New England Patriots (8-1, 6-3 ATS) vs Philadelphia Eagles (5-4, 4-5 ATS)
We have a rematch of Super LII on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET when the Eagles host the Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field. The Patriots are favored by 3-½ points. The total opened at 45-½ points, but has dropped to 44-½.
There are implications for both teams as the Patriots are clinging to a lead over the Ravens for the AFC’s #1 seed and the Eagles are seeking to keep pace with the Cowboys for the top spot in the NFC East.
Brady fired up
Shocker, right? Tom Brady, coming off his first loss of the season and facing a team that denied him a seventh Super Bowl win, has blood in his eyes.
He was quoted this week saying he still has “mental scar tissue” from the Super Bowl LII loss. Brady figures to have a strong showing given an extra week of rest and the opportunity to face an Eagles pass defense that ranks 16th best in the NFL.
Eagles could struggle to score
The vaunted Patriots defense ranks second best in the NFL behind only the undefeated San Francisco 49ers. They are dominant at the line of scrimmage and have veteran players in the secondary.
Meanwhile, the Eagles offense ranks a below average 19th. They’re thin at WR due to the loss of Deshaun Jackson, but the resigning of WR Jordan Matthews, a productive roleplayer, will help.
It will be up to RBs Jordan Howard and Darren Sproles to get the ground game going. Getting the job done through the air doesn’t seem likely. If the running backs don’t perform well then the Eagles will almost certainly lose. To their advantage, they will be running behind one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.
Eagles Pass Rush key
Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox are having great seasons for the Eagles. They aren’t the only ones, either. The defense also has Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat and Gerard Avery. It will be up to them to get pressure on Brady and in the process take some of the heat off what is a suspect secondary. The Eagles defensive line versus the Patriots offensive line is one of the key matchups for this game.
Both of these teams enter this game after a bye week and it is typical for coaches to scout their own team during that week and find ways to improve.
So, we might see new things from both teams. For the Eagles, that could mean Carson Wentz using his legs just a little bit more. For the Patriots, anything could happen, but expect Belichick to have an ace up his sleeve.
Our Pick – Eagles +4