IN SOME WAYS, the Bills are the opposite of the Eagles, whose rankings of sixth in the NFL on offense and ninth on defense belie a 7-8 record. Buffalo also is 7-8, but ranks 31st offensively and 30th defensively. As Eagles broadcaster Merrill Reese noted this week, the difference is turnovers - the Bills have forced 29, given up only 21, for a plus-8 margin. The Eagles have forced 19 and surrendered 25, minus-6.

We're assuming here the Eagles will produce the kind of effort they summoned last week in New Orleans. That could be a dangerous assumption, as Andy Reid's inconsistent team tries to stretch its winning streak to three, which would be a season-high. The Eagles are 2-5 at home, and nearly all their strong efforts have come on the road, where they won five of their last six. So even though Jim Johnson's defense ought to be able to contain a run-oriented offense, and even though the Birds and Brian Westbrook should be able to run on Buffalo, it's hard to predict an Eagles romp. We haven't seen many of those.

Prediction:

Eagles 23, Bills 16.

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