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November 06, 2021

Five over/unders for Eagles' Week 9 matchup against Chargers

Eagles NFL
Jalen_Hurts_21_Eagles_49ers_Frese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Events have conspired over the last few weeks to make this matchup between the Chargers, a playoff favorite before the season started, and the Eagles, a team in the midst of a retool and likely to be picking early in the first round (more than one time) next April, a lot more of a toss up than many would have expected.

With a line straddling 1.5 points (favoring the visiting Chargers), the Eagles are coming fresh off a dominant win that saw them post 44 points, while Los Angeles has lost its last two games. 

Suddenly, this game looks like one the Eagles could steal to get back into wild card contention, which means it actually might be a fun one to take in as a late afternoon showcase game at 4:05 p.m. Sunday. 

We've already taken a look at some matchups to watch, broken down the injuries on both sides and offered up our own predictions — as well as rounded up some others' picks — ahead of Sunday's Eagles vs. Chargers matchup. Now, as we do each week, let's run through some numbers to keep an eye on in the form of our five over/unders...

[A quick reminder for those new to our over/unders: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, these are my own numbers 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.]

Total points: 48

That's the current total at several sports books, and one would think that with the Eagles defensive deficiencies going up against the Chargers talented offense — paired with the Chargers issues at stopping the run — that one of these two teams could get to 30 points pretty easily.

The over/under offered at most sites seems pretty darn low, though if you add together these team's offensive averages through the season's first eight weeks you get exactly 50 points per game. Even if you hop on a betting website and get a line in the 50-52 point range as kickoff approaches, oddsmakers are not respecting that the Eagles offense has found a groove, scoring over 29 points per game in their last three. It may not be a shootout, but there should be a fair amount of offense Sunday.


Jalen Hurts pass attempts: 25

Hurts exceeded this total in six of the Eagles' first seven games, and seems like a no brainer. But there is actually a chance that the run-first offense that dominated the Lions last week may not completely be one and done. With LA's run defense among the worst in the league, the Chargers will certainly be hoping that Hurts tries to beat them with his arm. 

The Eagles were in the lead for the entire game in Detroit and that may not be the case here. And if LA can get a lead early and put some pressure on the Eagles to take shots down the field, Hurts could revert to the passer who threw it 34 or more times five times this year. If they're able to use Hurts as a game manager and limit his pass attempts, it might actually represent a winning effort. 


Eagles total rushing yards: 150

Philly enters Sunday afternoon with the seventh best rushing offense (by yards gained) and is fresh off gaining 236 yards on the ground a week ago. They have averaged 132 yards per game this season, but have exceeded the 150 mark just three times this season. With Miles Sanders sidelined with an ankle injury, it seems as though it doesn't really matter who is playing running back for the Eagles, with Hurts' ability to run the football there is a potent dual-faceted offense that is extremely inconsistent.

The Chargers allow the most yards per game on the ground this season and the Eagles would be crazy not to try and attack that weakness and establish the run early. While we don't entirely know if it'll be Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott or Jordan Howard doing the most damage on the ground, that trio plus Hurts should be able to eclipse 150.


Austin Ekeler total yards: 106.5

This is the actual number being offered over at FanDuel, and is pretty close to his season total of just over 103 yards from scrimmage per game. Ekeler is the most versatile cog for the Chargers offense, and he has gotten six targets per game so far this year, a 102-target pace for the season — not bad for a running back.

Here's the breakdown of scrimmage yards from featured backs facing the Eagles:

Week 1Mike Davis72
Week 2Elijah Mitchell53
Week 3Ezekiel Elliott116
Week 4Clyde Edwards-Helaire114
Week 5Chuba Hubbard134
Week 6Leonard Fournette127
Week 7Josh Jacobs68
Week 8D'Andre Swift51

The oddsmakers are good. The Eagles have allowed half of the starting running backs they have faced to exceed 107 yards. Ekeler is arguably the second best back they'll have faced this year. We'll hit the over just slightly.


Eagles sacks: 2.5

The Eagles offensive line burst through the Lions last week for six sacks — but it was, of course, against an 0-8 team that ranks 24th in sacks allowed per game. The Chargers offensive line is a bit better by comparison, allowing two sacks per game (the 14th fewest). Will the Eagles' momentum carry them to another big day at the line of scrimmage?

Through eight games, the Eagles have collected 17 sacks, which translates to a little more than two per game. Justin Herbert has some much better options for dump offs in Ekeler, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen and it seems likely he'll be able to maneuver out of trouble much easier than Jared Goff did. We think two sacks is the right number here.


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