Remember the last time the Eagles put together what amounted to their longest winning streak (2 games) this season? For three weeks -- week 6, the bye and week 8 -- it felt like maybe the Eagles were finding their way, putting their season together, pulling out the tailspin. It felt like, maybe, the team was 3-4 on their way to 11-5 or maybe even 12-4, and a glorious march deep into the playoffs, maybe even the Super Bowl.
That was fun, wasn't it? When we all still had hope?
Which, of course, the proceeded to crush by dropping the next two games to the Bears and, humiliatingly, the Cardinals.
Since then, the Birds have dropped two more on their way to a 5-8 record. And even though they aren't technically out of the running for the playoffs, they will be after this weekend, when I'm picking them to lose at home to the Jets. Because, aside from the fact that the Jets are a better team, home games have been poison for the Eagles in the past two years.
In the rest of the matchups:
Jaguars at Falcons: The Falcons have the #5 ranked rushing defense. MJD is not going to have another four touchdown week. Falcons.
Cowboys at Buccaneers: The Cowboys might be entering a late-season slide (you should hear the wailing over at Blogging the Boys), but they aren't sliding that far. Cowboys.
Dolphins at Bills: Tough one to call. If Sparano were still there, I would be totally Team Fins, but with an interim and the upheaval, I'm not so sure. And after starting so well, the Bills can't possibly lose ALL the rest of their game, right? Right? Bills. Maybe.
Seahawks at Bears: The Bears are reeling and the Seahawks have won 4 of their last 5. Still, they aren't great on the road, and Tavaris Jackson is likely to have a tough day against the still very scary Bears defense. Beast Mode, sure, but it's not easy to get yards on the ground against the Bears either. Bears. Even if Devin Hester has to score all their points off punt returns.
Panthers at Texans: Cam Newton scores a ton of points, but the Panthers' D is weaker than wet tissue paper, and the Texans can score points, too. Go Texans! A first round bye is still in reach!
Titans at Colts: Titans. Moving on...
Packer at Chiefs: Packers. Again, moving on...
Saints at Vikings: Saints. Wow, these are easy this week. Well, until some team pulls off some huge upset win, of course. But I don't think it's going to be the Vikings.
Redskins at Giants: This is an interesting matchup. The Redskins played great against the Pats last week and, speaking of upset wins, almost pulled one off. The Giants did upset the Cowboys at home. I really want to call the Redskins to pull off the upset win. Still, they did beat the Giants at home in week 1, and it's really hard to sweep a team in your own division. I talked myself into it -- Giants.
Bengals at Rams: Bengals. Who need every game from here on out to have a shot at the wildcard.
Lions at Raiders: The Lions are looking good for wildcard, too, but they can't drop too many more games, either. Suh's back, and the Raiders seem to have lost their mojo -- maybe Tim Tebow stole it. Lions.
Browns at Cardinals: Who's under center for the Cards this week? If it's Skelton, I'm going Cards.
Patriots at Broncos: Irresistible force, meet immovable object. I always get pwned when I pick against the Pats, but I can't deny the Tebow magic. I don't know how the Broncos will manage to hold the Pats to, like, 10 points, but I'm sure that somehow, it will happen. Broncos. Oh, and there's a good chance I watch this rather than the Eagles game (kidding -- maybe).
Ravens at Chargers: Ravens. Who need this to stay ahead of the Steelers. And the Chargers are kind of a mess this year. Not as big a mess as the Eagles, of course, but still.
Steelers at 49ers: This is going to be a good game. I'm going Steelers, but really, this one could go either way.