Some fans in Chicago are calling tonight’s game The Philly Special.
OK, we got that out of the way. Now don’t expect Tom Brady to bring it up if he chats with Nick Foles before Tampa Bay’s game with Chicago on Thursday night.
Of course, Brady now works for the Buccaneers, not the Patriots who lost to Foles — now a Bear, then an Eagle — for the 2017 NFL title in great part because Foles caught a short pass from tight end Trey Burton for a touchdown. That trick play has become legend in Philadelphia, taboo in New England.
Still, it’s fun to look back at it for most folks, if not for Brady who, coincidentally, dropped a pass in that Super Bowl.
Neither quarterback figures to be running any pass routes in this matchup. The Bucs are plenty happy with their six-time NFL champion standing in the pocket and picking apart defenses, and they have won three in a row. The Bears benched Mitchell Trubisky for Foles despite being 3-0; the QB wasn’t enough of a contributor to that start to keep his job.
Enter Foles, whose Bears lost to Indianapolis on Sunday. Look for Foles to grow into the job and to be given time by coach Matt Nagy to help awaken the offense.
“I talked this morning a little bit about calibrating us as an offense, Nick as a quarterback getting calibrated, myself with him getting calibrated in regards to working through this process,” Nagy said earlier this week. “We’ve got to get on that and roll. It’s time.”
Or not. Chicago, ranked 15th in the AP Pro32, is a 5 1-2 point underdog to No. 9 Tampa Bay.
KNOCKOUT POOL: Add the Rams to the Bills, Packers and Colts who came through for us. Now, we turn to the RAVENS.
No. 21 Los Angeles Chargers (plus 7 1-2) at No. 11 New Orleans, Monday night
The Saints are struggling defensively, but this could be a turning point.
BEST BET: SAINTS, 30-16
No. 12 Indianapolis (minus 2½) at No. 13 Cleveland
A sad shape of affairs when Pro Picks looks to the Browns to finally hit an …
UPSET SPECIAL: BROWNS, 28-27
No. 27 Jacksonville (plus 6) at No. 30 Houston
A new coach in Houston could make a difference.
No. 23 Cincinnati (plus 12 1-2) at No. 5 Baltimore
Really like what Joe Burrow is showing, but this is too big an ask this soon.
No. 20 Philadelphia (plus 7) at No. 6 Pittsburgh
Pro Picks loves the Eagles’ grit. We love the Steelers’ talent and freshness more.
No. 17 Arizona (minus 6½ ) at No. 32 New York Jets
When the Jets went 1-15 in 1996, the only win was over Arizona. Not in 2020.
No. 18 Carolina (plus 3) at No. 29 Atlanta
A loss here and Dan Quinn could be the second coach fired this season.
No. 22 Minnesota (plus 7) at No. 2 Seattle
The Seahawks are letting lesser teams stay close to them, so …
No. 16 Las Vegas (plus 12 1-2) at No. 1 Kansas City
The Chiefs let the Patriots stay close. Jon Gruden’s bunch, with COVID-19 issues, pays for that.
No. 31 New York Giants (plus 9 1-2) at No. 19 Dallas
The Cowboys are going to play like the Cowboys soon, right? Or maybe they already are.
No. 8 Los Angeles Rams (minus 9) at No. 26 Washington
The Rams make their third East Coast trip already.
No. 28 Denver (OFF) at No. 10 New England
COVID-19 concerns with the Patriots caused no line here.
No. 4 Buffalo (OFF) at No. 7 Tennessee
If this game is played after continuing outbreak of coronavirus in Tennessee, we’ll go with …
No. 24 Miami (OFF) at No. 14 San Francisco
49ers’ injury concerns forced dropping a spread here. Regardless …
This Week: Straight up: 10-5. Against spread: 5-9-1
Season: Straight up: 40-22-1. Against spread: 33-27-2
Best Bet: Straight up: 3-1. Against spread: 2-2
Upset Special: Straight up: 0-4. Against spread: 0-3-1