NFL Week 10 Picks – Eagles Vs. Redskins (+3)

It’s difficult to fully embrace Michael Vick considering his troubledpast with dog fighting. While that still remains in the back of mymind, I absolutely love watching Vick play football, especially afterhis dominant performance against the Colts last week.

Vick has yet to throw an interception this year, although that couldchange against a Redskins defense that has at least one turnover inevery game this year. Even still, Vick has to have revenge on his mindafter the Redskins defense gave him the rib injury in Week 4 that kepthim out of three consecutive games. In his short playing time duringthat first game against the Redskins, Vick had a 90.8 quarterback ratingafter completing five of seven attempts for 49 yards while rushing foranother 17 yards.

The Redskins, meanwhile, are in disarray. Coach Mike Shanahan benchedquarterback Donovan McNabb late in a Week 8 loss to the Detroit Lions,claiming McNabb was unfit to run the two-minute offense for a comebackwin. Instead, Shanahan elected to put Rex Grossman (pictured above) inthe game, who promptly fumbled the ball on his first play to allow aLions defensive touchdown. Quarterback controversy aside, Washington hasbeen good on defense with a turnover margin of +8. But little elseabout the team is remarkable from a statistical perspective.

Bessire’s Take: “We loved the Eagles at home -6 against Washingtonearlier this season. A couple of big plays by the Redskins and a MichaelVick injury and that never came true. Well, we still love the Eaglesnow. The confidence may not be as high against the three-point line onthe road, but Philadelphia is just such a better team. And we assumeDonovan McNabb will be playing the entire game. If he doesn’t, forwhatever reason, and Rex Grossman has to fill in, that could only helpour case. Philadelphia has played the ninth toughest schedule in the NFLthis season and ranks as the league’s best rushing team (with MichaelVick starting), its sixth best passing team, the fifth best team againstthe pass and the tenth best team against the run. Washington is playingat home, and that’s about where the positives end. The Redskins havefaced the 20th toughest schedule and rank 17th in passing, 18th running(with all running backs healthy), 18th against the pass and 29th againstthe run. It’s not even close. Look for Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy toput up big numbers and for Mike Shanahan to have to answer a ton ofuncomfortable questions after the game.” Take: “Philly opened as a 3-point flat favorite and thehandicappers tried to push the odds makers off the mostconsistent point spread number in the NFL. This Monday Night eventshould bring in the volume with McNabb and Vick. However, it is doubtfulthe oddsmakers will move away from the original 3-point spread.”

The Pick: Eagles -3. Washington has won its only other two divisiongames this year, which came against the Cowboys in Week 1 before manyrealized how weak Dallas would play. The other victory came against theEagles after Vick was injured. I won’t expect the same result this timearound. It’s tough taking a team laying three points on the road after abig home win, especially against a team that had a week off to regroup.But the Eagles look legit, and I can’t wait to see Michael Vick runningplays Monday night.