This week, the Birds travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys - and so do I. Travel to Dallas, that is. I wasn't planning to suit up, unless Chip really needs me.
Chef Spouse and I will in fact be in the Big D, visiting his bestie, but we're planning to watch the game from the confines of said bestie's house, where the brisket is smoked with love and some pretty serious skill, the bourbon flows freely, and his dog will be there to comfort me as necessary.
The Eagles are, as we all know, coming off their bye. There was all sorts of wild speculation during the bye about possible trades (Colin Kaepernnick coming in, Vinny Curry going out, Chip himself headed to Tennessee to rejoin his boy Marcus Mariota). Long story short: none of that happened. What did happen is that offseason blockbuster trade Kiko Alonso got healthy as did top draft pick Nelson Agholor (and please God, may he be at least one Eagles' receiver without bricks for hands).
The Birds' defense continues to ride high. We'll see if a little extra practice time, and time to reflect on what they've done wrong, has helped the offense.
Tony Romo is *not* back yet, and that's probably good news for the Eagles.
By all rights, the Eagles *should* win this game, even with the extremely shaky Sam Bradford under center. Hell, the D should be able to win it pretty much on their own, as long as the O can avoid making egregious mistakes (which is far from a sure thing with this bunch).
Do I dare call this one for the Eagles? I do, so help me God.
And at least if I'm wrong, there will be excellent bourbon to drown my sorrows.
In the rest of the matchups:
Browns at Bengals: Bengals
Packers at Panthers: Both teams are top-ranked on both sides of the ball. And the Packers have to be smarting after that loss to the Broncos last week. Most of the experts have picked the Packers. But they are mortal away from Lambeau, and I feel an upset coming on. Panthers.
DC at Patriots: Pats (watch - the one time I don't pick an upset, we'll see the upset of the century)
Titans at Saints: Saints
Dolphins at Bills: Bills
Rams at Vikings: Vikings
Jaguars at Jets: Jets (also, next year, I think I'm going to *start* the season with "Better luck next year, Jaguars!")
Raiders at Steelers: Big Ben is back, and speaking of smarting from a loss, Steelers.
Giants at Buccaneers: The Bucs have been so inconsistent this year, blowing a big lead in DC one week, beating the Falcons the next. Of course, the NFC East has been one big mess of, well, big hot mess. So this could really go any way. The G-men should have this one, but at this point, NOTHING that happens in the NFC East surprises me.
Falcons at 49ers: Speaking of teams in disarray who are NOT in the NFC East, the 49ers may not win another game this year (do they play the Jags at any point?). Falcons.
Broncos at Colts: They keep saying that nothing is physically wrong with Andrew Luck, and maybe that's so, but I gotta say that watching him Monday night, it looks to me like something is off. Peyton, on the other hand, apparently connected with Ponce De Leon, because he's looking like his old self again. And the Broncos were winning even when he was looking off. Translation? Broncos.
Bears at Chargers: Oh, Chargers, you've been breaking my heart - and messing with my record - all season long. I think you've probably got this one, not because you're so great, but because the Bears are just that bad. Chargers.
On bye: Cardinals, Chiefs, Lions, Ravens, Seahawks, Texans