|Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick fires a pass against the Chicago Bears in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)|
Another prime-time showcase for Vick
Chicago's defense found a way to curtail Michael Vick's exploits. Houston's D doesn't resemble the Bears in any way.
Another prime-time showcase for Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles comes Thursday night when they entertain the Texans. Yes, Houston comes off a shutout of Tennessee, but the Titans are in turmoil and nobody is suggesting the Texans should be equated with the Monsters of the Midway.
In fact, they're usually more like a turnstile than a brick wall. Even with the blanking of the Titans, Houston ranks 28th overall on defense and 31st against the pass.
Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek collectively must be saying "Bring them on."
Philly is a 7-point favorite to remain atop the NFC East.
"For us to go out there and not to be able to win like we wanted to is obviously disappointing," Jackson said of the loss at Soldier Field. "That's (neither) here nor there. We're on to the next one. We have Houston coming in, and that's what we're worried about."
EAGLES, 28-20Chicago (minus 3 1/2) at Detroit
Time to give the Bears some Lovie.
BEST BET: BEARS, 17-3Dallas (plus 5) at Indianapolis
Imagine: Colts were 11-0 a year ago. Now, they could fall to 6-6 as Peyton Manning struggles to carry an injury-ravaged squad.
The always-entertaining Rex Ryan and his band of personalities against the always-staid Bill Belichick and his band of automatons. Except that Tom Brady has shown the kind of fire this year that Ryan would welcome.
PATRIOTS, 27-17Pittsburgh (plus 2 1/2) at Baltimore
Another game with two strong AFC teams, albeit not nearly as solid as projected when the season began. The winner has a leg up on a division title and a postseason bye.
RAVENS, 16-13Atlanta (minus 2 1/2) at Tampa Bay
Man, are the Falcons good at home. True Super Bowl-caliber teams also are dangerous on the road. Here's a chance to prove that.
FALCONS, 21-13Oakland (plus 12 1/2) at San Diego
Here come the Chargers! There go the Raiders!
CHARGERS, 30-13San Francisco (plus 9 1/2) at Green Bay
Even with Frank Gore out, the Niners have the best running back in this game in Brian Westbrook. Problem is, Green Bay is far better in every other area.
PACKERS, 28-13Denver (plus 6 1/2) at Kansas City
Chiefs need to keep winning with San Diego on its November-December run. All the karma in Denver is bad. Wonder if Haley and McDaniels will shake hands this time.
CHIEFS, 33-24New Orleans (minus 6 1/2) at Cincinnati
Saints are beginning to find their stride. Bengals have been in reverse for two months.
SAINTS, 28-13St. Louis (minus 3) at Arizona
Are the Rams really leading the division? Are the Cardinals really this bad?
Yes and yes.
RAMS, 24-10Carolina (plus 6 1/2) at Seattle
If Seahawks don't win this one at home, they can kiss any playoff hopes goodbye.
SEAHAWKS, 23-13Buffalo (plus 6 1/2) at Minnesota
VIKINGS, 27-21Cleveland (plus 5 1/2) at Miami
Browns nearly lost at home to Carolina. That's enough evidence for us that Dolphins will get second home win.
DOLPHINS, 22-10Washington (plus 8) at N.Y. Giants
Which Washington team shows up for a still-undermanned Giants squad, the one that's beaten Philly, Green Bay and Chicago? Or the one that lost to Detroit and Houston?
GIANTS, 21-14Jacksonville (OFF) at Tennessee
Jaguars are in contention in part because Titans and Texans have fallen apart and Colts are banged-up.
Versus spread, 8-5-3 (overall 93-71-5); Straight up, 11-5 (overall 116-60)
Best Bet: 6-6 against spread, 8-4 straight up.
Upset Special: 7-5 against spread, 7-5 straight up.