Happy Halloween, y'all! Do the Birds have a trick or a treat in store for fans Sunday?
Well, they're traveling to Oakland to face the Raiders. Now, normally, road games are a bad thing for middling-to-bad teams like the Eagles. They need that little boost of the home crowd and home stadium to have a chance.
But not our boys. Playing on the road is actually a mark in their favor. Sigh.
And it's official: Nick Foles is back. With Vick still gimpy and Captain Turnover as the Birds' only other option, that's a good thing, too.
The Raiders have a mid-pack passing defense, but a top five rushing defense. That's a bad thing. In order for the Eagles to win, they'll need a successful rushing attack to take some of the pressure off Foles and help prevent the dreaded "trying to do too much." Help us, Shady, you're our only hope.
Fortunately, the Raiders' offense is nearly non-existent. Wait - that's actually a problem, too, since the Eagles defense has been playing relatively well lately. Well, maybe the Eagles D can shut out the Raiders, which means as long as they can get another special teams score, we're golden!
Thing is, I have to pick the Eagles this week, not least of which because it might be the last winnable game this season. Well, OK, they'll probably beat the Vikings, but still, I had the team going 8-8 this year, and there isn't a lot of time (or a lot of options) left to get those additional 5 wins.
In the other matchups:
Dolphins at Bengals: Bengals. They're good, the Dolphins aren't, end of story. Also, seasonally-appropriate uniforms!
Chiefs at Bills: Big Red, Alex Smith, and Jamaal Charles have to lose sometime, but it's not gonna be this week! Go Chiefs!
Falcons at Panthers: If you had asked me who'd win this game two months ago, I would've picked Matty Ice and the Dirty Birds. That was before the Panthers' defense started, um, dominating. Panthers.
Vikings at Cowboys: Look for the Cowboys to extend their lead in the NFC East as they take on the Adrian Petersons, who's good, no doubt, but he's also pretty much their entire team at this point, which is not good.
Saints at Jets: Chef Spouse will be happy - I'm NOT picking the Jets this week. The Saints are just too complete. This round goes to you, Rob.
Titans at Rams: Even without Sam Bradford, the Rams gave the Seahawks a scare last week, who required some last minute goal line stand heroics from their defense to hold on to their 14-9 win. Since then, the Cardinals have gone on to lose the World Series to the Red Sox (Crossing Broad best expresses my thoughts on that). I expect that to set the tone for the Rams this week, too. titans.
Chargers at Redskins: I have the Chargers here, who match up well with the Skins, but, I think, edge them slightly on both sides of the ball.
Buccaneers at Seahawks: You know how I just mentioned the last second heroics that were required of the Seahawks last week? Yeah, they won't need that this week, at home against a team that's at 0-7 and, from what I can tell, in total disarray. Seahawks.
Ravens at Browns: Here's another one that would've seemed obvious in August, and now has me looking the other way. I think Jason Campbell, who I've always liked, gives them a little mojo. And remember, their defense is quietly pretty damn good, too. Picking the upset, going with the Browns.
Steelers at Patriots: No upset here. Patriots.
Colts at Texans: So tempted to pick the Texans. They have to pull it together sometime, right? But they're a mess at QB, with a healthy Matt Schaub NOT starting, and Case Keenum vaulting TJ Yates to take the starting spot. Yes, Keenum played well against the Chiefs, but I think that was a fluke, and I think there are more cracks in the Texans' foundation. Colts.
Bears at Packers: Both of these teams have SERIOUS injury issues right now. I can't list all the players who are hurt on both teams - I don't have that much time. But the Pack still has ARodg and Lambeau provides some hard-core homefield. Packers.
On bye: 49ers, Broncos, Cardinals, Giants, Jaguars, Lions