Don't count on Packers helping Eagles

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Don't count on Packers helping Eagles

Derrick Gunn makes his Week 16 NFL picks.

Eagles vs. Raiders, Monday, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN
Nick Foles passed his first test, and everyone is breathing easier and feeling satisfied that Foles can keep the offensive efficiency going.

As for the Eagles' defense, for a third straight game, they were on shaky ground. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said he's getting tired of repeating himself about how his defense needs to "get back to playing clean football and stop giving offenses help." 

Enter the Oakland Raiders, whose season turned out to be drastically different from the previous season. Quarterback Derek Carr and his offense can't find consistency and the defense can't make the necessary stops. Big play wide receiver Amari Cooper has been hampered by an ankle injury for several weeks and may have to sit this one out. The Raiders do have a pair of dangerous pass rushers in Pro Bowler Khalil Mack (10.5 sacks) and Bruce Irvin (7.5 sacks). Right tackle Lane Johnson, selected to his first Pro Bowl, has been outstanding against premier edge rushers this season, but the other side of the line has been up and down. Left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai has struggled the past two games and may need some help protecting Foles' blind side.

This game might be the final time we see many of the Birds starters until the playoffs, so they'll want to put on a good show. 

Pick: Eagles 31, Raiders 20

Indianapolis at Baltimore, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
The Ravens are knocking on the AFC playoff door, they just can't get it open yet. Currently sitting in the seventh spot, Baltimore needs to win out and get a little help along the way to slip into the postseason. The Colts will give it their best shot, but they're no match for Baltimore.

Pick: Ravens

Minnesota at Green Bay, Saturday, 8:30 p.m. on NBC
He was here only for a brief moment and now he's gone again. Aaron Rodgers returned to see if he could give the Pack new playoff life, but it didn't happen. Now Rodgers has been shut down for the season and it’s Brett Hundley’s squad again. The Vikes are trying to keep the heat on the Eagles for that top seed in the NFC. Packers’ nation was hoping A-Rod would help the Pack get revenge on the Vikes. Instead, it will be Minnesota Lambeau leaping to a win.

Pick: Vikings

Cleveland at Chicago, Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
This season can't end soon enough for the downtrodden Browns. The Bears will try to rely on their ground game to soften up Cleveland’s defense. This will be the Browns’ last shot at a win because they close the season at Pittsburgh. The Browns will continue on their quest to finish 0-for-2017.

Pick: Bears

Detroit at Cincinnati, Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bengals have been outscored, 67-14, their last two games and it appears they've quit on head coach Marvin Lewis, who's riding on borrowed time. The Lions need help to crash the postseason party, but they must also keep helping themselves. The Lions will roar in the Bengals’ jungle.

Pick: Lions

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Titans can't close out close games against inferior competition, losing their last two to Arizona and San Francisco by a combined total of seven points. The Rams are sky high after putting a smackdown on Seattle. Tennessee will have to put up big points to keep up with the Rams’ high-scoring attack, but it won't happen.

Pick: Rams

Miami at Kansas City, Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
Just when we thought the Chiefs were left for dead, they rise up and regain control of the AFC West. Miami has shown it can hang with the big boys, but you just never know which Dolphins team will show up. The Dolphins love warm weather, but with the temperature in K.C. expected to be a high of 36 degrees, look for the Chiefs to put the Fins in a deep freeze.

Pick: Chiefs

Buffalo at New England, Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
The catch rule helped bail out the Patriots in Pittsburgh. New England is now in a position to put a lockdown on the top seed in the AFC. The Pats pummeled the Bills back in Week 13. Look for more of the same in the rematch.

Pick: Patriots

Atlanta at New Orleans, Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
All the Falcons have to do is win out and they win the NFC South, but that's easier said than done. A few weeks ago in Atlanta, Drew Brees threw an interception in the end zone and the Falcons were happy to get off the field with a huge win. This time around in New Orleans, the Saints will be motivated to maintain at least a share of the division lead.

Pick: Saints

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
Last week, a division lead was there for the taking for the Chargers and they let it slip away. With Josh McCown, the Jets always had a fighting chance, but now that he's out with an injury, Bryce Petty tries to get the Jets’ offense going. Not gonna happen.

Pick: Chargers

Denver at Washington, Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
When this season began, the Broncos and Redskins were viewed as two teams with potential to do great things. Now they are two teams soul searching with nothing to look forward to except a long offseason. The Redskins have the home-field advantage. The 'Skins take the W.

