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[Game Preview] Week 1 - Philadelphia Eagles(0-0) at Washington Football Team (0-0)

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at the Washington Football Team
The 2020 Philadelphia Eagles season is the franchise's 88th season in the National Football League and the fifth under head coach Doug Pederson. The Eagles will try to improve on their 9–7 record from 2019 where they made the playoffs, but lost in the NFC Divisional game against the Seattle Seahawks. They will begin that journey Sunday afternoon as they take a trip down 95 to face off against the division rival with a new name Washington Football Team. To go with the name they also have a new coach in Ron Rivera who is looking for a fresh start after spending the last nine years as the Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rivera inherits a defense that has 4 first round picks on the defensive line that will be facing off against an injury riddled offensive line of the Eagles as they will be without starting LT Andre Dillard and starting All-Pro RG Brandon Brooks. The Eagles bought back former LT Jason Peters who will look to protect Carson Wentz’s blind side. IF the Eagles OL is able to give Wentz time, he proved last year against the WTF that he has great chemistry with Jackson who has torched his former team in the past. Defensively Eagles fans will get their first look at their revamped secondary which will include Pro Bowler Darius Slay and Jalen Mills at safety. They will look to keep Terry McLaurin under control as he burnt the Eagles secondary in both games last season with long TDs. If the Eagles can get a lead early, I think their defense should be able to keep Dwayne Haskins under control and force the second year QB into some turnovers. Always fun to start the season vs a division rival and happy to have some football again in these crazy times. Go Birds!
General Information
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Score Prediction Contest
Date
Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Game Time Game Location
1:00 PM - Eastern FedEx Field
12:00 PM - Central 1600 FedEx Way
11:00 AM - Mountain Landover, MD 20785
10:00 AM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 77°F
Feels Like: 79°F
Forecast: Mostly Cloudy. Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day.
Chance of Precipitation: 5%
Cloud Coverage: 69%
Wind: South 6 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Philadelphia by -5.5
OveUnder: 42.5
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-0, Washington 0-0
Where to Watch on TV
FOX will broadcast Sunday’s game to a regional audience. Kevin Burkhardt will handle the play-by-play duties and Daryl Johnson will provide analysis. Pam Oliver will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 1 TV Coverage Map
Radio Streams
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (44th season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Football Team Radio
Washington Football Team Radio Network Larry Michael (play-by-play), Chris Cooley (analysis), Rick “Doc” Walker (sidelines).
National Radio
NA.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Football Team Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 105 (Streaming 825) SIRI 81 (Streaming 831)
XM Radio XM Streaming 825 XM 226 (Streaming 831)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 380 (Streaming 825) SXM 226 (Streaming 831)
Eagles Social Media Football Team Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: WashingtonNFL
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Eagles 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Cowboys 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Football Team 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Giants 0-0 .000 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 NA
Series Information
The Washington Football lead the Philadelphia Eagles (85-80-6)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 21st, 1934 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. Boston Redskins 6 - Philadelphia Eagles 0
Points Leader
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the Washington Football Team (3591-3386)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 6-2 against the Washington Football Team
Ron Rivera: 3-2 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Ron Rivera: Tied 1-1
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against the Washington Football Team: 5-2
Dwayne Haskins Jr.: Against Eagles: 0-1
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Dwayne Haskins Jr.: Wentz leads 1-0
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead the Washington Football Team: 10-7
Record @ FedEx Field: Eagles lead the Washington Football Team: 14-6
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 11 - Football Team No. 30
Record
Eagles: 0-0
Football Team: 0-0
Last Meeting and Last Meeting at Site
Sunday, December 30th, 2018
Eagles 37 - Washington Football Team 27
The Eagles looked to keep their playoff hopes alive and and opened up the scoring with a Jake Elliot FG in the first quarter. The lead was short lived as Dwayne Haskins hooked up with Terry McLaurin for a 75 yard touchdown pass. The Eagles went into half-time trailing 10-14, but took back the lead in the 3rd quarter on a Miles Sanders TD reception that put the Eagles up 17-14. The Eagles and Washington Football Team traded TD passes in the 4th quarter before the Washington Football Team regained the league with a pair of Dustin Hopkins FGs put the Washington Football Team's up 24-27. Carson Wentz answered the call leading the Eagles on a four and half minute 75 yard touchdown drive that culminated in a Greg Ward TD reception. The Eagles defense forced a fumble on the ensuing drive which was returned for a TD by Nigel Bradham for a nail in the coffin putting the Eagles up 10 with no time on the clock to give the Eagles the win.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
12/15/2019 Eagles Football Team 37-27
09/08/2019 Eagles Football Team 32-27
12/30/2018 Eagles Football Team 24-0
12/3/2018 Eagles Football Team 28-13
10/23/2017 Eagles Football Team 34-24
9/10/2017 Eagles Football Team 30-17
12/11/2016 Football Team Eagles 27-22
10/16/2016 Football Team Eagles 27-20
12/26/2015 Football Team Eagles 38-24
10/04/2015 Football Team Eagles 23-20
12/20/2014 Football Team Eagles 27-24
09/21/2014 Eagles Football Team 37-34
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Football Team Football Team
2020 “Expert” Picks
Week 1 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Football Team Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 388 607 63.9% 4037 27 7 93.1
Haskins 119 203 58.6% 1365 7 7 76.1
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Sanders 179 818 51.1 4.6 3
Peterson 211 898 59.9 4.3 5
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Ertz 88 916 61.1 10.4 6
McLaurin 58 919 65.6 15.8 7
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 8.5 43
Ioannidis 8.5 46
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Jenkins 80 62 18 2.5
Collins 117 78 39 1.0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Gerry/Jones/Darby/McLeod 2 11
Dunbar 4 13
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 71 3292 61 46.4 42.3 28 4 0
Way 79 3919 79 49.6 44.1 30 4 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 26 22 94.6% 53 35/37
Hopkins 30 35 83.3% 53 21/22
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Sanders 14 314 22.4 67 0
Simms 32 819 25.6 1
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Scott 6 43 7.2 13 0 4
Quinn 16 78 4.9 15 0 9
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Football Team Stat Football Team Rank
Total Offense 360.8 14th 274.7 31st
Rush Offense 121.2 11th 98.9 22nd
Pass Offense 239.6 11th 175.8 32nd
Points Per Game 24.1 12th 16.6 32nd
3rd-Down Offense 45.4% 4th 29.1% 32nd
4th-Down Offense 33.3% 28th(t) 42.9% 22nd
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 66.7% 3rd 48.8% 27th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Football Team Stat Football Team Rank
Total Defense 331.7 10th 385.6 27th
Rush Defense 90.1 3rd 146.6 31st
Pass Defense 241.6 19th 238.9 18th
Points Per Game 22.1 15th 27.2 27th
3rd-Down Defense 34.2% 4th 48.9% 32nd
4th-Down Defense 61.1% 27th 63.2% 22nd
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 55.8% 14th(t) 61.0% 27th
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Football Team Stat Football Team Rank
Turnover Diff. -3 22nd +1 13th(t)
Penalty Per Game 6.8 9th(t) 6.6 14th(t)
Penalty Yards Per Game 52.3 9th 52.2 8th
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles - N/A
Washington - N/A
Connections
Washington Football Team’s HC Ron Rivera was the Eagles linebackers coach from 1999-2003.
Washington Football Team’s QB coach Ken Zampese worked as an offensive assistant for the Eagles in 1998.
Washington Footbal Team’s CB Ronald Darby played the previous 3 seasons with the Eagles.
Eagles LS Rick Lovato briefly signed with the Washington Football Team during the 2016 season for two weeks.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson spent 3 seasons with the Washington Football Team (2016-2018) after he was released from the Eagles.
Eagles backup QB Nate Sudfeld was drafted by the Washington Football team in the 6th round of the 2016 NFL draft and played one season for them before being cut in 2017.
Eagles backup TE Richard Rodgers was signed with the Washington Football Team this past offseason before being released Sept. 5th and signing with the Eagles.
2020 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Football Team
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) P Tress Way (Starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) G Brandon Scherff
C Jason Kelce (Starter)
LS Rick Lovato (Starter)
TE Zach Ertz
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
General
Referee: Brad Rogers
The Eagles have won each of their last 6 games vs. Washington, marking their longest such streak since 12/16/01-12/12/04 (7 games). Philadelphia is 14-9 (.609) all-time at FedExField.
Carson Wentz has posted a 5-0 record vs. Washington since 2017, completing 128-of-185 (69.2%) attempts for 1,460 yards (292.0 per game), 14 TDs, 3 INTs and a 111.1 passer rating.
Fletcher Cox has 12.5 sacks in 16 career games vs. Washington, which are his most against any NFL team and the most by any NFL player vs. Washington since 2012. Only four players have more sacks vs. Washington since 1982: Lawrence Taylor (19.0, 1982-93), Michael Strahan (17.0, 1994-2007), Justin Tuck (15.0, 2005-13) and Simeon Rice (14.0, 1996-2005).
The Eagles have won 8 of their last 9 season openers, which are the most opening day victories in the NFL since 2011.
Philadelphia is 4-0 in season openers under head coach Doug Pederson (since 2016). Pederson is one of two head coaches in team history to win 4 straight season-opening contests, join-ing Greasy Neale (6, 1942-47). The Eagles are one of only five NFL teams to start the season 1-0 in each of the last four years, joining Baltimore, Green Bay, Kansas City and Minnesota.
Draft Picks
Eagles Football Team
WR Jalen Raegor DE Chase Young
QB Jalen Hurts RB Antonio Gibson
LB Davion Taylor OT Saahdiq Charles
S K’Von Wallace WR Antonio Gandy-Golden
OT Jack Driscoll C Keith Ismael
WR John Hightower LB Khaleke Hudson
LB Shaun Bradley S Curl Kamren
WR Quez Watkins DE James Smith-Williams
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
LB/DE Casey Toohill
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Football Team
S Will Parks QB Kyle Allen
DT Javon Hargrave CB Ronald DArby
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman LB Thomas Davis
CB Darius Slay RB Peyton Barber
S Sean Davis
WR Cody Latimer
CB Kendell Fuller
RB JD McKissic
G Wes Schweitzer
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Football Team
S Malcom Jenkins QB Case Keenum
CB Ronald Darby CB Josh Norman
RB Jordan Howard CB Quinton Dunbar
WR Nelson Agholor TE Vernon Davis
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai WR Paul Richardson
LB Kamu Grugler-Hill TE Jordan Reed
RB Darren Sproles OT Donald Penn
DT Timmy Jernigan CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
LB Nigel Bradham CB Kayvon Weber
G Ereck Flowers
LT Trent Williams
Milestones
Eagles QB Carson Wentz (97) needs 3 passing TDs for 100 career passing TDs.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (35) needs 1 TDs to move up to 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6276) needs 192 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list all-time passing his mentor WR *Mike Quick
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles DE Brandon Graham (51) needs 3.5 sacks to move to 4th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Hugh Douglas
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (48) needs 2.5 sacks to move up to 6th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Greg Brown
Eagles DE Vinny Curry (27) needs 1 sack to move up to 19th on the Eagles all-time sack list passing DT Darwin Walker
Washington Football Team OLB Ryan Kerrigan (90) needs 1.5 sacks to become the Washington Football Team's all-time leader in sacks passing Dexter Manley (91).
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (join.profootballfocus.com/edge/)
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
PFF Stats to Know
Play Action Passing
[Threshold = QBs with at least 20% snap count of the QB with the highest snap count of Play Action for the season] In the 2019-2020 season, no QB had a worse completion rate via Play Action than WFT’s Dwayne Haskins at 54.9% and only 2 others had worse such Passer Rating. For comparison, the Eagles’ Carson Wentz was at the top of the bottom 3rd in both metrics. Whereas has Wentz fared near the top of Play Action % of snaps during his NFL tenure and his completion % and Passer Rating have both ranked near the top in each of ‘16-‘18, in 2019 he did not do well in that respect. How Wentz performs in Play Action with injuries at the OL and WR positions, as well as how much the coaching staff will even ask him to turn his back to this particular DL and keep it...I’m not sure.
Matchups to Watch
Washington Defensive Line vs Eagles Offensive Line
NFL battles always start in the trenches and this is perhaps the biggest advantage the WFT has against the Eagles in this Week 1 tilt. Washington always had a formidable front that lead to intriguing battles between the two teams but the addition of Chase Young and the injuries the Eagles have already sustained make this match up concerning for Philly. The Eagles projected Week 1 starting OL prior to the injuries was, from left to right: Dillard, Seumalo, Kelce, Brooks, and Lane Johnson. Now, the Eagles will start: Peters, Seumalo, Kelce, TBD, TBD. Lane Johnson has practiced everyday this week in a limited capacity which makes me believe that he'll start but it's an uneasy feeling knowing he's working his way back from injury too. The logical guess at RG is Matt Pryor, but they've also tried out Nate Herbig in practice. Either way, the Eagles have a massive downgrade at RG with Brandon Brooks out. Fortunately, the Eagles may have accidentally upgraded in the short term with Jason Peters at LT but the depth in the trenches is already spread too thin. The Eagles are lucky to be as deep as they are on the OL given they aren't totally screwed (yet) but the current state of line makes this a very formidable match up for the Football Team (get a damn team name, jerks) to take advantage of. Additionally, they aren't just deep at EDGE, they are deep at DT as well. Payne, Allen, and Ioannidis are very stout and capable of dominating opposing OLs. Washington's roster is very thin but it isn't on the defensive line. They have more than enough ammunition to put the Eagles in difficult situations. This mismatch will force the coaching staff to be creative in their run designs and how they give help to the OL in pass protection.
Washington Secondary vs Eagles Passing Attack
The Eagles much beleaguered WR room went through a mini-makeover in the offseason and a lot of new, young, and fast faces were added to the mix. What they lack in proven talent, outside of DeSean Jackson's return, they make up for in athleticism. One thing Howie Roseman said this offseason was he was frustrated with the lack of speed on the team. It took him a while to understand that athleticism does matter. It's not just that the new group of receivers are fast, but they all have strong overall athletic profiles. But as previously mentioned, this is an unproven group going up against a very weak opposition. WFT brought back Kendall Fuller this offseason, who was a real good jack-of-all-trades player in the secondary for the Chiefs last season. His status for Sunday is questionable given his limited participation this week in practice. Opposite him is former Eagles favorite Ronald Darby. If I'm Doug Pederson, I make it a point to go after him all day. Even when Darby is at his best, which isn't often these days, he has absolutely zero ball skills. Washington may play Fabian Moreau if Fuller can't go, which is another defender the Eagles should target. Jimmy Moreland and Landon Collins are quality players, more so the latter, but they can't hide the deficiencies that should be easily exploitable by the Eagles. Remember, Philly put up over 30 in week 15 last year with less in the WR room than they currently have against a secondary that really isn't better than it was then. If Jalen Reagor is able to go, that would add another dimension to this offense the Eagles have lacked for a long time. If the Eagles can do a good enough job slowing down Washington's front, they are more than capable of picking apart a subpar secondary. And I didn't even talk about Ertz and Goedert! Or Miles Sanders through the air!
Washington Offensive Line vs Eagles Defensive Line
Despite the current injury limitations on the Eagles defensive line, this is a matchup that heavily favors the Eagles. Haskins finished 2019 on a positive note in his last 3 starts prior to his ankle injury; one thing he's never been known for is his pocket ability and ability to avoid taking sacks. Put a statue behind a bad offensive line and you are going to have issues. Trent Williams is now gone having finally forced his way out and his logical replacement, rookie Shaadiq Charles, isn't likely to play in week 1. Wes Martin, their starting left guard, is a below average player himself. The only player on the Washington Football Team's offensive line that is good is Brandon Scherff. While the Eagles aren't 100% on the defensive line, they are one of the few teams in the NFL with likely more talent and depth on their defensive line than the Washington Football Team's. Barnett has been limited in practice and has missed the last few weeks with another injury and his status is questionable while Hargrave is likely to miss a couple games as well. The Eagles still have Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, the return of Malik Jackson, and a lot more to throw at this beleaguered unit. Additionally, this is a defensive front that is always stingy against the run under Jim Schwartz even when the DL isn't at peak health. There are a lot of matchups to exploit and Schwartz has a lot of options to exploit them. For his faults as a coordinator with secondary scheming, Schwartz is a God at maximizing the talents of his pass rushers. Given the current state of the Washington OL and Haskins own difficulties under pressure, this is a juicy match up for Philly.
Washington Passing Attack vs Eagles Pass Defense
Washington is incredibly thin and young at the skill positions but that isn't the sort of thing that has deterred the Eagles from allowing big plays in the past. This is a secondary, and really a pass defense in general, that went through a major shake up this offseason and for good reason. The Eagles defense was pretty average per DVOA which was encouraging given what they had, but they consistently allowed big play after big play in 2019. Opposing WR1s absolutely shredded Philadelphia last season as they were automatic monsters against an overmatched, elementary secondary. Darius Slay and NRC were added to the mix and should provide immediate help to this unit. Avonte Maddox will start at CB2; while this is an iffy move, the additions of Slay and NRC should allow the Eagles to help him out a bunch. The Eagles finally have players that can play in man coverage and one of the best CBs in the league in shadow coverage. Schwartz has admitted that he will allow Slay to shadow receivers but likely not 100% of the time. This makes sense as it should be a matchup-specific thing... this is that time. Furthermore, allowing Slay to shadow receivers will lead to considerable scheme changes on defense as they can't play the coverages they've played the last four years while shadowing receivers. What does this look like and how quickly does it come together? Terry McLaurin is the only real commodity at receiver for Washington and he's a tremendous talent. Even when he was the only real receiving threat last year, he still tore the Eagles apart. Another major change for the Eagles is in the safety room with the departure of Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles added Will Parks to the room but he will miss the first 3 weeks due to injury. They also retained Rodney McLeod; this could be a good thing or bad thing depending on which Rodney shows up. If another year away from knee surgery helps, then he'll be fine. But if last year's version shows up then the Eagles have a big problem. Lastly, the Eagles will be starting Jalen Mills at safety. Apparently, the cure for being a bad cornerback is a position switch to safety despite never playing it in the NFL. All that being said, the middle of the defense is slower and more unknown than it has ever been. LB1 is Nate Gerry. LB2 is Duke Riley. Mills is the new Jenkins. Will Parks is out. Does McLeod have enough left in the tank? Offenses are fast and innovative; the Skins lack a lot of talent on offense but their new offensive scheme could lead to some issues in the middle of the Eagles defense. If I'm Washington, I lean heavily on motions and play action to confuse the middle of the Eagles defense. Get guys who struggle to cover to cover your athletic RBs then take plenty of shots to Terry McLaurin. The Eagles are clearly better at CB than they've been in years but have considerable question marks in the Safety and in the LB rooms as it pertains to pass defense. Better CBs should lead to better pass defense overall but there are matchups to take advantage of. Washington might not be the best team to fully exploit these weaknesses, but they could.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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Will the Philadelphia Eagles win OVER/UNDER 9.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

