EAGLES AT 49ERS
The Philadelphia Eagles make the long trip out west to face the San
Francisco 49ers in an NFC conference match-up. Both teams are
sitting at 2-3, and are coming off of consecutive road/home losses.
Only difference is, San Francisco is still sitting in second place
and just a game out of first in the weak West Division, whereas
Philly finds themselves in last place, and at least 2 games behind
every other team in the tough East Division.
Philly could have very easily been 3-1 going into the divisional
match-up with Washington last week had they been able to punch it in
from the goal line late in their Week 4 game at Chicago. They had 4
chances from the 1 yd line and couldn’t get it in. They pretty much
dominated the game, stat-wise. They led Chicago in yardage
(370-277), 1st downs (18-13), turnover margin (2-4), number of plays
(67-64), average yards per play (5.1-4), sacks (4-3), and
time-of-possession. They held Matt Forte to just 43 yds on 19
carries for a paltry 2.3 yard-per-carry average, and they held
Chicago, as a team, to just 78 total rushing yards. Where they
failed, in addition to not being able to score from the 1, was in
3rd down efficiency, as they were able to convert just 2 of 13 tries
on 3rd down, while letting Chicago convert 7 of their 17 3rd down
In last week’s divisional match-up with Washington, the Eagles
jumped out to a quick 14-0 1st Q lead on a 9 yd Westbrook run and a
68 yard punt return by DeSean Jackson, but then they failed to score
another TD over the final 52 minutes, settling for just a 23 yd FG
with 7 minutes left in the game. On that play, they got the ball to
the Washington 2 yd line, but for the second game in a row were
unable to convert for the TD. Washington ended up with 28 more
offensive play calls, nearly 400 yds of total offense and almost a
10-minute time-of-possession advantage in the 23-17 win.
Philadelphia’s 3 losses have been to teams with a combined record of
11-4, but have only been by an average margin of just 4.6 pts.
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San Francisco’s consecutive losses were a little bit different in
nature, as they were handled with relative ease by both the New
Orleans Saints and, most recently, the New England Patriots. They
were out-yarded by over 150 yards in the 31-17 road loss to the
Saints in Week 4, and by nearly 200 yards in the 30-21 loss to the
Pats last week. New England racked up 259 yards in the air on 22 of
32 passing by Matt Cassel, and another 144 yards on the ground by
their RBBC, and held a huge 25-12 edge in 1st downs. The 49er’s were
held to just under 200 yds of total offense as QB J.T. O’Sullivan
completed less than half of his 29 attempts for just 130 yards and 3
TD’s, but was also picked off 3 times. O’Sullivan has now been
intercepted 5 times in the past 2 games, after throwing just 1 in
San Francisco’s first 3 games. The 49er’s only 2 wins this season
have been against Detroit and Seattle, teams with a combined record
of just 1-7. Their 3 losses have come against teams with a combined
record of 8-6. In those games they have been out-scored by an
average score of 28-17.
The Eagles have obviously played a much tougher schedule than the
49er’s so far. They are coming off of a stretch that has seen them
play the likes of Dallas, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Washington, but
they have been extremely competitive in each contest.
San Francisco had a relatively easy schedule to begin the season,
but are now in the midst of a tough stretch that is possibly showing
the true capabilities of this team. They are coming off of losses to
New Orleans and New England by 14 and 9 points, and now have to deal
with the Eagles, and with the NY Giants due up next. Philadelphia
may prove to be the toughest match-up they have seen to date. The
Eagles are leading the NFL with 18 sacks, which does not bode well
for a rookie QB who has thrown 5 picks in his last 2 games, and is
on a team that has given up a league-leading 20 sacks.
Philadelphia also comes to town in a very ornery mood as McNabb has
expressed his extreme displeasure in the results of the Eagles play
in those close losses. He was quoted as saying “I’m embarrassed with
the way we played the past two weeks,” “I believe that we lost to
teams we should have beaten. Not because I think they are not good —
they are. But I still believe we are better; we just didn’t show
I am sure the 49er’s are not exactly ecstatic with their last 2
games either, but I believe that Philly’s situation is a little more
dire. Washington, Dallas and the Giants are all favored in their
games this week and stand better than average chances of winning.
The Eagles have their backs to the wall and absolutely cannot afford
another loss here to potentially go down 3 games to every other team
in their division. They have a great chance to go into their break
next week at 3-3. They can then regroup, and hopefully get Westbrook
healthy, and when they come out of the break they will have very
winnable games against Atlanta and Seattle before facing the Giants
in Week 10.
San Francisco is still in relatively decent shape within their
division so, although I’m sure they will be giving it their best
shot, their backs are not against the wall like the Eagles.
Philadelphia is the superior team anyway, so an especially focused
and angry Eagle team should be able to come in and beat this 49er
team in a similar fashion as the Pats and Saints have the past two
weeks. The defense should be able to put a bunch of pressure on
O’Sullivan with a potential for 4 or 5 sacks, as well as creating a
few turnovers and forcing them to punt quite a few times. And with
DeSean Jackson playing in his former backyard, I’m sure he’d like to
return one for a score in front of the hometown crowd. I’ll look for
the Eagles to win by around 9 or 10, but by at least a TD, even
Philadelphia is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 road games.
Philadelphia is 19-12-2 ATS in their last 33 games as a road
Philadelphia is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a road favorite of
between 4 and 6.5 pts.
Philadelphia is 10-5-1 ATS in their last 16 games vs a non-division
Philadelphia is 28-13-1 ATS in their last 42 games vs an NFC
opponent outside of their division.
San Francisco is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games vs NFC teams.
San Francisco is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games as an underdog.
San Francisco is 6-9 ATS their last 15 games as a home underdog.
San Francisco is 6-6 ATS their last 12 games as a home underdog of
between 4-6.5 pts.
San Francisco is 4-10 ATS their last 13 games following a loss as an
San Francisco is 3-9 ATS their last 12 games vs an NFC East
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