October 17, 2020
The Eagles are pretty big underdogs — nine points according to consensus odds at TheLines.com — with the Ravens coming to town. With the NFC East in shambles the Birds remain a half a game back and could stay neck and neck with the Dak Prescott-less Cowboys if they can pull off an unexpected win.
Despite their results in the win column, the team is playing reasonably well, as Carson Wentz appears to be getting out of his early season funk and the defense — inconsistent as it may be — has shown strength at the line of scrimmage.
This will be key in Sunday's 1 p.m. game at The Linc, a game that will welcome a handful of Eagles fans for the first time.
We've already taken a look at some matchups to watch, broken down the latest injury news and rounded up predictions from around the sports world, as well as offered up some of our own. We've also provided a look at the odds for this week, which opened with the Eagles as a seven-point underdog and has held steady throughout the week, according to the latest consensus odds at TheLines.com.
Now, let's take a look at some numbers to keep an eye on in Week 6 in the form of our five weekly over/unders...
[A quick reminder for those new to our over/unders: Unless it's explicitly stated, these are my own over/unders based on how I think the players/teams will perform on Sunday — and the advice that follows is where I would put my money if I had to. They are not all actual numbers you can bet on, but we'll let you know when they are.]
That's the current consensus total over at TheLines.com, and there might be a little value here in taking the over. The Eagles have averaged a lowly 22.6 points per game this season, a bottom 10 number and the Ravens have scored a hair under 30 per game, good enough for eighth best in the league. Add them together and that's around 52 points on average. It's worth noting this number began at 48 earlier this week and has gone down. This point total assumes that either the Ravens defense will hold the Eagles or the Ravens will be unable to get near 30 points. All but one of our Eagles writers picked the Eagles to go over this total. It's the safe bet.
This is literally Sanders' average rushing attempts this season through five games. The Eagles better hit the over if they expect to win, especially against a ball control offense like Baltimore.
Sanders' rushes per game have been on a downward trajectory this season:
The Eagles as a team have averaged 24.6 runs per game, including Wentz scrambles, a number toward the bottom of all NFL teams. Circumstantially, the Eagles have played from behind quite a bit. They also are in the bottom half of NFL teams in time of possession, though interestingly, they are ahead of the Ravens. Doug Pederson would be out of his right mind not to give Sanders near 20 run attempts this weekend.
The Eagles have had trouble winning the turnover battle this season and it has shown. Giving their opponents a short field has made life hard for the defense with great regularity, as their 2.2 giveaways per game is the worst in the NFL (tied with the Cowboys). The Ravens have impressively forced at least one turnover in 18 straight games and average two per game this year. If they get more than one, chances are they'll win the turnover fight and have more scoring chances, and that could be the ballgame. It's hard to see this team protecting the ball against the best defense they will have faced when they haven't done it before.
There is a lot of tape on Eagles breakout wide receiver Travis Fulgham, who leads the entire team in yards despite having only played in two games. He has shown some real chemistry with Wentz this season, but the true test of whether he will remain a top target when Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor return could be how he performs this week. The rule of large numbers really does suggest that Zach Ertz will get his catches, and it could be this week with the spotlight on Fulgham. Expect the former practice squader to make an impact, but not as much as in the previous two games.
The Eagles went into Week 5 leading the NFL in sacks, but had only one last week in their loss to the Steelers. They average 3.6 per game, but they could have their hands full trying to bring down Lamar Jackson. Jalen Hurts reportedly mimicked Jackson in practice this week but was not as fast as the real Jackson is. The Eagles will need to apply consistent pressure but will only be able to get a multitude of sacks if they can create some "coverage sacks" with help from their secondary — as Jackson will no doubt extend plays and move a lot outside the pocket. It is hard to trust the secondary to be able to lock down the Ravens wideouts long enough for the defensive line to get to Jackson.
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