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By Justin Boylan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This moment was coming. It was only a matter of time. Some might have hoped it wouldn’t arrive as early as week 4, but it’s here. The Philadelphia Eagles are on the wrong side of the largest spread of the weekend, and (spoiler alert) my Best Bet for Survival pick.
There’s a line in the sand, and Eagles fans have to decide which side to stand on. How deep does your green blood run? Is your loyalty to the hometown team more important than living to see another week in the 94WIP Suicide Pool? How much harm can come from secretly cheering against your team for one measly week?
If you went with the Denver Broncos on Monday against the Raiders, then you have avoided this predicament and those questions you need not answer. Still plenty of swimmers in the suicide pool intentionally looked elsewhere in week 3, because they knew this was on the horizon.
I fall into this category. I picked Seattle last week, not only because it was a lock, but also because having Denver in the chamber when the Eagles defense came to town was a security pick I wanted for my own safety.
It’s not personal. It’s all in the game. If the difference between life and death is banking on a lopsided Eagles’ loss, then so be it. Survival comes first, and everything else rides in the backseat.
But I can’t do it. I want the Eagles to win, and no matter how unlikely it seems (and it seems really REALLY unlikely) I can’t stomach turning my back on the Birds only to watch the Miracle at Mile High. So I’m putting the Broncos back in my pocket and picking a different game. If I die in the process, bury me in my Brian Dawkins jersey.
My Selection – Chiefs vs. Giants
(Teams used: Colts, Falcons, Seahawks)
Andy Reid has the Chiefs running like a well-oiled, undefeated machine. KC has had a long week to prepare for the Giants, and so far Reid has shown he can still handle the NFC East regardless of what time zone he lives in.
The Giants are, in one word, a catastrophe. They can’t run the ball, they can’t protect Eli, they can’t protect the ball, they can’t stop the run and they can’t protect the ball. Last week was their chance to straighten things out against the Panthers, and they got blown out of Carolina 38-0. It probably doesn’t help that while Eli is off to the worst start of his career, Peyton is on pace for 64 touchdown passes and zero interceptions.
The sea of red in Kansas City (no, I’m not talking about Andy) will be too much for Big Blue.
Best Bet for Survival – Broncos vs. Eagles
Go ahead, it’s a jungle out there. Glen Macnow has told us that only 45 percent of those who joined still have life. A safe pick is a smart pick. The Eagles actually need Patrick Chung to play because if not that means Kurt Coleman. Brandon Boykin could see himself opposite Wes Welker, and you know Nate Allen won’t be much help. Peyton Manning is Bill the Butcher and the Eagles defense is dead meat.
Cheating Death – Cardinals at Buccaneers
The underdogs are hard to find this week. Of the 15 games being played, 12 of the lines are currently sitting at less than five points. If you already used the Colts and Broncos, picking from this slate of games could drive you crazy.
The 0-3 Bucs are favored in this game, but I don’t see it that way. They have dumped Josh Freeman in favor of third-round draft pick Mike Glennon, and the status of both Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson is up in the air.
Arizona is coming off a beat down at the hands of the Saints, which is likely why they’re being overlooked. Here’s to Carson Palmer taking out his frustration of not being Drew Brees on a rookie 10 years younger than him.
That’s all I got. I’ll be rooting for coach Reid this weekend. Old habits die hard.
Justin Boylan is a producer at 94WIP and graduate of Temple University. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @justintboylan.