The Eagles travel to Phoenix this week to take on the surprising (and NFC West-leading) Cardinals.
In the Eagles' favor: Darren Sproles seems to be OK, the patchwork O-line seems to be gelling (and Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce are getting healthy ahead of schedule), and Mychal Kendricks might be back. Also, the Cards offense has been struggling, regardless of whether it's Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton's under center. Historically, the Eagles do great the week after the bye.
In the Cards favor: Their defense is playing pretty much lights out, and they are GREAT against the run. Shady got it going against the Giants (finally), but we might see a setback this week. Historically, the Eagles don't do well going west.
This game WILL have an impact on the postseason, because both of these teams are strong contenders in the NFC and in their respective divisions.
Honestly, I could see this one going either way, and I've gone back and forth on this pick. But it's Fellow Eagles Maniac's birthday on Sunday, and she and her spouse are throwing a big party, and I just can't see the Birds letting her down.
In the other matchups:
Chargers at Broncos: I think people are sleeping on the Chargers this year, and I think Peyton's going to have a letdown after his big "509" game. I'm going with the Bolts and the upset.
Lions at Falcons: Lions. The NFC South is a sorry mess this year.
Seahawks at Panthers: Seahawks, see above.
Ravens at Bengals: If the Bengals want to show they're for real, they need to win this game. Unfortunately, I don't think they will.
Dolphins at Jaguars: Aaaand the Jags winning streak ends at one. Dolphins.
Rams at Chiefs: The Rams shocked the Seahawks - and all of the football watching public - last week. Lightening is not going to strike twice. Chiefs.
Bears at Patriots: Tom Brady may be turning into a real asshole, but it seems like it's working. His team is stepping up. After a strong start, the Bears are in trouble. And the Pats are at home. Pats.
Bills at Jets: This is another one that could go either way, but I think I have to go with Jaws and Brent and pick the Jets.
Viking at Buccaneers: Same as above, Bucs.
Texans at Titans: Texans. JJ Watt could probably beat the Titans all by himself.
Raiders at Browns: I was so bummed the Browns lost to the Jags last week! Fortunately, they're getting another weak opponent against which to straighten things out this week. Browns.
Colts at Steelers: The Steelers really looked like shit against the Texans last week, until they didn't. And they're hard to beat at home. But their defense isn't what it once was, and Andrew Luck is on fire. Colts.
Packers at Saints: It pains me to do this, but I'm picking against the Saints at home. Speaking on QBs who are on fire, the Pack.
DC at Dallas: Colt McCoy and his team are toast. Cowboys, goddamnit.
On bye: 49ers, Giants