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December 05, 2015

5 over/unders for Eagles vs. Patriots

This season has been quite a roller coaster ride for the Philadelphia Eagles, one with more downs than ups. Their most recent three-game stretch has left fans wishing their ride would end something like this...

But the ride isn't over yet. And somehow, neither are their playoff hopes.

That could all change on Sunday, however, as a loss to the Patriots (plus a Giants win over the Jets or a Washington win over the Cowboys) would leave the Eagles two games out of the NFC East lead with just four games to play.

And because the Birds are still alive, the roller coaster continues to operate like this.

Someone needs to put Eagles fans out of their collective misery. Luckily for them, they have a date with Tom Brady on Sunday. Here are five over/unders for the game.

Total Points: 49.0

That's the total currently being offered by But considering the fact that the Eagles have surrendered 45 points each to the Lions and Bucs in their last two games, it's hard to take the under here, at least on the surface.

That being said, the Patriots offense has been banged up -- the latest loss being tight end Rob Gronkowski -- so there's a chance this could be a lower-scoring game than some expect. I don't expect that to be the case, however. The Eagles will be without Nolan Carroll, arguably their best corner back this season, and with the return of Sam Bradford on offense, I expect the Eagles to score a few more points than the 15.5 they've averaged in their last two games. 


Tom Brady TDs: 2.5

Brady has 28 touchdowns this season, and has thrown multiple TDs in all but one game this season. And that doesn't bode well for an Eagles team that has surrendered five passing TDs in each of its last two games -- not to mention that Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford aren't quite on the same level of the one they face Sunday. 

However, Brady will be without his two favorite targets, Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. They've combined for 106 catches and 16 touchdowns this season, despite the fact that Edelman has missed the last two games. I don't think Brady will toss five scores like Winston and Stafford, but I certainly think he'll have a solid outing on Sunday. 

After all, it's Tom Brady we're talking about here...


Eagles' takeaways: 1.5

After forcing 19 turnovers in their first seven games, the Eagles defense has created just one in its last four games. If you're keeping score at home, that's the same number of takeaways as Philly's offense has created over that span. Don't forget, their only turnover against the Bucs came a few plays into the game and was actually credited to the offense -- DeMarco Murray fumbled, it was recovered by Tampa and then Brent Celek and Zach Ertz combined for the forced fumble and recovery.

Worse still is the fact that they haven't been able to generate any turnovers in each of their last three games. And things aren't likely to get any easier on Sunday against a Patriots team that ranks third in the league with just nine turnovers this season. That's less than one a game, and Brady has only thrown four interceptions all year.


DeMarco Murray rushing yards: 65.5

A year after leading the NFL in carries, touches, rushing yards and total yards from scrimmage, Murray is having the worst statistical season of his career -- his 3.5 yards per attempt and 54.5 yards per game are both career lows. Furthermore, he's only surpassed the 100-yard mark once this season, in Week 6 against the Giants.

Even without Ryan Mathews in the lineup each of the last two weeks, Murray has struggled. And given the overall struggles of the offensive line this season -- I don't care what Pro Football Focus says, they're far from the best run blocking team in the league -- not all the blame should be placed on Murray. 

This weekend, however, the pace of the game could dictate how much success Murray has. If it's a high scoring affair in which the Eagles find themselves playing from behind, the former Dallas back may not get the number of attempts he needs to put up big numbers. And if you've read our staff predictions, you know I don't see a close game...


Chip-Kelly-on-the-hot-seat mentions: 2.5

If this game is indeed a blowout, the announcers are going to need something to talk about. And if it goes the way I expect it to go, the Eagles will be headed for their fourth loss in a row for the first time under Chip Kelly.

Even though this is the one game of those four that you would expect the Eagles to lose, that won't stop the chatter from intensifying this week. And it will likely start with Thom Brenneman and Charles Davis during the FOX broadcast Sunday.


Follow Matt on Twitter:  @matt_mullin