The Eagles have been a good model of consistency. Over the past 20 years, they have had just four losing seasons.

It wasn’t always pretty, but Philly managed to secure the NFC East title with a 9-7 record last year. They closed out the regular season with a four-game winning streak to edge the Cowboys atop the division.

Unfortunately, Carson Wentz exited the wildcard playoff game early and the team couldn’t overcome his absence in a 17-9 home loss to the Seahawks.

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Carson Wentz needs to be applauded for his 2019 performance.

He had to deal with numerous injuries to his receiving corps and yet, he led the team to a playoff spot and he finished with a career-high in passing yards with 4,039. He threw 27 TD passes versus 7 interceptions, while playing all 16 games for the first time since his rookie season in 2016.

In the season finale, his top targets were Boston Scott, Dallas Goedert, Josh Perkins, Deontay Burnett and Greg Ward. Outside of Goedert, none is an established starter in the NFL. The Eagles still secured the NFC East title with a 34-17 road win in New York.

Philadelphia selected Jalen Hurts late in the second round of this year’s draft. He transferred from Alabama to Oklahoma for his senior year since Tua Tagovailoa was projected to be the starter. Hurst was actually replacing Kyler Murray who had just been taken as the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft by the Cards.

Hurts did not disappoint in his lone season with the Sooners. He completed 237-of-340 passes (69.7%) with 3,851 passing yards, along with 32 TD passes and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,298 yards with 20 TDs on the ground!

His weaknesses are an average accuracy, inconsistent decision-making and a tendency to take off as a runner too often (sometimes when a receiver was open). He is likely to be used as a gadget player by Doug Pederson this year.

Nate Sudfeld will compete for the backup job. He missed the entire 2019 season due to a wrist injury he suffered during preseason. He was a sixth-round pick out of Indiana in the 2016 draft. He has attempted just 25 passes in the NFL in four years, so it’s hard to tell what to expect from him.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Miles Sanders’ rookie season was a resounding success. He led all rookies with 1,327 yards from scrimmage.

