December 03, 2018
The Philadelphia Eagles' 2018 season may very well be dependent on the outcome of Monday night's home matchup against Washington, who comes in to the Linc with Colt McCoy at quarterback after Alex Smith was lost for the season back in Week 11.
Currently, the Eagles trail Washington by a game and the division-leading Cowboys by a game and half with just four games left following tonight's tilt. As we do each week, here's a look at five numbers to watch in the form of our Eagles over/unders.
The current total being offered over at Bovada is 45.0, but because we don't like even numbers here for our over/unders, we decided to bump it up to 45.5. If you take a look at our staff predictions, our average total would fall below 45, with four of five taking the under. The lone exception? You guessed it, yours truly.
That being said, I don't have it as way over. So, while I predicted a 29-20 win for the Birds, I'm going to take the under here and play it on the safe side. With Colt McCoy under center and the Eagles run defense still being quite capable, I could see it being tough sledding for Washington on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Eagles have yet to put together an offensive showing that would indicate they're capable of getting close to this over on their own. Therefore, take the under.
Over their last six games, the Eagles are 3-0 in games in which they've forced at least one turnover, including last week's win over the Giants, and 0-3 in games in which they have not. Clearly, they'd be well served to force at least one against Washington.
The good news for them is that after spending the first half of the season as one of the best teams in the NFL at protecting the ball with Alex Smith under center, they've been the exact opposite since McCoy has taken over. Through the first nine games of the season, they turned the ball over just seven times. However, in the last two games, they've turned it over five times.
I see a Fletcher Cox strip-sack in this one and at least one interception for McCoy, giving the Eagles their first multi-takeaway game since Week 2 (and just their second of the season).
This is a tough one to call with Sproles still listed as questionable — however, he did tell reporters that he was playing — and newly-established lead back Josh Adams popping up as a late addition on the Eagles injury report. Add to that the fact that this would be Sproles' first game since Week 1 after suffering multiple hamstring injuries, and it becomes even more difficult to predict how many carries he gets.
But that's important to remember here. We're looking for carries, and not overall touches. Odds are, he's going to play his largest role on passing downs. Between that, and the fact that the Eagles would be wise to ease him back into action, I'm taking the under here.
Through 11 games, the Eagles have 28 sacks, or just over 2.5 per game. Facing a Washington offensive line that has devastated by injuries this season, the Birds front seven should be able to put some heat on McCoy on Monday night. They sacked Manning twice last weekend, but now Timmy Jernigan has another week of practice under his belt. They're due for a big night, and McCoy has already been sacked five times this season and has just 50 pass attempts (9.1% sack rate).
The Eagles haven't scored a single first-quarter point in any of their last five games and that's a problem. But I see that streak ending tonight against a Washington team that's allowed at least a touchdown in the first quarter of three of their last four games.
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