NFL Sunday Night Predictions
Will Wentz And The Eagles Continue NFC Dominance?
Owner Jerry Jones must be frustrated with all the off-field controversy swirling around his franchise. His fight with commissioner Roger Goodell has brought nothing but distraction to the Cowboys, who will be without Ezekiel Elliott for the majority of the season.
Philly’s been the best, most improved team in the NFL during the 2017 campaign, with a singular focus on quality of play in the gridiron. Wentz and co. should be able to solidify their first division crown since 2013.
- Game: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
- Pick: Eagles Beat -6.5 Spread, Over 48.5
- NFL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
Eagles at Cowboys - Vital Trends
Eagles Seven-Game Win Streak
Philadelphia carved themselves a spot among the NFL elite this year by pulling off a seven-game win streak, including victories against solid teams like the Broncos, Washington and the Carolina Panthers. No other team in the NFL has displayed this type of consistent play, including Super Bowl favorites like the Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s no indication that the Eagles will suddenly revert to their 2016 form, when they lost five in a row between week 11 and 15. Philly’s the real NFC threat this year.
Philly’s Fantastic Offense Lead By Wentz
No team, even the Chiefs in week two, has been able to stop Carson Wentz from marching the football deep into enemy territory in 2017. Denver, one of the best defenses last year, were roasted to the tune of 51 points two weeks ago, capping off the Eagles win streak before their bye week. Carson Wentz leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 23, and has the third best passer rating at 104.1, throwing only five INTs in the process.
Eagles Maintain Defensive Form
Philadelphia was an above average defense last year, allowing 20.7 PPG, which ranked 12th in the league. This year, the team’s improved a shade, ranking 10th with 19.9 PPG allowed. The Eagles rush defense is among the best in the league, giving up only 598 yards, the best mark in the NFL. Despite giving up the sixth most passing yards, Philly ranks 17th in passing TDs ceded, partly because the secondary has produced 11 interceptions.
Dallas Offensive Line Folds Without Smith
The offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys was decimated by the injury to Tyron Smith, one of the best tackles in football. His status pregame will be uncertain, and if he can’t play the Cowboys will be in deep trouble. Pivot Dak Prescott was sacked a ridiculous eight times against the Falcons during a 27-7 loss last week. No team can survive with such a porous o-line, regardless of the talents of Prescott and Elliott.
Elliot Suspension Set In Stone
After taking his case to the supreme court, the back-and-forth saga of Ezekiel Elliott has ended with his suspension upheld. He’ll be eligible to return against the Seahawks in week 16, far too late to help Dallas to a wild card spot. Without Elliott, the Cowboys ground game will suffer greatly, putting even more pressure on QB Prescott – especially against one of the best rush defenses in the NFL.
NFL Sunday Night X-Factors
The over/under for this game could be difficult to presage, because the Cowboys offense might end up unable to score in double digits without tackle Tyron Smith and running back Elliott. Philadelphia might be a bit rusty, reducing the overall output of the Eagles offense too.
Historically, the Cowboys have a 62-43 record against Philadelphia, including a 6-4 mark over their last ten meetings. Two of the last three meetings were determined in overtime, part of the reason the spread has been set at 6.5. It’s tough to envision a scenario where Dallas plays well enough to win, or even cover the spread, but history does have a way of repeating on occasion.
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