Finally, a glimmer of hope. The Eagles snapped an eight-game losing streak and now they're looking to win two in a row.
ESPN: We joked last week that even though the ESPN picks hadn't been updated by Thursday morning, it was a foregone conclusion that pretty much everyone was taking the Bucs over the Eagles. Tampa was at home and in the playoff mix, and the Phillies had won more recently than the Eagles. Naturally, Nick Foles led a last-second, game-winning touchdown drive, and for a few moments, Philly was a good football team again.
Well, the ESPN picks are late again this week and maybe that's a good sign for the Eagles (hey, it worked last week). If the Worldwide Leader gets around to updating their page before kickoff, we'll update the results here but we'll just assume that Eric Allen and Ron Jaworski are taking Philly while everybody else is staying on the Bengals bandwagon.
CBSSports.com: Despite the win last week, the experts remain bearish on the Eagles. Specifically: only one expert -- out of nine -- is taking Philly. Of course, everybody had the Bucs last week so in that sense, it's progress. Here's CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco breakdown: "This is a must-win for the Bengals coming off their disappointing loss to the Cowboys. Nick Foles looked good last week against the Bucs, but the Bengals front is much better than Tampa Bay's. That will be a factor here. Also, look for A.J. Green to bounce back with a big game. Bengals 24, Eagles 17."
Yahoo Sports: Last week, this group went all Bucs. This week: all Bengals. If Andy Reid were ever going to play the disrespect card, now would be the time.
What Vegas is saying: The Eagles (4-9) are 3.5-point underdogs against the Bengals (7-6). More details for those of you looking to make the game more, ahem, interesting (via OddShark.com):
When playing in December are 5-5
When playing on grass are 6-4
After outgaining opponent are 5-5
When playing outside the division are 6-4
When playing in December are 7-3
When playing on grass are 3-7
After outgaining opponent are 6-4
When playing outside the division are 4-6
Other trends to consider:
The total has gone under (total points) in 5 of Cincinnati's last 5 games
Cincinnati is 4-1 straight up in its last 5 games
Cincinnati is 4-1 straight up in its last 5 games on the road
Cincinnati is 2-3-1 straight up in its last 6 games, when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone over (total points) in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 2-6 against the spread in its last 8 games
Philadelphia is 1-4 straight up in its last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 1-5 against the spread in its last 6 games at home
Me (6-5): Last week, we were swayed by the masses, picked the Bucs, and the Eagles punished us for it. This week, we're taking Philly. We think they're much better than their record (they'd have to be, right?), Foles gets better each game, and Bryce Brown has been mostly amazing (obvious exception: the turnovers). Eagles 21, Bengals 17.