Scoring Options Everywhere for Both Teams
If you could put together an all-star fantasy team, you could do worse having to work with these two offenses.
Starting at running back you have LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte, who are ranked first and third in rushing yards in the NFL and have a highly developed skill set which enables them to be a big part of the pass offense, averaging three or more catches a game.
The number of perimeter weapons is scary enough Dick Chaney might be called into watching this game live.
NFL football handicappers love the size and skill of the Chicago receivers starting with Brandon Marshall (90 catches, 10 touchdowns), but the talk of the league is Alshon Jeffries (80 catches, 10 TD’s), who has become un-guardable the last six weeks. If defenses try and double or bubble coverage these wideouts, tight end Martellus Bennett (59 catches, 5 TD’s) is wide open between the hashmarks.
Philadelphia may not have three pass catchers who are 6’4 or taller, but their contingent is not less effective. DeSean Jackson is the main man (75 catches, 9 TD’s) with his ability to go deep and make big plays which really stretch defenses. Riley Cooper (41 catches, 7 TD’s) has great hands and is very dangerous when the Eagles are inside their 40 yard line. Chip Kelly loves to use tight ends and Brent Celek and Zach Ertz have a combined 58 receptions and eight touchdowns.
These players are nightmares for opposing coaches.
Quarterback and Secondary Play are Keys
Jay Culter returned to action for the Bears last week and played like, well, Jay Cutler. The Vanderbilt grad completed 22-of-31 passes for 265 yards, with three touchdowns, but had two interceptions against Cleveland, which could have doomed his team. With the explosiveness of Philadelphia, if Cutler throws the ball up for grabs, Chicago’s in trouble.
Nick Foles has 23 touchdown passes compared to only two picks, but by his own admission, has not played very well the last two weeks and realizes it’s time to lead his team. His miscues have been more subtle, misreads in coverage, holding the ball too long or over-throwing receivers. Like his counterpart, Foles impact cannot be understated.
These teams feature two of the worst defenses in the NFL (Bears 27th – Eagles 30th) and each is dealing with injuries in the secondary and scrambling to find healthy competent production. Against the offenses each will take on, they will require help from their teammates up front and attempt to prevent too many big plays.
NFL Betting Odds and Matchup Numbers
Philadelphia was sent out as 4-point favorite by sportsbooks and almost immediately was pushed down to -3. Without question the Eagles 5-9 SU and 2-12 ATS home record the past two years plays into the equation. However, don’t think Chicago is the sure play with their 2-8 spread mark against the NFC this year.
The NFL odds on the total have gone from 54.5 to 56, with football bettors excited about the offenses and wary of the defenses. The clubs are a combined 18-10 OVER this season.
Chicago covers and possibly wins by…
Cutler playing mistake free football and properly utilizing the weapons he has around him. He needs to understand what defenses Philadelphia is playing and not get greedy and using Forte is never a bad choice.
The Bears run defense is 32nd in surrendering 152.6 yards a game. If Philly is at or above that number, Chicago leaves a loser. The Bears front seven has to contain McCoy.
Philadelphia covers and wins by…
Coach Kelly using McCoy throughly (not like last week) in all aspects of the offense. “Shady” needs 25 to 30 touches in a variety of ways. This season, McCoy has averaged 25.6 touches in Eagles wins and 18.1 handles in their losses.
The Philadelphia defensive line needs a great game because the secondary will not hold up against these true Monsters of the Midway as receivers.
The Eagles return home after a terrible showing in Minnesota and knock the Bears by a touchdown. We'll take the Eagles covering as our NFL pick.
NFL Football Free Pick- Philadelphia -3