The dreaded Saturday Eagles pick
Just start calling me Vegas Phil. Or maybe the Swami.
Even I can't believe that I have now not only gone 3-1 on this early season, but in two of the last three weeks have actually spit out the exact score.
All of which ramps up the pressure on this morning's pick. This is not a good spot for the Birds. First, they play a powerful AFC team, which is not Andy Reid's forte. He always seems to struggle against the AFC. Second, the Eagles are on the road, and going into Heinz Field to face the Steelers is always a huge task. Finally, Pittsburgh is coming off a bye week and will have two key defenders, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, back in the lineup.
One of the keys to this game will be if Reid can stick to a balanced game plan, and not veer away from using LeSean McCoy. Last week, even though the Eagles struggled on the ground in the first half, Reid kept feeding McCoy and it paid off big time in the second half.
If Reid doesn't go pass-happy, the other key to the game will largely fall on whether the Eagles much-improved defense can contain Steelers' standout QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Michael Vick also must continue his streak of not turning the ball over. He had zero turnovers vs. the Giants. Not coincidentally, the Eagles won. A reversal back to his careless ways would be disastrous vs. the Steelers.
I think it will be close, but that week off swings the game to the Steelers.
The Pick: Make it Steelers 24, Eagles 16. The battle of Pennsylvania goes to Pittsburgh, unless LeSean McCoy just goes out of his mind and takes over the game. He's the key for the Eagles, not Michael Vick. Unless, of course, Vick turns into a turnover machine again. I hope I'm wrong, but Reid's teams usually struggle against the AFC, and the Steelers are a handful.
Last Week: Call me Swami. I hit the game right on the money again, picking the Eagles to squeak out a 19-17 win. The Eagles won because they did not turn the ball over and used a balanced offense to attack the Giants.
Season Record: The Eagles are sitting at 3-1, and so am I. The Birds sit atop the NFC East thanks to an incredible ability to win tight games. So far their three wins have come by a total of less than five points.
Game by Game: Eagles 17, Browns 16 (My Pick: Eagles 27, Browns 13)
Eagles 24, Ravens 23 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Ravens 23 - On the Money!)
Cardinals 27, Eagles 6 (My Pick: Eagles 29, Cardinals 13)
Eagles 19, Giants 17 (My Pick: Eagles 19, Giants 17 - On the Money!)