Pick: Redskins

Tampa Bay at Carolina, Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Panthers have won six of their last seven and a win in this one will secure a playoff spot. But they want more. The Panthers are tied with the Saints for first in the NFC South. The Panthers must not get distracted by the chatter of owner Jerry Richardson putting the team up for sale after this season, and linebacker Thomas Davis being suspended for a game. Carolina locks in and the Bucs go down.

Pick: Panthers

Jacksonville at San Francisco, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is on a roll, winning three straight, but now he's about to run into a buzz saw. Jacksonville has won three straight and the Jags’ defense is ranked third overall, first against the pass (168.9 YPG) and first in points allowed (14.9 PPG). The Jags’ sixth-ranked offense is not too shabby either, leading the league in rushing (149.1 YPG). Jimmy G's win streak stops here.

Pick: Jaguars

Seattle at Dallas, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Are we slowly watching the decline of the Seahawks? They’ve lost three of their last five and two in a row. Russell Wilson will go after the 'Boys' young secondary. But Zeke is back! After serving a six-game suspension, star running back Ezekiel Elliott returns to give new life to the Dallas run game. Both teams are 8-6 but because Dallas, winner of three straight, is at home, I’m riding with the 'Boys.

Pick: Cowboys

New York Giants at Arizona, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Eli Manning and the G-Men gave the Eagles quite a scare but in the end, just like most of their games, they couldn't finish. The Cards haven’t scored a TD in almost three weeks. Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton is playing with a bum knee. The Giants go out west and come back with a W.

Pick: Giants

Pittsburgh at Houston, Monday, 4:30 p.m. on NBC
Can the Steelers bounce back from that controversial loss to New England? The Texans put up a good fight but their QB situation leaves them handcuffed against a Steelers D that will blitz all day. The Steelers got this one.

Pick: Steelers

Torrey Smith says Carson Wentz is going to get PAID

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Torrey Smith says Carson Wentz is going to get PAID

We all know just how good Carson Wentz is. Heck, the entire NFL knows just how good Wentz is after the Eagles' QB put together a remarkable season with 3,296 passing yards and 33 TD tosses ... in just 13 games.

But we and the entire league also know what that means: Wentz is going to get a lot more zeros added to his paycheck soon.

Wideout Torrey Smith, recently traded by the Eagles to the Panthers, knows full well what Wentz's worth is and isn't shy to talk about it, as he did at his charity basketball event in Maryland on Saturday evening.

"When Carson's time comes, they're going to need a Brinks truck the size of this arena," Smith, who caught 33 balls for 692 yards and two TDs from Wentz last season, told ESPN's Jamison Hensley while noting the Eagles are taking full advantage of Wentz's discounted rookie deal right now.

Wentz is in the middle of a four-year, $26.6 million deal signed after he was drafted No. 2 overall in 2016. The deal expires after the 2019 season, but obviously Howie Roseman and crew know this all is looming. And they also know recent QB contract numbers have continued to skyrocket.

San Francisco recently made Jimmy Garrapollo, he of seven career starts but also of five straight wins to end last season after his trade from New England, the richest QB in league history with a five-year, $137.5 million deal. Detroit gave Matthew Stafford a five-year, $135 million deal prior to last season, a few months after Oakland gave Derek Carr a five-year, $125 million extension. Those three are the top-paid QBs in the league.

Long story short: With the way Wentz has performed with 7,049 passing yards and 49 TDs in 29 career starts, he's going to get PAID.

And Roseman's acts of salary cap magic are going to have to continue because Wentz is going to get paid sooner than later, and the whole league knows it.

Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

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Vinny Curry reportedly heading to the Buccaneers

One day after being released from the Eagles, Vinny Curry has reportedly already found a new home.

The defensive end is heading to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth up to $27 million, with an $11.5 million injury guarantee, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

After signing him to a five-year, $47.25 million extension in 2016, the Eagles moved on from Curry and his scheduled $11 million cap hit on Friday. The transaction saved the Eagles $5 million in cap space, with $6 million in dead money.

While Curry, 29, had the best season of his career in 2017, his production still didn't match his high cap number and he became more expendable after the Eagles acquired Pro Bowler Michael Bennett from the Seahawks.

Curry will join former Eagles defensive tackle Beau Allen in Tampa Bay. Allen signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Buccaneers earlier in the week.