On the surface, this game looks like it's for the birds. No, not the Eagles, but not worth a serious discussion. With so many teams vying for top spots in their conference or holding on to their Wild Card slots, how does Buffalo At Philadelphia (PK; 47) rise to the top?
In a nutshell, it is the mystery of not knowing which team will show up. Each team has one shot to make it into the playoffs. Though losing this game does not mathematically eliminate them, it pretty much shuts the door on the Buffalo Bills. For the Eagles, a loss has the most impact only if the New York Giants and Washington Redskins win this NFL Week 14.
At 5-7, the Philadelphia Eagles are tied with those two teams for the lead in the NFC East. In a season where no team from the division is playing like they want to win it, the Eagles' season took a sharp turn when they lost to three non-playoff bound teams from NFL Weeks 9 to 11.
If not for an injury to Eagles starting Quarterback Sam Bradford, we're probably not having this conversation. Bradford got injured in the third quarter, with the Eagles leading the Miami Dolphins. Mark Sanchez came in to replace him and the Eagles went on to lose. In the next two losses, the Eagles defense gave up 45 points each game, while the offense struggled.
Last week, upon Bradford's return, the Eagles pulled off an improbable win, on the road, against the New England Patriots. Still, let's not act like the Eagles were bona fide contenders before the Bradford injury.
After 8 games, they were a 4-4 team, just like today's opponent. The Buffalo Bills also went through losses with their backup quarterback manning the help. For them it was a two-game skid, with one loss a game they likely would have lost with their starter.
During those two games, the Bills defense gave up 34 points each game. The Bills are 6-1 when the opponent scores 21 points or less- the lone loss came at the hands of the New England Patriots, who also scored the most - 40 points - against them this season.
The Bills are 0-5 when the opponents scores 24 or more points. In the 9 games, that Bradford has started and completed, the Eagles have scored 24+ points 6 times. They won 5 of those games.
This match-up is listed as a "pick-em", as in go with mainly what you believe. The numbers are overwhelming that the Bills (.895) will win. The lack of faith is on an Eagles defense that has given up 27+ points in 5 out of their last 6 games.
So, I take the Bills (UNDER) with the outlook that Bills and LeSean McCoy will dictate style of play. Pick wisely, come back for Monday's pick and until then watch which team's season is one for the birds.