NFL Picks: Eagles too banged-up to fly past Packers


By BARRY WILNER - AP Pro Football Writer



Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz (11) wipes his face during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz (11) wipes his face during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


Green Bay Packers defensive back Darnell Savage, left, intercepts a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. Green Bay won 27-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers cornerbacks Kevin King (20) and Tramon Williams (38) defend during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


A team considered a strong Super Bowl contender will be at Lambeau Field on Thursday night. It’s not — at least right now — the visiting Eagles.

Philadelphia was among the early favorites in the NFC. Then injuries and sloppiness struck. Now, the Eagles (1-2) are scrambling to get their season headed in the right direction before unbeaten Dallas slips away.

To change their course against the Packers is a hefty order. Green Bay (3-0) has displayed an impressive defense led by newcomers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith, and is waiting for its Aaron Rodgers-guided offense to take off.

“Yeah, they’ve added some really talented pieces up front, certainly one on one those guys are pretty dangerous,” Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh says. “So we’re very mindful of those guys. They’ve got a talented defense.”

Rodgers is thrilled with the perfect record — Green Bay has allowed an NFC-low 35 points — and not so happy with his own play as the Packers have scored just 58 points.

“I want to play better,” he says. “I want to score more points. I mean, obviously you love having a defense, but I don’t take any satisfaction in having an ‘oh, OK’ performance. No, I want to have greatness out there.”

No. 5 Green Bay is a 4-point favorite over No. 16 Philadelphia. Have to go with Cheeseheads over Cheesesteaks

PACKERS, 24-16

KNOCKOUT POOL: Dallas did the job last weekend vs. Miami. Did you think we’d leave the Dolphins Debacle behind this week? Go with LA CHARGERS.

No. 24 Oakland (plus 7) at No. 13 Indianapolis

Raiders aren’t worst mess in NFL, but getting closer to it.

BEST BET: COLTS, 30-16

No. 8 Minnesota (plus 3 1-2) at No. 14 Chicago

Tempted by several underdogs this week. Like Vikes most.

UPSET SPECIAL: VIKINGS, 20-16

No. 2 Kansas City (minus 4) at No. 15 Detroit

Lions can prove they are for real here. We know Chiefs are.

CHIEFS, 26-24

No. 1 New England (minus 7) at No. 11 Buffalo

Patriots’ opponents are 0-9, Bills are 1-8. Tom Brady doesn’t lose to Bills.

PATRIOTS, 26-16

No. 4 Dallas (minus 3) at No. 7 New Orleans

Drew Brees means that much in spread? Guess so with how Cowboys are playing. Still …

SAINTS, 28-27

No. 19 Cleveland (plus 3 1-2) at No. 6 Baltimore

Not sure what Browns are yet. Neither is Freddie Kitchens.

RAVENS, 25-20

No. 21 Jacksonville (plus 3) at No. 27 Denver

Rocky Mountain low for Broncos so far.

JAGUARS, 20-16

No. 22 Carolina (plus 4) at No. 12 Houston

Texans and Colts will battle for division title all season.

TEXANS, 28-23

No. 29 Washington (plus 3) at No. 23 New York Giants

As impressive as Danny Dimes-led comeback by Giants, Redskins’ prime-time showing was as unimpressive.

GIANTS, 27-21

No. 17 Los Angeles Chargers (minus 16) at No. 32 Miami

Just what Dr. Anthony Lynn ordered for his sputtering Chargers.

CHARGERS, 36-13

No. 20 Tennessee (plus 3 1-2) at No. 18 Atlanta

Both teams looked so ugly last week. Falcons a different squad at home.

FALCONS, 24-20

No. 26 Tampa Bay (plus 9 1-2) at No. 3 Los Angeles Rams

Is Bruce Arians wondering yet why he bothered coming back to coaching?

RAMS, 27-15

No. 10 Seattle (minus 3) at No. 28 Arizona

Desert should be a relief from rainy Seattle for Seahawks.

SEAHAWKS, 33-17

No. 30 Cincinnati (plus at 4) at No. 25 Pittsburgh, Monday night

How excited is ESPN about 0-3 vs. 0-3? Steelers have to get one soon.

STEELERS, 21-19

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2019 RECORD:

Last Week: Against spread (9-7). Straight up (11-5)

Season Totals: Against spread (27-20-1). Straight up: (31-16-1)

Best Bet: 2-1 against spread, 3-0 straight up

Upset special: 2-1 against spread, 2-1 straight up

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz (11) wipes his face during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/09/web1_123617761-1028d804c8f14f7bab1f1bc1c5ff26df.jpgPhiladelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz (11) wipes his face during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Green Bay Packers defensive back Darnell Savage, left, intercepts a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. Green Bay won 27-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/09/web1_123617761-4b0d38ea4d244822a32f055711c8752f.jpgGreen Bay Packers defensive back Darnell Savage, left, intercepts a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. Green Bay won 27-16. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers cornerbacks Kevin King (20) and Tramon Williams (38) defend during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/09/web1_123617761-08197ab51d8649c394c9e97c68dc5801.jpgDenver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) runs with the ball as Green Bay Packers cornerbacks Kevin King (20) and Tramon Williams (38) defend during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

By BARRY WILNER

AP Pro Football Writer