It wouldn't be an Eagles national TV game without someone on ESPN making a reference to the fans, Santa Claus, snowballs or booing.
Here's the quote, which has been used in some form about 98 percent of the time the Birds have ever been mentioned by someone from the national media:
"SportsCenter’s coverage of Monday Night Football from the city of Brotherly Love, unless Santa Claus is your brother," said ESPN's Stu Scott. "You know, Eagles fans once famously booed Old St. Nick."
They did? That's breaking news, isn't it? I've never heard that nugget before. Very interesting. I'll work on getting some more information on said incident.
For the record, at least there was no "booyah" or "freaking the okie doke" in Scott's report this morning.
Now on to our weekly look at who's picking the Eagles:
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News likes the Eagles, 24-9.
Les Bowen of the Daily News picks the Eagles, 27-12.
SI.com's Peter King likes the Eagles, 33-13:
The old dog, Andy Reid, has learned a new trick: running the ball. In the Eagles' last three games, Donovan McNabb has thrown it 87 times and Brian Westbrook has run it 69 times. Contrast that to the previous three games, when the Eagles won just once: McNabb 137 throws, Westbrook 47 runs. You don't win with McNabb, or anyone, throwing it 46 times a game. And you don't win letting Westbrook carry it 16 times a game. I'd be shocked if Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg go back to throwing it 65 or 70 percent of the time. Ever. And certainly not tonight against a team they ought to be able to beat into submission.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com picks the Eagles, 30-13:
The Eagles have turned their season around, while the Browns are playing out the string. That means a blowout. I just can't see Ken Dorsey playing well in this one. The Eagles win big.
CBSSports.com's Harmon Forecast gives the Eagles a 26-13 win:
Browns QB Ken Dorsey could struggle against an Eagles defense that held Giants QB Eli Manning to seven completions in 21 attempts in the first three quarters. Eagles RB Brian Westbrook could have success against a Browns defense that allowed Tennessee to rush for 235 yards.
All eight USA Today experts pick the Eagles.
While the above picks would make you believe everybody likes the Eagles to cover tonight's 14-point spread, that's not really true. According to sportsbook.com, 54 percent of the money is on the Eagles to cover, and 46 percent of the betting public likes the Browns. So it's actually fairly even. To me, it feels like the Cardinals game from Thanksgiving night. Unless the Browns are able to score on special teams (Joshua Cribbs is one of the most dangerous return men in the league) or defense (second in the league in turnovers), I don't really see them staying in the game. But, I wouldn't rule anything out with this Eagles team.
The pick: Eagles (-14)