winning records.
And the Eagles backs are against the wall. I think - I hope - they pull it together and live to fight another day. Because I just can't give up on them yet.
Buccaneers at Vikings: Chef Spouse's best friend Steelers Transplant, who now lives in Tampa, is in DC this week and will be watching the game with us Thursday night. Sadly, I think he'll be watching his second adopted team lose. Vikings.
Panthers at Bears: And the losing streak continues for the Panthers. Bears.
Chargers at Browns: Chargers. The Browns are kind of a mess.
Seahawks at Lions: High-powered offense versus high-powered defense! And the Seahawks are not at home. I've got the Lions again, who better not let me down after taking them as my upset pick last week.
Jaguars at Packers: The Jaguars are going to get killed. They might want to see if they can get a doctor's note or something. Packers.
Dophins at Jets: I think this will be a close game, but I've got the Dolphins. I know, I know, but they are looking better and crazy things happen in divisional games.
Redskins at Steelers: I'm tempted to go with the Skins as an upset pick, but the Steelers don't lose at home, they don't lose to NFC teams, and they REALLY don't lose at home to NFC teams. Steelers.
Patriots at Rams: I've got the Pats, but I think this is going to be a closer game than most people expect. The Rams have been solid at home this year, and they'll probably be able to slow Tom Brady down, but I don't think they'll be able to stop him.
Colts at Titans: Colts all day.
Raiders at Chiefs: I'm not picking the g-d Chiefs again. But wait! The Raiders have been burning me, too! Damn it! I'm doing it. I'm going with the Chiefs, God help me.
Giants at Cowboys: I think the Cowboys are going to sweep the Giants. And much as it pains me to pick them, it will help the Eagles. So, Cowboys. Don't hate, Bleeding Green Nation.
Saints at Broncos: I *want* to pick the Saints, but I just can't. Not gonna happen. Broncos.
49ers at Cardinals: I'm bumming that K2 won't be playing. After John Skelton won the QB competition, then went down, then Kolb came in and did great, it was sad to see him get injured. It was nice to see a former Eagle doing well. It's always nice to see a former Eagle do well. And it made me happy to see that the potential Andy saw might be really be there. Oh - who's going to win the game? The 49ers, of course. But I'm still sad that K2's struggling.
On bye: Bengals, Bills, Ravens and Texans (they need to rest after the beat down they laid on the Ravens last week)