To quote the great George Costanza after he ate the mango, "I'm back, baby!"
Some of you have e-mailed or commented, asking why MTC was missing from the Eagles page on the new philly.com/sports redesign. No MTC promo, coupled with the fact that I wrote less this week than usual, led a couple of you to ask if the blog was done.
The answer is no. We will be around from now until eternity. The truth is that we didn't know how to properly feature three blogs on the Eagles page, since we only have two on most of the other sections. So we launched the new site with just Eagletarian and Birds' Eye View there.
But now we're back on the Eagles page right next to them.
I apologize for not writing as much this week. My day job is to manage the sports content on philly.com so I was swamped getting the new site ready (plus that whole NLCS thing). We're excited about our new look and have some big things planned.
I'm anxious to hear what you think. What do you like? What don't you like? And so on.
But anyway, it's time for our weekly look at who's picking the Eagles against the Raiders (hint: everybody). We'll also sprinkle in some other links. My picks will come Sunday morning. And we'll live chat the Raiders game Sunday at 4.
All eight espn.com experts like the Birds.
Accuscore, one of our new features, predicts a 26.7 to 12.5 Eagles win.
The Daily News' Les Bowen goes with the Eagles, 30-9.
SI.com's Peter King has the Birds in a 35-10 win:
A buddy of mine Tweeted this week and asked if there was any hope for his Raiders. Told him I'd get back to him. Still haven't. I don't know what to say. What's the stage beyond pathetic? The body language of JaMarcus Russell last week at Giants Stadium said to me, I wish I was anywhere but here.
SI.com's Don Banks has the Eagles seventh in his power rankings:
With their next two games at Oakland and at Washington, look for the Eagles to keep right on rolling and maybe do their part to get the Raiders' Tom Cable and the Redskins' Jim Zorn canned by midseason. Other than in the second half of a home loss to the Saints in Week 2, no one has remotely stopped Philadelphia's offense yet.
ESPN.com also has the Eagles seventh in its power rankings.
ESPN.com's Bill Simmons has the Eagles covering the 14.5-point spread:
A textbook "They Can't Make This Line High Enough" game. I wouldn't have blinked at 24. By the way, the Michael Vick cameos have been even more awkward than when they tried to work Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling into the "90210" remake. Hold on, we promised them they could have three scenes. It's so hard to get back into game shape after being in the joint. It just is. Remember how bad the food and sleeping conditions were in college? Quintuple it. And add a hard bed and showering with other dudes. Yeah.
All six FoxSports.com experts have the Eagles winning.
FoxSports.com has the Eagles fourth in its power rankings.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com goes with the Birds, 38-14:
How low can the Raiders go? Just watch. They can't score on anybody and they can't stop anybody. Now they get an Eagles offense that is getting into a groove. JaMarcus Russell's head will be spinning trying to figure out all those Eagles blitzes. This one will hurt Raiders fans worse than getting pushed out of chair by Tom Cable.
Prisco has the Eagles seventh in his power rankings:
They will score a lot, so the key for them will be that defense. It seems to be getting better, but some of the offenses they've played are dreadful.
Pro Football Talk has the Eagles in a 41-10 win:
The Eagles have been firing on all cylinders, and the Raiders are like a yard-sale lawnmower with a loose spark plug. This one will be ugly on the field, and the stuff coming from the stands at the Black Hole could be even uglier.
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post goes with the Eagles in a 34-9 win:
Donovan McNabb has enough playmakers on offense to have his choice of options every time he drops back to pass, and I don’t expect that to change out in Oakland. The defensive line for the Raiders was keeping them in games, but after last week in New York, they present just another issue for a team that can’t put together a complete game. JaMarcus Russell will be pressured early and McNabb could see some rest in the second half. I am taking Philly to roll.