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Eagles-Bills: the pick

IT WILL TAKE more than Sunday's minor miracle to get me on board with the Eagles again.

IT WILL TAKE more than Sunday's minor miracle to get me onboard with the Eagles again.

Win this week, I'll start to seriously think about their chances of winning the NFC East. But the offense will have to do better than Sunday's 14 points, and, yes, I'm familiar with Chip Kelly's spiel on how the offense never had the ball in the third quarter because the defense and special teams kept scoring.

The DeMarco Murray situation is interesting - I'm betting he gets double-figures carries - but I think what might matter more is how much work Ryan Mathews gets after missing three weeks with a concussion. Mathews, a difference-maker for a team that lacks those, made it sound as if he was a bit rusty, when he returned to practice. The Bills have a big, tough defensive line, but they give up an average of 4.3 yards per carry, the same as the Eagles.

Someday, maybe, we'll see that no-doubt, breakout game from Sam Bradford, the one where you don't have to squint and turn the stat page sideways to make a case for the quarterback as the guy, going forward. This week would be a fortuitous time, facing the NFL's 23rd-ranked pass defense.

The Eagles very much need to repeat Sunday's consistent pass-rush success, achieved largely without blitzing, much better pressure than what we saw during their three-game losing streak.

Will any of that stuff actually happen? I'm still a skeptic.

Prediction Bills 20, Eagles 17.