Eagles-Bengals: Les Bowen's pick

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Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews (81) stiff-arms the Falcons' Robert Alford during the third quarter Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

I wish I knew how effective the Eagles' Jordan Matthews (ankle) will be in Sunday's game at Cincinnati. The Eagles' offense was really terrible without him in the second half Monday night. Somehow I find myself wanting to pick the Eagles, even though they've lost five in a row on the road. I don't know why. If I'm wrong again this time, I promise not to pick them the rest of the year.

I guess I still think the Eagles' defense is pretty good, and the Bengals are missing two top weapons, wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Gio Bernard. They're 27th in scoring (19.4 points per game), well below even the Eagles (15th , at 23.1).

And, if the Birds can't win this week, I don't know when it's going to happen. They have to grab a toehold. Losing out would create a scary scenario for Howie Roseman this offseason, trying to add pieces to help Carson Wentz. Cap room won't be that plentiful, and if you really crash and burn, other than Wentz, what do you have to build around? How many years away are you?

Confidence is a big deal with younger players. Even if you aren't going to the playoffs, win on Sunday and show that you can be competitive in the final quarter of the season.

Prediction: Eagles 17, Bengals 15