McNabb, Eagles should soar over Falcons

Posted: Friday, January 10, 2003

The oddsmakers don't buy the argument that Michael Vick can cancel out Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia.

They look at the Falcons and Eagles overall, which is why the Eagles are favored by 7 1/2 in their matchup in Philadelphia on Saturday night.

Even Dan Reeves acknowledges that crumbling Veterans Stadium, in its final season, will be a tough place for his Falcons to play.

The difference this week is that they're playing a healthier team, with McNabb back from his broken ankle. McNabb even thinks he'll be able to scramble -- not like Vick, perhaps -- but well enough to put the threat of the run in the minds of the Atlanta defenders.

Go with the field. Go with the better team.

EAGLES, 31-11.

New York Jets (plus 5 1/2) at Oakland

This spread sounds just like the Monday night meeting between these two, won by the Raiders 26-20.

But that was a game New York could have won. Chad Pennington had a rare brain warp in that one, and the Jets were threatening when time ran out.

Upset special.

JETS 24-23.

San Francisco (plus 5) at Tampa Bay

Any team with Jeff Garcia throwing to Terrell Owens is never out of a game, as the 49ers proved in coming back from 24 points down against the Giants last week.

But they may have spent too much emotion and energy in that game to come back against the rested Bucs, who will have quarterback Brad Johnson back to get their offense restarted.

BUCS, 26-17

Pittsburgh (plus 4) at Tennessee

This is a replay of a 31-23 Titans win -- the game in which Tommy Maddox injured his spine.

TITANS, 31-23

LAST WEEK: 3-1 (spread) 2-2 (straight up).

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