EAGLES (1-3) at BILLS (3-1), 11 a.m.
Las Vegas likes to bill itself as the wildest place on Earth, but it is really an old-fashioned, conservative town that still reveres the Rat Pack, the 20-ounce steak and traditional powerhouse teams facing longtime doormats. That explains Philadelphia as a road favorite: It is an idea as current as a Fremont Street piano bar set list. Perhaps our friends in Vegas know that Buffalo is starting a rookie left tackle (Chris Hairston, in place of the injured Demetrius Bell) and that the Eagles, despite the panic that has set in during their three-game losing streak, have an overwhelming talent advantage and some easy-to-fix flaws. More likely, the gambling line is catering to those in the buffet line who think the Eagles are due. Philadelphia is indeed due for something, though no one is sure quite what.
TITANS (3-1) at STEELERS (2-2), 11 a.m.
Matt Hasselbeck is the new definition?of cool. Who wants to be young, strapping and handsome like Jake Locker when you can look, sound and exhibit the overall athleticism of the frontman of a Buffalo Springfield tribute band? Hasselbeck is the mentor quarterback that general managers dream of when they venture onto the free-agent market in search of some rickety former starter who can impart Crash Davis wisdom to the first-round pick. He is a sage who still has his stuff, a drama-free knuckleballer who still gets some tough outs.
Let us hope we have a few more weeks to enjoy Hasselbeck before he is injured by the shock waves emanating from the coin toss, or worse, by an opponent. The Steelers are smarting from their loss to the Texans, and they are not known for internalizing their frustration. They also have a habit of body-slamming Tennessee quarterbacks to the turf (see Vince Young in last season's game). Linebacker James Harrison is out with an eye injury, but Pittsburgh still has plenty of pass rush power and pent-up frustration. Get warmed up, Locker. Just in case.
CHIEFS (1-3) at COLTS (0-4), 11 a.m.
How to win football games, the Kansas City way. Step 1: Play the Vikings. Step 2: Engage in a coach-versus-quarterback shouting match on the sideline in the middle of the game because Todd Haley is a longtime proponent of the succeed-despite-me school of management. Step 3: Hope Ryan Succop kicks field goals from 51 and 54 yards. Repeat until December. As of this week, Peyton Manning of Indianapolis is officially retired from these game previews until he does something more interesting than provide reaction shots from the coaches' booth. If all he can now do is make uncomfortable-looking faces, he should join the cast of "The Office."
JETS (2-2) at PATRIOTS (3-1), 2:15 p.m.
This short, understated game capsule is our way of modulating the volume level on our national discourse. Think of it as a "Sounds of the Ocean" generator with a noise-canceling function that makes all of the trash talk and bluster surrounding this game sound like the distant lapping of waves against a forgotten fishing pier. Are you serene yet? Good. No, that is not Antonio Cromartie, Plaxico Burress or Santonio Holmes you hear trying to bait New England with senseless trash talk. It is three far-off seagulls cawing over a crushed oyster shell.
BENGALS (2-2) at JAGUARS (1-3), 11 a.m.
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- BYU defensive back transferring to Utah... 51
- Big winner: Utes hit jackpot early and... 50
- Hamson and Gray step up big to get BYU... 45
- Dick Harmon: How a simple decision in... 34
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- Brad Rock: This is where conference... 24