He carried a heavier workload as the season went on. During the first eight games, he averaged 8.3 carries per game, as opposed to 14.1 over the last nine contests (including the playoff loss to the Seahawks).

Jordan Howard’s injury at midseason contributed to the increased usage of Sanders in the backfield. With Howard gone to Miami, the sky’s the limit for second-round pick out of Penn State.

Darren Sproles retired and Jay Ajayi was waived. That leaves the door wide open for third-year man Boston Scott. He flashed big time last year and unquestionably passed my eye test. The 5’6’’ back is very explosive.

Scott made a name for himself in Week #17 as he had to step in for Sanders who sprained an ankle in the first quarter against the Giants. Scott went on to rack up 138 total yards and three touchdowns.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

This unit was decimated by injuries last year. DeSean Jackson pretty much played just one game, while Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor missed six and five games, respectively.

Despite playing under his age-32 campaign, Jackson showed he still has field-stretching abilities in his lone meeting last year. He was spectacular with 8 catches for 154 yards and a couple of scores. He hasn’t played a full 16-game season very often in his career though.

Jeffery is another aging receiver coming off a significant injury. He underwent Lisfranc surgery, which requires a long rehab period. He’s questionable for the start of training camp.

Since two outstanding seasons in 2013 and 2014 with the Bears, Jeffery has missed four games per year on average, while showing signs of slowing down on the field as well. His 11.4 yards-per-catch average last year was a career low.

To be honest, I feel like Jeffery’s time in the league is coming to an end soon. Lisfranc injuries can be tricky for wide receivers, and full recovery is even more difficult for guys above 30 years of age.

Nelson Agholor was a younger WR who could have provided adequate depth, but he signed with the Raiders. The former first-rounder has not lived up to expectations, but he was still a decent pass catcher, albeit his drops were a big issue last year. Maybe a change of scenery will help rejuvenate his career.

Philly drafted Jalen Reagor with the #21 pick overall last April. He’s a smallish deep threat who is at his best on straight routes. He was good with contested catches, but will it still be the case in the NFL given his size? That’s a big question mark.

Reagor opened a lot of eyes by scoring eight touchdowns as a freshman with TCU after being a high recruit out of high school. He followed up with a great 72-1061-9 receiving line as a sophomore.

Reagor’s numbers dropped quite a bit as a junior (43-611-5), but you can attribute that to having a freshman QB at the helm. He’s an electrifying player who can take it to the house every time he touches the ball.

The competition for the number three role is also likely to involve Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. These two guys have had completely different paths before making it to the NFL.

Ward went undrafted before joining the AAF. He eventually was added to the Eagles’ practice squad, and later on promoted to the 53-man roster until a depleted receiving corps forced him onto the field.

Meanwhile, Arcega-Whiteside had more of a “conventional” journey by being drafted in the second-round of the 2019 draft.

Such resumes would suggest Arcega-Whiteside would be the superior wideout, but that’s not what we saw on the field. He only caught 10-of-22 targets for a disappointing 45% catch rate. He was rarely targeted down the stretch, despite the numerous injuries at the position.

On the other hand, Ward filled in admirably late in the season. Over the final four meetings, including the playoff game, he caught 20-of-25 targets (an 80% catch rate). He clearly deserves a shot as a top reserve for the upcoming season.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

The Eagles have a nice duo at the tight end position with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.

Ertz is a true warrior. He hasn’t missed more than two games in each of his first seven season in the league. Last year, he played with two rib fractures one week after lacerating his kidney. Talk about a tough guy.

His numbers are also staggering. His lowest figures in terms of receptions and receiving yards over the past five years are 74 and 816. That’s truly remarkable! Please note that he’ll be turning 30 years old during the season.

Just like Ertz, Goedert is also a former second-rounder. However, he is four years younger. He caught 58 passes for 607 yards and 5 TDs, all career-highs. He was targeted 4 times per game on average before the team’s bye week versus an average of 7.9 for the remainder of the year. Granted, injuries to other targets probably boosted his numbers, but he still developed nice chemistry with Wentz.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The Eagles have a heck of an offensive line.

You cannot blame Jason Kelce for anything over the past five years. He hasn’t missed any start, while consistently being one of the top centers in the league. As a matter of fact, he was rated as the #1 center in the NFL according to PFF grades last year. He’s now 32 years old.

Left tackle Jason Peters has been just as good as Kelce. He was nominated to nine Pro Bowls in his career and he finished as the number 6 tackle in the league with his 83.4 PFF mark. Unfortunately, the team decided to let the 38-year old hit the free agency market. EDIT: he was re-signed three days ago (this article was written several weeks ago). He is projected to play guard instead of tackle.

Peters will be replaced with 2019 first-round pick, Andre Dillard. Is he ready to take on the full-time job? It remains to be seen, but it will be difficult to fill Peters’ shoes.

As for Lane Johnson, the right tackle finished as the 3rd-best tackle in the league based on the PFF grading system. He’s been very good throughout his seven-year career; the former #4 overall pick has not disappointed at all!

Brandon Brooks also had a huge 2019 season! He ended the year as the top guard in the NFL with a jaw-dropping 92.9 PFF mark. Much like Lane Johnson, Brooks is another player above 30 years old who’s been reliable his entire career.

Left guard Isaac Seumalo started all 16 games for the first time of his career. He’s the one that received the lowest grades on this OL, but finishing 17th out of 81 guards is nothing to be ashamed of! The former third-round pick from the 2016 draft is not as talented as his colleagues, but you could do worse than having him as one of your starters.

The team lost good depth with the departure of Halapoulivaati Vaitai to Detroit. The 2019 season was clearly his best year; it would have been nice to retain him but he signed a huge contract with the Lions.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

When comparing the upcoming 2020 season with last year, there are some positives and some negatives.

Let’s discuss the negative stuff first. I do expect a downgrade on the offensive line. They played at an extremely high level last year with four guys finishing among the 6 players at their respective position (based on PFF rankings). That’s unlikely to happen again, especially with three linemen aged 30 years or above.

Also, second-year man Andre Dillard has good potential, but it will be difficult to match Jason Peters’ 2019 performance. I do expect a drop-off here.

At quarterback and tight end, the situation remains stable.

At the running back position, losing Jordan Howard to free agency won’t hurt too much with the emergence of electrifying Boston Scott. Also, Miles Sanders is expected to take a leap in his sophomore season.

Finally, how could you not expect better production from the WR group? They were hit by the injury bug a lot last year. Agholor’s departure is a moderate blow; getting DeSean Jackson back is a bonus! Hopefully, speedy rookie Jalen Reagor can provide a spark to an offense that sorely missed game breakers last year.

The Eagles offense scored the 12th-highest number of points last year. My final conclusion, based on the arguments above, is that I expect similar production in 2020.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

Fletcher Cox is an animal. Plain and simple.

Despite posting his second-lowest sack output of his illustrious eight-year career, he still graded as the 4th-best interior defenders in the NFL based on PFF rankings. On average, he has recorded 6 sacks per year (he only got 3.5 last year)

He has also been very durable; he’s missed just three games out 128. He still has good years to come at age 29.

Tim Jernigan was a decent starter next to Cox, but he clearly wasn’t needed on the team anymore after the Eagles signed stud DT Javon Hargrave. The former Steeler showed steady improvement in each of his first four years in the NFL. His 83.4 PFF mark last year put him in the 8th spot out of 114 DLs.

With Hargrave entering his prime years and Fletcher Cox being a perennial beast, good luck running the ball inside the tackles against the Eagles in 2020.

After playing three years in Indy, Hassan Ridgeway had a below-average season in his first year with the Eagles. He’s more of a rotational player, whom you hope won’t be needed as a starter.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Brandon Graham is 32 years old, but he refuses to slow down. He led the team with 8.5 sacks last year, and he has averaged six sacks over an eight-year period!

The guy also finds a way to stay on the field. Can you believe he has missed a single game in eight years! He’s been consistently good and remains a force, both against the run and rushing the passer.

Derek Barnett is a former first-rounder coming off a career-high in sacks with 6.5. However, his 2019 PFF grade was the lowest of his three-year stint in the NFL and he finished as the number 83 edge defender out of 107 qualifiers. He’s an “okay” player.

Vinny Curry played 38% of the snaps last year, but it does not appear like he will be back with the team. At the time of writing, he was still a free agent. He did pick up five sacks last year, but teams seem reluctant to sign him because he’ll be playing his age-32 campaign. He actually played pretty well when called upon.

With Curry gone, the team must hope Josh Sweat will elevate his game. The 2018 fourth-round selection posted his first four sacks of his career last year, but his 62.5 overall PFF mark ranked him as the 76th-best edge defender out of 107 guys.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

After playing four years in Buffalo and four years in Philly, Nigel Bradham was cut by the Eagles, mainly for cap reasons. He provided average play at the LB position; he was good in coverage, but he was a liability defending the run.

The team also lost Kamu Grugier-Hill, who signed with the Dolphins. You could characterize him as a decent player, albeit far from being great.

That leaves the team pretty thin at the position.

Nathan Gerry is the lone 2019 starter that is still with the team. He ranked as the 34th-best linebacker out of 89 players. He does not offer much upside, though. It would be stunning to see him crack the top 25 someday.

Can Duke Riley and/or T.J Edwards crack the starting lineup? Neither seem to be an up-and-coming star. Riley was acquired for peanuts prior to last year and he played 35 snaps. As for Edwards, he was an undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin that did well in limited time last year. He proved to be stout against the run.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Philly’s back end has been revamped for the upcoming 2020 season.

The Eagles signed one of the best slot corners in the league: Nickell Robey-Coleman. He has received consistently good grades from ProFootballFocus over the past four years. At 5’8’’ he is pretty small, but you couldn’t tell from the quality of his game. He’s a nice addition.

Philly also acquired Darius “Big Play” Slay, who played the first seven years of his career with the Lions. He had a down year in 2019, but I’m not worried he can rebound in a new environment. He’s been covering opponent’s top receivers for a while in this league, and he’s done a good job at it. He has 19 career interceptions.

Ronald Darby’s career has been plagued with injuries recently and he was let go during the offseason. His PFF grade took an enormous drop last year, all the way from a respectable 70.6 in 2018 down to an abysmal 44.8 last year. He signed a one-year deal with the Redskins.

Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddox are still on the team, but neither has proven to be an impactful contributor. Both graded as very below-average corners in 2019.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod both played the entire 2019 season. They ranked as the 32nd- and 52nd-best out of a bunch of 87 safeties.

