October 27, 2018
This was a marquee match up when the schedule came out, two of last year's final four facing off in London. But now, the Eagles and Jaguars are struggling just to stay relevant in Week 8. The loser will have a tough uphill battle to make the playoffs.
This week's five over/unders are reflective of both teams' disappointing and underwhelming performances so far:
In what could potentially be an ugly, low-scoring affair, the Eagles and Jaguars thus far combine to average just under 39 points per game. It's even worse for Jacksonville recently, as they've averaged just 9.3 points per game over their last three games, all losses. While anything can happen in London, it seems hard to rationalize this one being a slugfest, particularly after the Eagles struggled in the fourth quarter last week (and scoring just 17 points). With Leonard Fournette out and Blake Bortles struggling, we'll take a slight under here.
According to betfair.com, the Eagles are actually favored to win by a large margin, with 6-4 odds of a win by somewhere between one and 13 points (or +150, bet $100 to make $150). The Jaguars have lost their last three games by 16, 33 and 13 points and have scored more than 20 points just twice. The makings appear to be in place for a runaway win for Philly in this one.
WIN BY MORE THAN 13
Jacksonville's QB Bortles has turned the ball over 13 times in seven games, with five fumbles and eight interceptions this year. Last week he fumbled twice, and two weeks before that he threw four picks. The Eagles defense hasn't created turnovers at nearly as high a rate as they did during their Super Bowl run but impact players Jordan Hicks, Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins are healthy and overdue to make impact plays. Will they force Bortles to cough it up?
Last year, the Eagles and Jaguars combined for 93 sacks — 55 of them for Jacksonville, which had one of the best defenses in recent memory. This year, neither team has broken through sack-wise — Philly has 18 and Jacksonville has 15 — with both currently in the bottom half of the league. That could change Sunday, as two very potent pass rushes go up against offensive lines which have been shaky. Don't be surprised if Calais Campbell breaks through against the injured Jason Peters, or if Michael Bennett breezes passed the Jags' third-string tackle.
The Eagles are averaging just a touch over 100 rushing yards per game this season but will be without Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles on Sunday, relying on Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams. Can that trio accumulate 100 yards against the Jaguars? If so, it could mean the Eagles are playing from ahead and are in position to win. After starting with 118.3 yards on the ground per game over their first four, Philly is netting just 82.3 yards over their last three — just 58 last week. It is a big ask for this group to pick things up against a top defense.
Follow Evan on Twitter: @evan_macy
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports