Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week 6 Pick: Blowout

There were a number of candidates for Blowout game in Week 6, including Packers/Lions, Jags/Rams, Steelers/Browns, and Pats/Titans. However, there is only one that I considered an absolute lock to not only win, but also to beat the spread, and that is:

Philadelphia Eagles @ Oakland Raiders

Over/Under: 40 1/2
Line: Eagles by 14

My Thoughts:
As far as the line is concerned, the Eagles could easily win this game 14-0 and get the push. They really only need 2 touchdowns and a field goal to cover the spread against the Raiders. Oakland was simply embarrassed against the New York Giants last week, putting out a stinker of a team effort. No single phase of their team played well against New York, and Philly is a very good team in their own right.

Donovan McNabb is the quarterback the Raiders hoped Jamarcus Russell would be. I made the point in an earlier post that McNabb is one of the greats of this generations when healthy, and this uninspired Raiders team will do nothing but pad his stats. Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will consistently challenge Oakland's secondary deep, and Brent Celek has turned himself into a pretty good target over the middle. Brian Westbrook and Lesean McCoy are a dynamic running tandem, with the agility and athleticism to give the Raiders linebackers fits.

Philly's defense has not lost its aggression despite losing their long-time defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson, to cancer this off season. While the pressure isn't as consistent and the linebacker play hasn't been as good, this is still an extremely effective group. The secondary has been very good, despite letting Brian Dawkins go to the Broncos. Asante Samuel will go down as one of the better free-agent pickups of the decade, and has to be licking his chops at the thought of all the errant Russell passes.

Let's face it, there's really nothing the Raiders do well anymore. Last year they ran well; this year, especially with McFadden injured, they can't do much of anything on the ground. Jamarcus Russell might be the worst NFL quarterback ever, all the more egregious because he was the first overall pick! The defense, which I expected to be a pretty good unit this year, has been horridly disappointing.

Much like last week, I don't think this game will even be competitive. Expect the Eagles to get off to a fast start on offense, taking anywhere up to a 17 point lead in the first quarter alone. The defense will go after Russell hard, taking a page out of New York's playbook. Asante Samuel can expect at least one INT, and Philadelphia will dominate this one from beginning to end.

Eagles 38
Raiders 9


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