October 07, 2018
In case you haven't heard, there's a big game today in South Philly. Well, not quite as big as the last time the Eagles and Vikings met at Lincoln Financial Field. But being that this is the present and that was the past, Sunday's Week 5 matchup against the 1-2-1 Vikings is almost just important for a 2-2 Eagles team that is very much still in search of its identity.
As we do before every game, let's take a look at five numbers to watch in this one, in the form of our weekly over/unders:
That's the current total being offered over at Bovada, and it's actually up a little over what it was earlier in the week. That's not surprising given that neither of these defense have looked anything like what they did a season ago when they met in the NFC title game. The Eagles won that day by holding the Vikings to just 7 points, while scoring 38 of their own, but it's hard to envision this Eagles defense holding this Vikings offense to just a touchdown, while it isn't all too difficult to envision the Birds putting up 30. This one could be a shootout.
In his career, Cousins is 4-3 against the Eagles and has thrown 16 touchdowns to just five interceptions. But after four straight wins against the Eagles, Cousins, then a member of the Redskins, lost both times he faced the Birds in 2017. This season, Cousins is averaging exactly 2.5 touchdowns per game, but against an Eagles' defense that has struggled — and with Cousins now having some better weapons around him in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs — there's a good chance this hits the over.
Add to that the fact that the Vikings pass the ball more than anybody in the league, and starting to look like this could be the easiest choice of the day.
The Eagles are averaging just under 120 rushing yards per game, while the Vikings allow a little over 100. I don't think the Birds will struggle on the ground today, but this one could ultimately come down to the type of game this winds up being. Obviously, if the Eagles find themselves playing from behind, it's going to be tough for them to hit the over here. However, I think Doug Pederson's team will control the tempo in this one and be able to employ the more balanced attack that has made them so successful at home.
One of the best teams in the NFL at creating turnovers a year ago, the Eagles now find themselves near the bottom of the league, averaging just one per game through the first quarter of the season. That's not going to get the job done. Look no further than the last time these two teams met. It was a big turnover — Patrick Robinson's pick-six — that changed the entire course of that game.
Unfortunately, if history is any indication, they're not going to get a ton of help from Cousins, who has never thrown multiple interceptions in any game against the Eagles.
Over. Even if the Eagles lose, I'm taking it.
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