The organization and Jenkins couldn’t agree on a deal, so the Eagles had to let him go after six very successful seasons. He picked off 11 passes during his six-year stint in Philly. He signed with the Saints, with which he spent the first five seasons of his career. Even though he wasn’t getting any younger, his present will be missed.

McLeod’s 2019 PFF grade was the lowest he had obtained over the past five years, but he still did a decent job.

Jalen Mills will be one piece of the puzzle in replacing Jenkins. But let’s face the reality: he has been pretty awful throughout his four-year career, except 2017 where he did better.

Another option will be newly acquired Will Parks, who is coming over from Denver. However, he’s clearly not a long-term solution either. He’s pretty versatile, but he’s a below-average player.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

This unit was upgraded quite a bit during the offseason at two positions, but it also suffered a severe downgrade at a couple others.

First, acquiring Javon Hargrave to team up with Fletcher Cox on the interior of the line was big! At CB, getting Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman will provide much needed help at a position that has caused headaches for years in Philly.

Unfortunately, the defense lost its best safety when Malcolm Jenkins signed with the Saints. Also, even though none of them was a true difference maker, losing linebackers Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill creates a hole.

Since the team acquired some big time players while losing good/average players, I envision a small improvement. In 2019, the Eagles finished in the middle of the pack in terms of points allowed per game (15th out of 32 teams). I envision Philly finishing around the #10-#13 spot this year.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small upgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Eagles are expected to win 9.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 9.5 WINS 42.3% FanDuel -105 -17.4%
UNDER 9.5 WINS 57.7% Pinnacle -103 +13.7%
Tip: Bet UNDER 9.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +13.7%
Rank: 19th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -136

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Eagles’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

I invite you to take a look at my other 31 NFL team previews! Good information if you are involved in fantasy football and/or if you want to be up-to-date on player movement and teams' strengths and weaknesses (for betting purposes)!

Cheers,

Professor MJ
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Will the New York Giants win OVER/UNDER 6.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Giants fans had hopes of making a playoff push after rookie QB Daniel Jones won his first two NFL games to bring back the team to a 2-2 record. However, the team underwent a nine-game losing skid, while seeing many good players go down to injuries.

The team fired head coach Pat Shurmur, and the new leader will be Joe Judge, a member of the Patriots coaching staff for eight years.

There is optimism around this franchise with young budding stars on offense. After six losing seasons over the past seven years, can the Giants finally turn the corner?

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Taking Daniel Jones as the #6 overall pick in the 2019 draft was a bit of a head-scratcher. No one is laughing at the Giants’ pick anymore.

Jones was brilliant during preseason games by going 29-of-34 for 416 passing yards, 2 TDs and no picks. The team still gave Eli Manning the starting nod, but that didn’t last very long. Prior to Week #3, head coach Pat Shurmur announced the Daniel Jones era was about to begin.

His first NFL game was one to remember. He threw 2 TD passes and rushed for a couple more in a wild 32-31 win in Tampa (thanks to a missed 34-yard chip shot field goal by Matt Gay).

Jones went on to throw 24 touchdown passes by completing 284-of-459 passes, a subpar 61.9% completion rate. His main issue was turning the ball over too often: he was picked off on 12 occasions, while fumbling 18 times.

Jones still showed a lot of upside. As a comparison, many considered Kyler Murray’s rookie season as a nice success. Both Murray and Jones threw 12 interceptions, but Jones racked up 4 additional TD passes with three fewer games played.

Eli Manning retired after an illustrious career, so the team signed free agent Colt McCoy, formerly of the Redskins. Every time I’ve seen him play, he’s been pretty bad as a passer. He can do some damage with his legs once in a while, but that’s about it. He has 29 career TD passes versus 27 interceptions over 10 years. Draw your own conclusions.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Saquon Barkley’s numbers were down from his rookie season, even accounting for the fact that he missed three games due to an ankle injury. His yards-per-carry average dropped from 5.0 to 4.6, which was still pretty good. He was also targeted a lot fewer in the passing game.

I’m not worried about him. He is super talented and he will benefit from having a QB that has now more experience in this league. Defenses won’t be able to stack the line because they’ll know that Daniel Jones can be dangerous. Barkley is one of the best in the business at his position.

Newly acquired Dion Lewis is the favorite to win the #2 role. He had his best year by far in 2017 with the Pats by rushing for 896 yards and reaching the end zone on nine occasions. His next-best season? 517 rushing yards the following year in Tennessee, but his 3.3 yards-per-carry average was really bad. He is more of a third-down back who can catch passes out of the backfield.

Last year, Wayne Gallman seemed to be Barkley’s main backup. However, the coaching staff didn’t seem to trust him very much. Gallman even ended up being a healthy scratch for a few games.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Sterling Shepard received the highest marks from PFF among Giants receivers, but one thing causes some concern about the 27-year old pass catcher: concussions. He suffered many of them during the 2019 season.

Hopefully he can be healthy in the upcoming season because he’s been very good. If you project his 10-game 2019 season into a full 16-game year, his stat line would have been 91-922-5. He has been a consistent producer in each of his first four years in the NFL.

Golden Tate missed 5 games last season (4 due to a suspension and 1 because of a concussion). He had missed just two contests in the previous eight seasons!

Much like Shepard, Tate has always been a consistent player. His “worst” season between 2014 and 2018 was 74 receptions for 795 yards and 4 TDs. He will be 32 years old when the season opens, but he seems to have gas left in the tank, as shown by the fact that he was on pace for a 983-yard season last year.

The team leader in receiving yards turned out to be a surprise: fifth-round rookie Darius Slayton. He caught 48 passes for 740 yards, while hauling in 8 TD passes. You can’t expect much more out of a fifth-rounder, especially playing with a rookie QB!

Slayton had three games with a couple of scores. All of them occurred on the road, which shows his great character. With Shepard and Tate with a clean bill of health, I’m not sure he can match his 2019 performance, so I’d be cautious if I were a fantasy owner.

Cody Latimer was thrown into action following the numerous injuries to the Giants receiving corps. He did a decent job, but he is now off to Washington.

Losing Latimer won’t hurt very much. Having a trio composed of Shepard-Tate-Slayton is nice.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

Evan Engram is certainly an upcoming tight end in the NFL. His main problem has been staying on the field. He missed one game in 2017, then five in 2018 and eight more last year. That’s worrisome.

He underwent a surgery that requires a lengthy rehab. He is likely to miss many offseason activities.

Prior to last year’s injury, he was on pace for his best season. If you project his numbers to a full 16-game year, he would have caught 88 passes for 934 yards and 6 TDs. Only Travis Kelce and Darren Waller caught more than 88 passes as tight ends last year.

Rhett Ellison was mainly used as a blocking TE. He missed a few months with a concussion and decided it was time to hang up his cleats.

In order to fill the void left by Ellison, the team signed Levine Toilolo. He only caught two passes with the Niners last year and he doesn’t offer much in the passing game. He is expected to be the primary blocking tight end in this offense.

Kaden Smith was drafted by San Francisco last year, then released and claimed off waivers by the Giants in September. He ended up getting quite a bit of playing time following Engram’s injury. Over the final six games, he averaged 5 receptions for 45 yards. He remains unlikely to be involved very much as long as Engram is healthy since he is limited in terms of talent.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The team needed to upgrade this position in order to make it to the next level. Other than Kevin Zeitler, all other 2019 starters were either average, or below-average.

Zeitler had been one of the best guars in the league throughout his first seven seasons in the NFL. His 8th year, which happened to be his first in a Giants uniform, was no different. He was graded as the number 7 guard in the entire league by the PFF rating system.

The team’s other guard, Will Hernandez, saw his PFF grade drop from 66.7 to 58.4 after being chosen in the second round of the 2018 draft. He finished as the 53rd guard out of 81 players.

At center, the team relied on Jon Halapio. He played pretty poorly and tore his Achilles’ in the season finale. The team has yet to re-sign him as they plan to check on his rehab during the summer. If he doesn’t come back, Spencer Pulley is the favorite to get the job, but he’s no better.

Nate Solder protects Daniel Jones’ blindside. He is now 32 years old and is coming off a year where he received his lowest PFF grade over his 9-year career. That’s a source of concern for sure.

Finally, we are rounding off the offensive line with right tackle Mike Remmers. He was borderline starting material and he did an adequate job last year. However, he left for the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs.

Andrew Thomas was taken with the fourth overall pick last April. He is a lock to get a starting job right away. He played RT as a freshman with Georgia, before moving to LT in the next two years. Will he play RT with the Giants, or will they use him at LT while moving Solder to RT? No matter what, he’s very likely to be an upgrade for this unit.

The intriguing part is whether third-round rookie Matt Peart can crack the starting lineup or not. He played his first two seasons as a LT with UConn before sliding to the RT spot in his final two years. The word on Peart is he has the physical traits required to succeed, but he lacks aggressiveness and strength at the moment. He should compete with Nate Solder in training camp.

The team signed Cameron Fleming, who has been primarily a backup during his six-year career with the Patriots and Cowboys.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

Will the 2020 Giants offense be better than the 2019 version?

The first thing that comes to mind is how much this unit suffered from the injury bug last year. Barkley, Tate, Shepard and Engram all missed time due injuries (or suspension). That alone is more likely to diminish than to increase, so this should help the production.

I see more upside with this offense. Daniel Jones now has one year of experience under the belt. Dion Lewis provides better depth than Wayne Gallman or Buck Allen. The receiving corps is more likely to be healthy.

The lone question mark concerns the offensive line. They weren’t so good last year. They didn’t address the position in free agency, so all hopes are in Andrew Thomas’ hands (and possibly to a much lesser degree, their 3rd round pick Matt Peart).

My final conclusion is a moderate upgrade over 2019. The team had the 18th-most points scored last year, and it might go up to the 10th-14th spot.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate upgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

This is an underrated group. They don’t have big names, but they have been pretty effective. Indeed, all four main guys finished among the top 36 DLs out of 114 qualifiers, based on PFF rankings!

Leonard Williams was traded from the Jets to the Giants last year. He received his lowest PFF mark of his five-year career, but he was still way above-average. He is now looking at a massive contract extension.

Dexter Lawrence was the 17th overall pick in last year’s draft. He was good in all aspects of the game and finished as the 20th-best DL in the NFL. A great start to his career!

Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J Hill are two more young guys who have performed at a high level thus far in their respective NFL careers. Both played roughly 50% of the snaps and they finished as the number 16 and 20 interior defenders based on PFF ratings.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Markus Golden led the team with 10 sacks. That was great, but he is now asking for $10 million per year, which the cash-strapped Giants cannot afford. For this reason, he is unlikely to re-sign with the team, unfortunately.

