Thursday, May 28, 2015

Eagles fan's view of early games

From Ed Barkowitz ... The Eagles' playoff hopes rest squarely on the collective shoulders of the Raiders, a team that will be flying cross-country to play out the string of another dismal season. If the Raiders pull off the upset, the Eagles also need either the Vikings or Bears to lose. Oh, and if those things all happen, the Eagles need to beat the Cowboys. The rest of this section breaks down the Birds' game. Here's a look at the others: Oakland (4-11) at Tampa Bay (9-6) Sunday, 1 p.m. Local TV: CBS3. Line: Bucs -13 1/2. Over/under: 38 1/2. Eagles fans are rooting for: Tampa Bay to lose Things to know: The Raiders surprised visiting Houston last week and try to string together consecutive wins for the first time this season . . . Oakland hasn't played in Tampa since Nov. 10, 1996 . . . Bucs stud returner Clifton Smith is just the third rookie free agent to make the Pro Bowl since 1970. Dallas cornerback Everson Walls (1981) and Seattle linebacker Rufus Porter (1988) were the others . . . NFC South teams are a combined 26-3 at home. Of course, one of the three losses came last week when San Diego won at Tampa Bay . . . If the Bucs win, the Eagles are eliminated. The problem for Tampa is that it would still need the Eagles to beat Dallas to get into the playoffs. Pick: Bucs 28, Raiders 6 New York Giants (12-3) at Minnesota (9-6) Sunday, 1 p.m. Local TV: Fox29. Line: Vikings -6 1/2. Over/under: 42. Eagles fans are rooting for: Minnesota to lose. Things to know: The Giants have locked up homefield advantage and should play many of their key people only sparingly. Running back Brandon Jacobs has had knee trouble and defensive end Justin Tuck has battled the flu. In a truly frightening thought, if Eli Manning sits, he'd be backed up by David Carr. Yikes . . . The Vikings have the league's best run defense and, even without star defensive tackle Pat Williams, limited Atlanta's Michael Turner to 70 yards on 19 carries last week . . . Minnesota will stay with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, even though Gus Frerotte (back) is healthy . . . The Vikings, particularly star running back Adrian Peterson, had a terrible case of fumblitis last week. As a team, they dropped seven balls and lost four. Pick: Vikings 24, Giants 13 Chicago (9-6) at Houston (7-8) Sunday, 1 p.m. Local TV: None. Line: Texans -3. Over/under: 46 1/2. Eagles fans are rooting for: Chicago to lose. Things to know: The Bears have won three in a row, including the last two in overtime, and put some serious heat on the Vikings. If Chicago wins and Minnesota loses, the Bears will win the NFC North . . . Chicago workhorse running back Matt Forte is tied for the league lead with Minnesota's Adrian Peterson for most touches with 363 (303 carries, 60 receptions). If not for Matt Ryan, Forte would be the leading candidate for rookie of the year just ahead of locals Joe Flacco and Steve Slaton . . . Houston is coming off a disappointing loss at Oakland that cost the Texans a shot at the first winning season in the franchise's 7-year history. Pick: Bears 19, Texans 16

Eagles fan's view of early games

From Ed Barkowitz ...

The Eagles' playoff hopes rest squarely on the collective shoulders of the Raiders, a team that will be flying cross-country to play out the string of another dismal season. If the Raiders pull off the upset, the Eagles also need either the Vikings or Bears to lose. Oh, and if those things all happen, the Eagles need to beat the Cowboys. The rest of this section breaks down the Birds' game. Here's a look at the others:

Oakland (4-11) at Tampa Bay (9-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Local TV:
CBS3.

Line: Bucs -13 1/2. Over/under: 38 1/2.

Eagles fans are rooting for: Tampa Bay to lose

Things to know: The Raiders surprised visiting Houston last week and try to string together consecutive wins for the first time this season . . . Oakland hasn't played in Tampa since Nov. 10, 1996 . . . Bucs stud returner Clifton Smith is just the third rookie free agent to make the Pro Bowl since 1970. Dallas cornerback Everson Walls (1981) and Seattle linebacker Rufus Porter (1988) were the others . . . NFC South teams are a combined 26-3 at home. Of course, one of the three losses came last week when San Diego won at Tampa Bay . . . If the Bucs win, the Eagles are eliminated. The problem for Tampa is that it would still need the Eagles to beat Dallas to get into the playoffs.

Pick: Bucs 28, Raiders 6

New York Giants (12-3) at Minnesota (9-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Local TV: Fox29.

Line: Vikings -6 1/2. Over/under: 42.

Eagles fans are rooting for: Minnesota to lose.

Things to know: The Giants have locked up homefield advantage and should play many of their key people only sparingly. Running back Brandon Jacobs has had knee trouble and defensive end Justin Tuck has battled the flu. In a truly frightening thought, if Eli Manning sits, he'd be backed up by David Carr. Yikes . . . The Vikings have the league's best run defense and, even without star defensive tackle Pat Williams, limited Atlanta's Michael Turner to 70 yards on 19 carries last week . . . Minnesota will stay with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, even though Gus Frerotte (back) is healthy . . . The Vikings, particularly star running back Adrian Peterson, had a terrible case of fumblitis last week. As a team, they dropped seven balls and lost four.

Pick: Vikings 24, Giants 13

Chicago (9-6) at Houston (7-8)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Local TV: None.

Line: Texans -3. Over/under: 46 1/2.

Eagles fans are rooting for: Chicago to lose.

Things to know: The Bears have won three in a row, including the last two in overtime, and put some serious heat on the Vikings. If Chicago wins and Minnesota loses, the Bears will win the NFC North . . . Chicago workhorse running back Matt Forte is tied for the league lead with Minnesota's Adrian Peterson for most touches with 363 (303 carries, 60 receptions). If not for Matt Ryan, Forte would be the leading candidate for rookie of the year just ahead of locals Joe Flacco and Steve Slaton . . . Houston is coming off a disappointing loss at Oakland that cost the Texans a shot at the first winning season in the franchise's 7-year history.

Pick: Bears 19, Texans 16

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