Philadelphia can keep their NFC East hopes alive with a win over Tampa Bay in Week 11. Can they rally around backup QB, Mark Sanchez and which side do we like with our NFL Picks?
While the 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have to be almost perfect to make the playoffs at this point, the 4-5 Philadelphia Eagles have a much better shot because they are only one game behind the New York Giants in the win column in the subpar NFC East. With the Giants on a bye this week, the Eagles have the chance to be in first pace in the division as they hold the tie breaker over them with a head-to-head win in Week 6.
The Eagles didn’t help their chances in Week 10 as they were the victims of a hard luck loss against the Miami Dolphins. As the Dolphins were driving near the goal line in this game, Ryan Tannehill had a pass deflected high in the air and into the endzone. It dropped in between what looked like half of the Eagle defense to fall in the bread basket of Miami receiver, Jarvis Landry, as the other half of the Eagle defense looked on in disbelief.
The other part of that bad luck was an injury to Sam Bradford, who was slammed down during a sack and injured his shoulder. He has been ruled out of this game and likely will not play in Week 12 on Thanksgiving against Detroit either. Not only did he hurt his shoulder, but Bradford experienced concussion symptoms and didn’t remember parts of the first half of the game against Miami. Their fan base is clamoring for Bradford to forget the first half of his season.
Mark Sanchez came on in relief of Bradford and didn’t play that bad, but did throw an interception late in the game that probably cost the Eagles the game. Statistically, Sanchez had the best run of his career in 2014 for the Eagles. In 9 games he had a completion percentage of 64.1% as compared to his prior best of 56.7% in 2011 with the Jets.
For Tampa Bay, the fans there are optimistic about the rookie year of quarterback, Jameis Winston. Winston hasn’t put up big numbers in regards to touchdowns, but his play in the last five weeks hasn’t overtly lost his team their games. Fans should also be able to take some pleasure in the play of their defense as well, who allowed only 42 yards rushing last week against the Cowboys. Tampa Bay is 7th in the league in yards allowed per game, but apparently have issues in the red zone as they give up a 26th ranked 26.3 points per game. In fact, both the passing and rushing defense for the Bucs is better than the Eagles in yards allowed per game.
Even with a backup quarterback at the helm and identical records going into this game, the Philadelphia Eagles still find themselves listed as a six-point favorite in this one at sites such as Pinnacle. The O/U NFL odds total is listed at 45 at Bovada, and has since been lifted to 45.5 at sites like 5Dimes. Tampa Bay has been on a good run ATS, going 4-1 in their last five games. In the three games that Philadelphia has won in their last five they have covered the spread.
In a game that looks rather even in records and where arguments can be made on each side for covering the spread, I’m going to default to a playoff motivated team at home for my pick. We’ve seen a few teams rally around back up quarterbacks this year in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and San Francisco. I think that trend continues here, so I’m shopping around and grabbing Philadelphia -6 at Bookmaker as one of my Week 11 NFL Picks.
NFL Pick: Philadelphia Eagles -6 (-105) at Bookmaker