I LIKE THE Eagles in this matchup, but I don't much like the generous nine-point spread.

Watching the Birds at Chicago last week, I had two thoughts: All credit to the Eagles for gutting it out, overcoming mistakes, coming up big in the fourth quarter for the first time in a while. And, boy, this team is relying on a mixture of talented, inconsistent kids and vets who are playing hurt. It's still a potent mix, but you cross your fingers. This week, the Birds will start two corners - Sheldon Brown (hamstring) and Asante Samuel (neck) - who haven't been practicing because of their injuries. What happens if they both ride the cart down the tunnel in the first half?

Yeah, the Redskins have injuries as well, but I don't know how a 7-6 loss to the Cowboys last week presages a blowout loss this week. I see a low-scoring, aggravating, pain-in-the-butt game. The last time the Eagles won both games over Washington by double digits was 2002. In 2006, the last time the Birds swept the 'Skins, the scores were 27-3 and 21-19. That's kind of how I see this working out.


Eagles 16, Redskins 12.

- Les Bowen