The team found a cheaper option with Kyler Fackrell, who is coming over from Green Bay. He clearly had a down year with just one sack, one year after posting 10.5! His run defense is also very suspect.

After being selected in third round of the 2018 draft out of Georgia, Lorenzo Carter posted 4 sacks and 41 tackles in his rookie season. He slightly increased those numbers in his sophomore year with 45 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He is an above-average, yet unspectacular, edge defender in this league.

Rookie Oshane Ximines also recorded 4.5 sacks, but his PFF grade was much lower than Carter’s. Indeed, he wasn’t nearly as good against the run, nor in pass coverage.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Alec Ogletree is more name than game. Most fans know him, but he never obtained a PFF mark above 63.3. His skills defending the run are simply not good. His two seasons with the Giants have been disappointing and he won’t be back with the team in 2020.

New York signed last year’s second leading tackler, Blake Martinez. He has spent his first four years with the Packers and racked up at least 144 tackles in each of his past three years.

Don’t be misled too much by the numbers, though. He’s not that great. He does the job, but he’s from being a top-20 linebacker.

After two mediocre seasons and failing to crack San Francisco’s lineup during the 2019 training camp, David Mayo was an unlikely candidate to become a good LB. He had just 51 tackles in four years. Yet, he surprised many with 82 tackles and two sacks, earning surprisingly high marks from PFF. Still, I wouldn’t hold my breath about him matching his 2019 performance.

Deone Bucannon has been a major bust as a former first-round pick in the 2014 draft. He started the year with the Bucs before being released, and then signed by the Giants. He played nine games with the team. He’s unlikely to make a big impact.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Last year’s starters were rookie DeAndre Baker and Janoris Jenkins.

Baker was picked towards the end of the first round in last year’s draft. Coming out of Georgia, he struggled mightily in coverage. PFF graded him as the number 105 CB out of 112 qualifiers. He must clearly up his game in 2020.

Jenkins was much more solid year on the field, but off-the-field incidents led to his release late in the season. He openly complained about not being used to cover top wideouts, but the icing on the cake was an inappropriate Twitter exchange with a fan.

The Giants made somewhat of a splash by acquiring one of the top available corners on the market, James Bradberry. He instantly becomes their starting corner opposite of Baker. He has picked up eight interceptions in his first four seasons in the league.

PFF is not very high on Bradberry, though. He obtained the #68 spot out of 112 CBs last year, and has never received very high marks throughout his career. Don’t expect him to be the savior.

The team’s depth is great at the position: Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley aren’t good enough to start in the NFL.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Antoine Bethea played 99.6% of the defensive snaps last year. The team was not satisfied with his play and released him in the offseason. According to PFF, he wasn’t horrible since he ended the year as the #40 safety out of 87 guys.

The other starter was Jabrill Peppers. The former first-round pick has done an “okay” job thus far in his career. He has one interception in each of his first three seasons.

With a glaring hole at the position, the Giants picked up Xavier McKinney early in the second round in this year’s draft. He was very productive with the Crimson Tide while playing from different spots on defense (from the slot, as a safety, or in the box). He has great instincts, but he could improve as a tackler.

Julian Love picked up the slack when Peppers down to an injury last year. He was a 2019 fourth-rounder out of Notre Dame and he also did respectable work.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Markus Golden is gone; in comes Kyler Fackrell. That’s a net loss for the Giants. I also believe the team was better off with Janoris Jenkins at CB than newly acquired James Bradberry. Also, getting rid of Antoine Bethea may not be a positive for the team when focusing on the 2020 season, although rookie Xavier McKinney could successfully fill his shoes.

Granted, the team upgraded the linebacking corps by replacing Alec Ogletree with Blake Martinez.

As of late February, the team had the lowest cap dollars devoted to the defensive side of the ball. You can’t expect great results under such circumstances.

The team allowed the third-highest number of points last year, so there is not much room for going down further. Still, to me the talent level dropped a little bit overall in comparison to 2019.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the New York Giants are expected to win 6.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

I'll answer this question via two different methods.

4.1 Professor MJ's Prediction

I won't go into the mathematical details, but here is a summary of my own personal pick (based on my analysis above and my estimated spreads for the Giants' 16 games):

Estimated Probability Best Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 WINS 24% +130 (Pinnacle) -44.8%
UNDER 6.5 WINS 76% -118 (Sports Interaction) +40.4%
Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins

4.2 Based on BetOnline's Point Spreads

Here is the methodology I used here:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Best Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 WINS 35.4% +130 (Pinnacle) -18.6%
UNDER 6.5 WINS 64.6% -118 (Sports Interaction) +19.3%
Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins

In summary, both analyses recommend betting the UNDER. I do like this play quite a bit, personally. I believe their offense should be exciting to watch, but their defense is atrocious.

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Giants’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: The 2020 preview for the San Francisco 49ers (the team whose ROI is the 14th-highest in the NFL)!

Professor MJ
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[Game Preview] Week 16 - Philadelphia Eagles(7-7) vs. Dallas Cowboys (7-7)

Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) vs Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
The Eagles welcome the Cowboys to the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field with the division on the line. A win for Eagles keeps their playoffs hopes alive for another week, while a win for the Cowboys would cliche the division. While it looked the Cowboys hit their stride last week against a tough Rams team, the Eagles struggled against the 3-11 Redskins. The Eagles will need to play better this week week especially on the defensive side of the ball where Jim Schwartz’s Cover-1 scheme has struggled in shutting down opponents passing attacks. If the Eagles can’t put together a complete game from the offense and defense, they could see themselves playing a meaningless game next week and some of the coaching staff could be looking for the jobs in the offseason. Go Birds!
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
Remember to Join us on Discord during the game!
New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Date
Sunday, December 22nd, 2019
Game Time Game Location
4:25 PM - Eastern Lincoln Financial Field
3:25 PM - Central 1020 Pattison Ave
2:25 PM - Mountain Philadelphia, PA 19148
1:25 PM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 42°F
Feels Like: 39°F
Forecast: Partly Cloudy. Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Cloud Coverage: 32%
Wind: Southwest 4 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Dalaas -1.5
OveUnder: 49
Record VS. Spread: Eagles 5-9, Cowboys 8-6
Where to Watch on TV
FOX will broadcast Sunday’s game to a national audience. Joe Buck will handle the play-by-play duties and Troy Aikman will provide analysis. Erin Andrews will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 16 TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Radio Streams
Disclaimer: Subscription Based Official NFL Radio Streams available via TuneIn
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (42nd season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Dallas Radio
Dallas Cowboys Radio Network Brad Sham returns for his 41st season in the Dallas Cowboys radio booth. Beloved by Cowboys fans, Sham's award winning play-by-play has provided the soundtrack to many of the most memorable moments in Dallas Cowboys history. Babe Laufenberg returns as the Network's full-time color analyst. A fixture on the sideline, veteran reporter Kristi Scales provides instant updates from the field.
National Radio
SportsUSA will broadcast the game to a national audience with Josh Appel on play-by-play and Brandon Noble providing analysis.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Cowboys Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 83 (Internet 825) SIRI 121 (Internet 808)
XM Radio XM 226 (Internet 825) XM 226 (Internet 808)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 226 (Internet 825) SXM 381 (Internet 808)
Eagles Social Media Cowboys Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: cowboys
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Eagles 7-7 .500 4-3 3-4 4-0 6-4 378 288 +90 1W
Cowboys 7-7 .500 4-3 3-4 3-1 5-5 334 328 +6 2W
Giants 3-11 .214 2-5 1-6 1-3 2-8 283 382 -99 W1
Redskins 3-11 .214 1-5 2-5 0-4 2-8 215 347 -132 2L
Series Information
The Dallas Cowboys lead the Philadelphia Eagles (69-52)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
September 30th, 1960 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. Dallas Cowboys 25 - Philadelphia Eagles 27
Points Leader
The Dallas Cowboys lead the Philadelphia Eagles (2641-2384)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 2-5 against the Cowboys
Jason Garrett: 11-8 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Jason Garrett: Garrett leads 5-2
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Cowboys: 2-4
Dak Prescott: Against Eagles: 5-2
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Dak Prescott: Prescott leads 4-2
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Cowboys lead the Eagles: 10-6
Record @ AT&T Stadium: Series tied: 6-6
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 12 - Cowboys No. 15
2019 Record
Eagles: 7-7
Cowboys 7-7
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
10/20/2019 Cowboys Eagles 37-10
12/9/2018 Cowboys Eagles 29-23
11/11/2018 Cowboys Eagles 27-20
12/31/2017 Cowboys Eagles 6-0
11/19/2017 Eagles Cowboys 37-9
1/1/2017 Eagles Cowboys 27-13
10/30/2016 Cowboys Eagles 29-23
11/8/2015 Eagles Cowboys 33-27
9/20/2015 Cowboys Eagles 20-10
12/14/2014 Cowboys Eagles 38-27
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Cowboys Cowboys
2019 “Expert” Picks
Week 16 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Cowboys Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 334 527 63.4% 3421 25 7 92.3
Prescott 340 519 65.5% 4334 26 11 99.3
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Sanders 150 687 49.1 4.6 2
Elliott 270 1188 84.9 4.4 11
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Ertz 84 888 63.4 10.1 6
Cooper 71 1073 76.6 15.1 8
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 7.5 37
Quinn 9.5 36
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
McLeod 71 42 29 1.0
Smith 125 78 47 2.5
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Gerry/McLeod/Darby 2 10
Woods/Lewis 2 6
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 22 1039 60 47.2 44.3 12 0 0
Jones 60 1780 61 47.1 42.9 24 4 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 21 19 90.5% 53 29/31
Forbath 3 3 100% 50 5/5
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Sanders 14 314 22.4 67 0
Pollard 10 147 14.7 28 0
Punt Returns :-|:-:|:-:|:-:|:-:|:-:|:-: Name|RET|YDS|AVG|LONG|TD|FC Scott|6|44|7.2|13|0|4 Austin|14|79|5.6|15|0|9
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Cowboys Stat Cowboys Rank
Total Offense 352.9 15th(t) 434.0 1st
Rush Offense 121.4 11th 134.0 6th
Pass Offense 231.5 16th 300.0 2nd
Points Per Game 23.9 12th 27.0 5th(t)
3rd-Down Offense 47.0% 2nd 48.6% 1st
4th-Down Offense 33.3% 28th(t) 38.5% 23rd(t)
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 66.0% 5th 59.2% 13th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Cowboys Stat Cowboys Rank
Total Defense 329.2 11th 323.6 7th
Rush Defense 90.4 3rd 103.6 12th
Pass Defense 238.8 18th 220.0 8th
Points Per Game 23.4 16th 20.6 12th
3rd-Down Defense 35.4% 9th(t) 34.3% 4th
4th-Down Defense 66.7% 30th(t) 55.6% 22nd(t)
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 61.5% 24th 52.0% 9th(t)
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Cowboys Stat Cowboys Rank
Turnover Diff. -6 12th(t) -1 16th
Penalty Per Game 6.4 8th(t) 6.9 17th(t)
Penalty Yards Per Game 53.6 8th 64.8 25th(t)
Connections
Eagles RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a native of Haltom, TX and went to Haltom High School. Vaitai played collegiately at TCU in Fort Worth, TX
Eagles S Jalen Mills was born in Dallas and grew up in DeSoto, TX and went to Desoto High School.
Cowboys Safeties Coach Greg Jackson played for the Eagles during the 1994-95 season.
Cowboys DT Justin Hamilton played one season for the Eagles in 2017.
Cowboys PS QB Clayton Thorston was drafted in the 5th round of the 2019 NFL draft, but was released during final cuts.
Cowboys Director of Pro Scouting Judd Garrett was selected in the 12th round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles but was released before the season began.
Cowboys Assistant Director of Video Stephen Gagliardino began his NFL career in 1995 as a ball boy with the Philadelphia Eagles when he was 16 years old, working training camp and game days at Veterans Stadium. He did that for four seasons before moving over to the Eagles video department in 1999, where he worked full time as an intern for three seasons (1999-2001).
Many Cowboys fans were born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia Area, however have no ties to Dallas nor have ever been to the city.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was born in Abington, PA, located roughly 15 miles north of Philadelphia
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott played together at Mississippi State University when Prescott was a red shirt freshman.
Eagles OT Lane Johnson is from Groveton, TX and has family who are Cowboys fans including his grandmother who was told “Shut up, if you want to see 75” while she was rooting for the Cowboys.
2020 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Cowboys
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) OT Tyron Smith (starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) RB Ezekiel Elliott
TE Zach Ertz G Zack Martin (starter)
C Jason Kelce (Starter) C Travis Fredrick
LS Rick Lavato (Starter)
General
Referee: Tony Corrente
Since 2000, Philadelphia has produced a 21-18 regular-season record vs. Dallas, which marks the highest winning percentage (.538) by an NFC East team against the Cowboys in that span.
Since 2016 (under Doug Pederson), the Eagles are 8-3 (.727) at home against NFC East opponents.
Including playoffs, Philadelphia has the 4th-best home winning percentage (.727, 24-9) in the NFL since 2016, trailing only New England (.857, 30-5) and Minnesota (.774, 24-7).
The Eagles have won 7 of their last 10 contests (.700) at Lincoln Financial Field.
Miles Sanders holds the Eagles rookie records in single-season scrimmage yards (1,120), previously held by DeSean Jackson (1,008 in 2008) and single-season rushing yards (687), previously held by LeSean McCoy (637 in 2009).
Carson Wentz has thrown a TD in 17 consecutive regular-season games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.
hiladelphia owns the 2nd-best third-down percentage, converting at a 47.0% clip, trailing only Dallas (48.6%).
The Eagles are allowing 90.4 rush yards per game, ranking 3rd in the NFL, behind Tampa Bay (73.3) and NYJ (88.8).
Philadelphia is tied with Houston for the 5th-best red zone percentage in the NFL (65.96%), trailing only Tennessee (73.17%), Green Bay (68.89%), Baltimore (68.42%) and Minnesota (66.00%). The Eagles have converted either a TD or FG on 95.74% (45/47) of their red zone drives this season, which is the highest percentage in the NFL.
The Eagles defense has forced a 3-and-out on 27.4% (45/164) of opponent possessions this season, which is tied with Chicago for the highest percentage in the league.
Among NFL TEs this season, Zach Ertz ranks 2nd in receptions (84), behind Travis Kelce (86) and 3rd in receiving yards (888), behind Kelce (1,131) and Darren Waller (1,001).
Brandon Graham has a team-leading 7.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss this season.
Since Week 13, Carson Wentz leads the NFL in both red zone passing TDs (8) and third-down passing TDs (5).
Draft Picks
Eagles Cowboys
OT Andre Dillard DT Trysten Hill
RB Miles Sanders OG Connor McGovern
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside RB Tony Pollard
WR Shareff Miller CB Michael Jackson
QB Clayton Thorson DE Joe Jackson
S Donovan Wilson
RB Mike Weber
DE Jalen Jelks
Notable Offseason Additions
Eagles Cowboys
WR Desean Jackson WR Randall Cobb
DT Malik Jackson DE Kerry Hyder
DE Vinny Curry TE Jason Witten
S Andrew Sendejo DT Christian Covington
LB Zach Brown DE Robert Quinn
DT Hassan Ridgeway
QB Josh McCown
RB Jay Ajayi
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Cowboys
QB “Big Dick” Nick Foles WR Cole Beasley
DE Michael Bennett WR Cole Beasley
DE Chris Long RB Rod Smith
S Chris Maragos WR Terrance Williams
RB Jay Ajayi DT David Irving
RB Josh Adams TE Geoff Swaim
RB Wendell Smallwood DE Taco Charlton
WR Jordan Matthews OLB Damien Wilson
DT Haloti Ngata
Milestones
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (30) needs 1 TD to move up to 11th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jack Ferrante and Brent Celek and he needs two TDs to move up to 10th all-time tying WR Ben Hawkins.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (5193) needs 171 yards to most up to 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list passing Eagles TE/HB Bobby Watson.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying Jeremy Maclin.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6271) needs 194 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yard list to moving ahead of Mike Quick.
Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins's (4) needs 1 more Interception for a TD to tie CB Eric Allen (5) for most Interceptions for a TD by an Eagles player.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (78) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie with Dallas QB Craig Morton for 6th on the Cowboys all-time passing TD list.
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (join.profootballfocus.com/edge/)
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
Stats to Know
Randall Cobb
Of all qualifying WRs, there is only one other receiver--including RBs and TEs--more exclusively utilized in the Slot than Dallas WR Randall Cobb (91.5% of snaps). There is also only one more purely Slot receiver with a lower target percentage than Cobb (16.0%). When looking at overall target share across Cowboys players, Cobb sits at about 14% target share, as compared to Cooper (21%), Gallup (19%), Witten (15%), Elliott (12%), and Jarwin (8%). Cobb is 2nd among Cowboys in Yards After Catch per Reception (6.0) to Zeke (8.1). He is also tied for 43rd among all qualifying WRs in PFF Receiving Grade (71.1).
Matchups to Watch
Cowboys Pass Defense vs Eagles Passing Attack
The Eagles patchwork passing offense is the key matchup for Philly in this contest. No one should expect the Eagles revolving door of suck in the secondary to hold up well against one of the most talented and efficient passing attacks in the NFL. Cooper, Cobb, and Gallup will be too much for Philadelphia to handle – and that doesn’t include Jarwin and Zeke. The most logical path for the Eagles to win this game is to keep pace and outscore Dallas in a shootout. Dallas will enter Sunday’s contest with the 22nd ranked defense by DVOA – 23rd passing, 18th against the run – which presents an opportunity for the beleaguered Eagles passing attack. Fumbles aside, Carson Wentz had a pretty good game against the Redskins and a good second half against the Giants to end the 3 game skid they were on previously. The Cowboys defense is better than their previous two opponents but not by much. This is a secondary that can be exploited, especially at safety. Additionally, the Cowboys will likely be without LVE again. Sean Lee is a capable back up now and shouldn’t be ignored, but that is a hit the Cowboys have had to deal with on the season. This receiving group is bottom of the barrel and isn’t improving any time soon. JJAW is still a limited receiver they need to lean on; maybe the Eagles should have given him reps early in the season so he could be more ready now? Greg Ward has been a decent contributor to the offense all things considered. Then what? Alshon is out. Agholor will probably be out, fortunately. Desean has been out. The receivers the Eagles have at their disposal is bleak. This is a passing attack that flows through the TEs and RBs. While they have had some success the last two games, they’ll need to be creative in their approach to avoid being predictable as it is not a sustainable path to victory. Teams have shown a willingness to do all they can to eliminate Philly’s best receiver, Ertz, and Dallas is no different. The Eagles need to leave everything out on the field from a coaching and execution standpoint to take back the East.
Cowboys Passing Offense vs. Eagles “Secondary”
Despite perception, the Eagles still have a very good pass rush despite challenges in that area this year. They just don’t have a secondary that can a) cover and b) cover enough to force QBs to hold onto the ball long enough for the pass rush to get home. What has been the theme against the Eagles secondary in their last 3 games? The answer would be a quick time to throw from the opposing QBs. The Eagles cannot play man coverage as they don’t have the personnel to do it. They struggle with single high coverage as they don’t really have good enough safeties to cover. The answer is, and always was, through against this substandard secondary quickly to defeat the rush… plays will be made. This doesn’t change on Sunday with the strong receiving group the Cowboys enter Sunday with, Dak shoulder injury be damned. Amari Cooper has done nothing but roast Philadelphia since he became a Cowboy. Cobb is a quality slot receiver and Gallup is a young receiver that is rapidly improving on a weekly basis. All 3 of these receivers get open against man and zone coverage. All 3 of these receivers are able to consistently make plays on the ball that Philly absolutely cannot. In addition to the 3 receivers, the Cowboys still have Zeke out of the backfield to go along with the plodding, but reliable Jason Witten. Blake Jarwin is growing into a good tight end that is a capable blocker and receiver. Simply put, the Cowboys have a pretty loaded offensive core for Dak to throw to. This is a matchup that leans strongly the Cowboys way. Any stops or turnovers generated by the secondary will go a long way to determining the winner of this contest. Lastly, in terms of Dak’s injury, his effectiveness will be key to Dallas’s success on Sunday. It’s just hard to project what they’ll look like at this point in time.
Cowboys Offensive Line vs Eagles Defensive Front
The Cowboys handily won in the trenches in this area in their first matchup this year. The Eagles defensive front is playing better at this point of the season than they were earlier in year which should help, but the pass rush isn’t as prolific as it once was. The first matchup had the Eagles missing Nigel Bradham and a few days removed from cutting Zach Brown; Dallas took every opportunity to pound the Eagles substandard linebacking room into the dirt. This is a strength v. strength matchup that each side will have wins, but the winner will likely help win the war. The good news is Nigel Bradham will be available Sunday. The bad news: KGH is done for the year and Derek Barnett is unlikely to play. Losing Barnett hurts the defensive line but they are deeper there than they are at LB. Nate Gerry is certainly a player, just not a good one. TJ Edwards is everyone’s favorite good player that’s actually bad. Bradham alone makes a big difference, but guys around him need to step up in a big way. The defensive line needs to control the line of scrimmage and keep Dallas out of favorable looks. This is a team that has proven they’ll turtle up in less than advantageous situations; they cannot make it easy for them. Last time, Zeke had his way on the Eagles. That can’t happen this week. There are already more favorable matchups for Dallas to exploit on the backend for the defensive line to get run over or fail to pressure Dak.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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[Game Preview] Week 4 Philadelphia Eagles(1-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-0)

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-0)
The Eagles will look to rebound on Thursday Night Football after back to back losses and a rash of injuries. After a disappointing loss to the Falcons in week 2, the Eagles followed up with another close loss in week 3 to the Detroit Lions. The Eagles backup WRs couldn’t get it together and overcome Alshon Jeffrey and Desean Jackson being out with injuries as they dropped the ball numerous times unlike my man catching babies and saving lives.. Week 4 isn’t going to get any easier, as the Eagles travel up to Green Bay to take on the Packers on short rest. The Packers have looked impressive in their first 3 starts dispatching their division rival Bears and Vikings followed by a nice win against the Broncos last week. Stopping Aaron Rodgers will be no easy task, especially with a secondary that is shorthanded with Ronald Darby slated to miss the game. The secondary was already giving up the 29th most passing yards in the league, as the highly touted DL has struggled to get to the quarterback this season. However, in a change from past seasons, the Packers have actually been winning games more often this year with their defense, which is creating turnovers and getting to the QB. Those are two things they did quite a bit last week vs the Broncos sacking Flacco 6 times and forcing 2 turnovers. The Eagles offense will need to protect the ball better this week after they put it on the turf twice last week versus the Lions. They will also need to do a better job protecting Carson Wentz as he was under duress the last two weeks. They should get some reinforcements back this week as both Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert was listed as full participants, however the team will still be without speedy WR Desean Jackson who is out with an abdomen injury. Hopefully the Eagles will be able to escape this game without any further injuries as they have lost players at key positions in each of the first 3 games. Here is to an injury free and hopefully better officiated game than last week. Go Birds.!
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
Remember to Join us on Discord during the game!
New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Date
Thursday, September 26th, 2019
Game Time Game Location
8:20 PM - Eastern Lambeau Field
7:20 PM - Central 1265 Lombardi Ave
6:20 PM - Mountain Green Bay, WI 54304
5:20 PM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 59°F
Feels Like: 59°F
Forecast: Partly Cloudy. Partly cloudy throughout the day.
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Cloud Coverage: 42%
Wind: Southwest 8 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Green Bay by -5
OveUnder: 45
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-3, Packers 3-0
Where to Watch on TV
FOX/NFL Network will broadcast Thursday’s game to a national audience. Joe Buck will handle the play-by-play duties and Troy Aikman to provide analysis. Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 4TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime - Andrea Kremer will handle play-by-play duties and Hannah Storm will provide analysis.
Radio Streams
Disclaimer: Subscription Based Official NFL Radio Streams available via TuneIn
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (42nd season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Bill Kulik and Luis Torres will handle the broadcast in Spanish on WTTM 1680 AM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LWTTM 1680 AM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Packers Radio Network
Packers Radio Network Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren enter their 21st season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network in 2019. They surpassed Jim Irwin and Max McGee for the most regular-season and postseason games broadcast for the Packers with 313 at the 2018 season opener against Chicago. WTMJ, which has been broadcasting the team’s games since November 1929, continues its long-standing role as the flagship station of the Packers Radio Network.
National Radio
Westwood One will carry the game nationally with Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Tony Boselli(analyst).
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Packers Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 81(Streaming 825) SIRI 83(Streaming 811)
XM Radio XM 225 (Streaming 825) (XM 226 (Streaming 811)
Sirus XM Radio SXM 225 (Streaming 825) SXM 226(Streaming 811)
Eagles Social Media Packers Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: packers
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Cowboys 3-0 1.000 2-0 1-0 2-0 2-0 97 44 +53 3W
Eagles 1-2 .333 1-1 0-1 1-0 1-2 76 78 -2 2L
Giants 1-2 ..333 0-1 1-1 0-1 1-1 63 94 -31 1W
Redskins 0-3 .000 0-1 0-2 0-2 0-3 63 94 -31 3L
Series Information
The Green Bay Packers lead Philadelphia Eagles in the series: 28-16 (14-27 regular season, 2-1 postseason).
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
October 29th, 1933 at City Stadium, Green Bay, WI. Philadelphia Eagles 9 – Green Bay Packers 35
Points Leader
The Green Bay Packers lead the Philadelphia Eagles (919-740)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 0-1 against the Packers
Matt LaFleur: This will be LaFeur’s first game against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Matt LeFleur: This will be the first meeting between the coaches
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Packers: 0-1
Aaron Rodgers: Against Eagles: 4-1
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers leads 1-0
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead Packers 4-3
Record @ Lambeau Field: Packers lead 11-5
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 16 - Packers No. 5
2019 Record
Eagles: 1-2
Packers 3-0
Last Meeting
Monday, November 28th, 2016
Eagles 13 - Packers 27
Rodgers came out firing and led the Packers on consecutive touchdown drives to start the game. Rodgers extended the opening drive by running twice for 25 yards and tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Adams for a 7-0 lead. After the Eagles answered on Wentz's 1-yard TD run , Rodgers led another 75-yard scoring drive. He threw a perfect 20-yard TD pass to Adams to give the Packers a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Nolan Carroll had excellent coverage on the play, but Rodgers put the ball in a tight spot and hit Adams in stride in the back of the end zone. A Green Bay run in the 4th extended the Packer lead to 24-13 and the Packers added a late Mason Crosby FG for a 27-13 win.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here for box score
Last Meeting at Site
Sunday, November 16th, 2014
Eagles 20 - Packers 53
The matchup of NFC contenders quickly turned lopsided after Green Bay took a 30-6 halftime lead. Rodgers threw for two touchdowns in the first half, while Micah Hyde scored on a 75-yard punt return. The Packers easily took care of the Chip Kelly led Eagles and completely shutdown the fast paced gimmick offense. The game was pretty much decided in the 3rd when Julius Peppers returned a Mark Sanchez pass 52 yards to give the Packers a 39-6 lead. Rodgers passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns, Lacy accounted for two scores, and the Packers defense stuffed the high-octane Philadelphia Eagles for a 53-20 win Sunday. It was the second time the Eagles allowed 50+ points under Chip Kelly, who is the only coach in team history to allow 50+ at least 2 times.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here for box score
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
11/28/16 Packers Eagles 27-13
11/16/14 Packers Eagles 53-20
11/10/13 Eagles Packers 27-13
01/09/11 Packers Eagles 21-16
09/12/10 Packers Eagles 27-20
09/09/07 Packers Eagles 16-13
10/02/06 Eagles Packers 31-9
11/27/05 Eagles Packers 19-14
12/05/04 Eagles Packers 47-17
01/11/04 Eagles Packers 20-17
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Packers Packers
2019 “Expert” Picks
Week 4 - "Expert" Picks
2019 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Packers Season Stats
2019 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 72 118 61.0% 803 6 2 91.2
Rodgers 57 93 61.3% 647 4 0 96.5
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Sanders 34 106 35.3 3.1 0
Jones 46 174 58.0 3.8 3
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Ertz 17 190 63.3 11.2 0
Adams 15 198 66.0 13.2 0
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Jernigan/Sendejo 1.0 2
Smith 4.5 12
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Bradham 15 11 4 0
Martinez 32 23 9 1.0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Darby/Gerry/Jones 1 3
King/Savage/Smith/Amos 1 4
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 7 363 54 50.7 46.0 5 0 0
Scott 21 1021 66 48.6 43.7 9 3 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 4 4 100.0% 41 6/6
Crosby 4 3 75% 42 7/7
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Sanders 5 106 21.2 29 0
Spencer 1 60 60 60 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Sproles 6 56 9.3 17 0 2
Davis 3 1 .333 1 0 8
League Rankings 2019
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Packers Stat Packers Rank
Total Offense 365.0 13th 286.7 28th
Rush Offense 99.7 17th 89.3 24th
Pass Offense 265.3 12th 197.3 27th
Points Per Game 26.0 9th(t) 19.3 23rd(t)
3rd-Down Offense 56.3% 2nd 25% 29th
4th-Down Offense 42.9% 14th(t) 0% 22nd(t)
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 58.3.0% 14th(t) 85.7% 2nd(t)
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Packers Stat Packers Rank
Total Defense 3350.7 16th(t) 328.313th
Rush Defense 57.0 2nd 131.0 25th
Pass Defense 293.7 29th 197.3 5th
Points Per Game 26.0 23rd(t) 11.7 2nd
3rd-Down Defense 37.8% 13th 34.9% 10th
4th-Down Defense 100% 25tht) 25.0% 10th(t)
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 50% 9th(t) 33.3%% 4th
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Packers Stat Packers Rank
Turnover Diff. -2 23rd(t) +6 1st
Penalty Per Game 5.7 3rd(t) 7.7 18th(t)
Penalty Yards Per Game 48.3 4th(t) 53.0 8th(t)
Connections
Eagles HC Doug Pederson played 8 seasons with the Packers a backup to HoF QB Brett Farve in two stints from 1995-1998 and 2001-2004.
Eagles LB coach Ken Fajole was the Defensive quality control coach for the Packers in 1998.
Eagles safeties coach Tim Hauck played 4 seasons with the Packers from 1991-1994.
Eagles assistant TE coach Mike Bartrum played 1 season for the Packers in 1995.
Eagles LS Rick Lovato (not husband to Demi) played one season for the Green Bay Packers in 2015.
Packers CB Chandon Sullivan played one season for the Eagles in 2018.
Packers DC Mike Pettine is from Doylestown, PA and was an all-state QB at CB West High School. He also coached North Penn and William Tennent High Schools. He is the son of legendary PA High School Football Coach Mike Pettine Sr. who coached CB West Football for 33 seasons with a record 326-42-4 and won 4 state titles.
Josh McCown lists the Green Bay Packers as one of the few teams he has not played for in his career.
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles
Video The Eagles offense finally got some points on their first possession with a field goal by Jake Elliott, only to have the following kickoff returned for a touchdown. The Eagles offense struggled to get anything going all day without both their starting WRs. The team was plagued by fumbles and dropped passes throughout, and some questionable refereeing did not do that any favors. One missed call was particularly bad was it was only the most egregious facemasks in the history of the game as Miles Killebrew ripped off Eagles RBs Miles Sanders helmet on a kick return. The blantant miss was the same ref Todd Prukup who missed the PI in the Rams Saints NFCCG game last season. The Eagles still had a shot for the W after Malcom Jenkins blocked a Matt Prater FG with 1:53 to go in the game, but the Eagles offense came up short in the 27-24 loss as a drop by rookie JJ.J. Arcega-Whiteside dropped a first down catch with 41 seconds left as the Eagles fell 27-24.
Packers
Video The Packers looked strong in a win against the struggling Broncos. Aaron Rodgers found Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a 40-yard strike on the opening drive and finished 17 of 29. Rodgers threw for 253 yards and a touchdown while Aaron Jones made it look easy on the ground getting into the endzone twice. On the other side of the balls Joe Flacco was not so lucky as the Packers got to the QB 6 times including 3 by Preston Smith who matched a career high. The Packers new looked defense forced 3 turnovers to take the team to +6 in that category which is good for first in the league.
2019 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Packers
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter)WR Devante Adams
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) QB Aaron Rodgers
TE Zach Ertz (Starter)
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
General
Referee: Clay Martin
Philadelphia has posted a 5-5 (.500) record in its last 10 regular-season games vs. Green Bay. The last time the Eagles defeated the Packers was on 11/10/13 in a 27-13 victory at Lambeau Field.
The Eagles are the only team to defeat Vince Lombardi's Packers in the playoffs when they defeated the Packers 17-13 in the 1960 NFL Championship game.
In the divisional round of the 2003-04 playoffs, the 4th-seeded Packers led the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles 17-14 with only 1:12 left to go. After an incompletion, a 5 yard penalty, a sack and another incompletion, the Eagles seemed to be finished, facing an impossible down and distance. But, on the now-famous "4th and 26" play, a slant route to wide receiver Freddie Mitchell got them just enough yardage for the first down, and they were able to tie the game and take it into overtime. The went on to win the game 20-17 after another field goal from kicker David Akers.
Draft Picks
Eagles Packers
OT Andre Dillard LB Rashan Gary
RB Miles Sanders S Darnell Savage Jr.
WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside C Elgton Jenkins
WR Shareff Miller TE Jace Sternberger
QB Clayton Thorson(I suck and am a Cowboy Now) DE Kingley Keke
CB Ka’dar Hollman
RB Dexter Williams
LB Ty Summers
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Packers
WR Desean Jackson S Adrian Amos
DT Malik Jackson LB Preston Smith
DE Vinny Curry LB Za’Darius Smith
S Andrew Sendejo G Billy Turner
LB Zach Brown CB Chandon Sullivan
DT Hassan Ridgeway CB Tremon Smith
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Packers
QB “Big Dick” Nick Foles DE Mike Daniels
DE Michael Bennett LB Nick Perry
DE Chris Long WR Randall Cobb
S Chris Maragos OLB Clay Matthews
RB Jay Ajayi TE Lance Kendricks
RB Josh Adams SS Kentrell Brice
RB Wendell Smallwood CB Brashuad Breeland
WR Jordan Matthews ILB Jake Ryan
DT Haloti Ngata
Milestones
Eagles QB Carson Wentz (76) needs 1 passing TD to move out of a tie at 6th on the Eagles all-time passing TDs list moving ahead of Sonny Jurgenson.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz (29) needs 2 TDs to move up to 11th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list all-time tying WR Jack Ferrante and Brent Celek
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying Jeremy Maclin.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6271) needs 194 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yard list to moving ahead of Mike Quick.
Eagles RB Darren Sproles needs 35 yards to move up to 5th on the NFL’s all-time all-purpose yards list passing WR Tim Brown.
Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins's (4) needs 1 more Interception for a TD to tie CB Eric Allen (5) for most Interceptions for a TD by an Eagles player.
Packers WR Devante Adams needs 1 TD to move up to 12th on the Packers all-time receiving TD list tying Boyd Dowler and two TDs to move up to 11th tying Randall Cobb.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers needs 54 rushing yards for 3000 career rushing yards.
Stats to Know
2019 Packers’ Running by Direction
So far in 2019, the Packers have been averaging the greatest Yards Per Attempt when rushing in the gap between the Center and Right Guard (4.3 YPA) and outside the Right Tackle (5.0 YPA). However, the Packers will be facing Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham in those gaps, which is theoretically a win for the Eagles. When rushing anywhere to the left side, the Packers have been averaging fewer than 3.0 YPA, aside for the gap between the Center and Left Guard (3.6 YPA). Given the situation at RDT--Malik Jackson and Tim Jernigan injured-- and RDE--Barnett’s ankle not 100%--we could possibly see the Packers switch things up this game, despite the Eagles only giving up 57.0 yards per game and 2.9 yards per attempt.
Matchups to Watch
Eagles vs Themselves
It’s probably a little unfair to the Packers and their fans to list this first given their 3-0 start but it is relevant to this contest and the way the season started for the Eagles. There are a lot of reasons the Eagles could win or lose on Thursday, but they likely won’t have a chance to right the ship if they can’t get out of their own way. Even on a day with a depleted WR core, the coaches got this offense off to a good start with receivers open constantly only for them to drop or fumble the ball. The Eagles scored 10 first quarter points… only to trail by 10 at the half. The coaching staff did a lot of good Sunday to win the game on Sunday in spite of the player’s best efforts to lose it. It’s only week 4; there is still plenty of time for the Eagles to get going and make the playoffs. However, this early deficit they put themselves in could become problematic later in the season, especially if they drop their 3 conference game in as many weeks. It’s tough to call a week 4 game must win but this may be as close as it gets. The Eagles need to play and coach a cleaner brand of ball to help win the game. Consistency would be a welcome change but at this point we are asking too much. Don’t make an already difficult task more challenging.
Packers Pass Rush vs Eagles Offensive Line
The Packers have revamped their defense considerably over the last two offseasons and is one of the better units in the league as result. Not only did they add a lot of exciting players, they are well-coached. Mike Pettine is a very creative defensive coordinator that has done a great job on the young season. We saw the Packers become an aggressive team on the open market for the first time ever; rumor has it they realized they had Aaron Rodgers at QB and a championship window that was still open. The offseason splurge saw them lose the near-washed Clay Matthews and add Preston Smith (Redskins) and Za’Darius Smith (Ravens). Some people were critical of the signings given the lack of top-end track record with both guys. While I do think the overall point that free agency can help inflate salaries, The Smiths have been dynamic for Green Bay in their defensive turnaround. Preston Smith was a player I’ve always liked given his elite athleticism (84th Percentile) and length. Washington used him predominantly on the right side and he had modest production. Maybe the switch to Green Bay has quickly provided better coaching given his hot start, but he’s also used on both sides of the formation much more so that he was in years past. Za’Darius Smith is moved around even more than Preston to try and exploit matchups in the trenches. Both guys are quickly becoming valuable contributors. Additionally, there is the rapidly ascending Kenny Clark manning the interior and he’s a handful to deal with on a per snap basis. Clark is one of the quickest and strongest Interior Defensive Lineman in the NFL and can completely take over a game. Philadelphia has the talent on the offensive line to be able to handle the depth of talent on this Green Bay front. Pettine is also creative in his rush packages so it’ll be important for this OL to play smart in a tough environment. They also need to remain consistent. The offensive line was 9th best in pressure rate allow in week 1 and 12th in week 3 – in week 2 they were 23rd. Another road contest with a more exciting DL than what they’ve faced presents another challenge for the Eagles. This is strength vs strength matchup with the Eagles really needing their guys to continue with most of the good things they’ve done on the young season.
Packers Secondary vs Eagles Receivers
This section should be titled Hands vs. Eagles Receivers but it’s necessary to discuss the matchups available for Eagles against this secondary. The Packers have two young first round picks in this secondary that have the potential to be top 5 (or top 3) players at their positions in the NFL for a long time. Jaire Alexander, 2018 1st round selection, is rapidly ascending the CB ladder. He has everything you want in a corner: he can play press man or in zone coverage. He’ll follow a team’s best receiver all day possessing some of the best balls skills you’ll see in a corner. Lastly, he has swag for days. He’s a very difficult matchup for any receiver and one of my favorite players in the league to watch. Darnell Savage, 2019 1st round selection, is already a valuable safety prospect capable of playing any assignment you ask of him. He can cover in man and zone while also possessing great ball skills. This duo will form the backbone of the Packers secondary for years and are a significant challenge for the Eagles right now. Fortunately, Philly will likely have Alshon Jeffery back in the line-up after effectively missing two games with a calf injury. He’ll likely see a lot of Jaire Alexander which will free up the Eagles receivers against lesser members of the Packers secondary. Tramon Williams has been pretty good in the slot but is beatable with the other Eagles receivers. The real target for the Eagles in this one will likely be Kevin King, who likely dun wun it. King has struggled in his career and 2019 isn’t any different. The Eagles will also likely see Dallas Goedert take more meaningful snaps on Thursday further helping the cause. This is a tricky match up given the top end talent on the Green Bay roster. Philly will likely be better equipped to handle it Thursday but as we’ve seen through 3 games, that doesn’t mean much.
Packers Passing Attack vs Eagles Pass Defense
I think everyone in Philly “hate loves” this defense. There are certainly problems with the talent and holes in the scheme, but this defense rises to the occasion time and again bailing out the offense. This facet of the Eagles defense will be under the microscope with the future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers fully healthy. Green Bay hasn’t had an efficient or prolific passing attack in sometime but Rodgers is still an all-world passer capable of embarrassing our secondary. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s done it to us either – we were shredded in Philly back in 2016. Moreover, Davante Adams has taken a big step forward and is one of the best receivers in the NFL. He isn’t just some jump ball machine – although he can get the ball - he’s one of the more nuanced route runners in the league and usually always open with that large catch radius. While the Packers lack a real threat at WR2, they have young guys capable of making big plays when called upon. Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, and Rasul Douglas will all get real shots to prove their worth the next few weeks with Darby out and they draw a challenging matchup in a big spot Thursday. While Matt LaFleur is still working out the kinks in Green Bay, I think he has the ability to much more capable with modern NFL offenses than his predecessor Mike McCarthy. Time will tell if Discount McVay can become a top flight head coach. For right now, his offense and personnel present a challenge for Philadelphia.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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