The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a bad loss against the New York Giants, and the Eagles will go on the road this week to face the potent Cleveland Browns.
Aside from the last two weeks, the Browns have put up a minimum of 32 points per game, and the Browns have one of the most balanced offenses in the NFL.
This is the beginning of a very tough stretch for the Eagles, who currently lead the NFC East, but not by much.
Let’s examine both teams ahead of this matchup.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1):
For the first time all season, Carson Wentz completed a game without a turnover, and this was only his second game this year without an interception. However, Wentz was still outplayed by Daniel Jones.
Wentz has struggled since his MVP-level 2017 season. This season, Wentz has shown major areas of concerns, namely his decision-making and his inability to determine when to throw the ball away.
The Eagles need to focus on running the football first and passing second.
Miles Sanders has averaged above 4 YPC every game this season except for one, and he has been a bright spot for this poor offense. The Eagles need to make Sanders the focal point against the Browns.
The Browns have the No. 7 ranked rush defense in the NFL allowing an average of only 4 YPC. The Eagles will need to make sure they find a way to stop the Browns from slowing down Sanders.
Defensively, the Eagles have their work cut out for themselves.
The Eagles’ defense has given up 14 rushing touchdowns this season, which is tied for the third worst in the NFL.
The Browns have two dynamic running backs in Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. The Browns’ rushing corps averages 5.1 YPC, which is tied for the third best in the NFL.
Hunt and Chubb will be looking to rack up huge games against the Eagles’ porous run defense.
Cleveland Browns (6-3-1):
While the Browns love to rack up huge gains on the ground, the Browns struggle to throw the ball down the field.
The Browns have the second worst passing yards in the NFL with 1,766 (just 62 yards above the Jets). Baker Mayfield has just 15 passing touchdowns this season, which is tied for 15th best in the NFL.
While Mayfield is missing Odell Beckham Jr. (out for the season with a torn ACL), he still has plenty of solid weapons to throw to including Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper, in addition to both Hunt and Chubb.
Mayfield needs to step up and throw well, but this is a tough matchup as the Eagles have given up the 8th fewest passing yards this season (2,131).
Defensively, although the Browns have a solid run defense, their pass defense isn’t too impressive.
The Browns’ defense ranks 10th in the NFL in YPR allowed (10.7); however, the Browns’ defense has given up 18 passing touchdowns, which is the 8th worst in the NFL.
The Browns defense needs to force Wentz to make poor decisions and create turnovers.
Browns win 30-16, Browns (-3.5), Under 47.5
The Browns rushing attack will bury the Eagles, and the Browns should be able to find a way to move the ball down the field. I don’t trust the Eagles’ defense, and I don’t think the Eagles can slow down either Chubb or Hunt enough to be successful.
Carson Wentz showed signs that he can play without turning the ball over, but that shouldn’t be something he should be praised for. Rather, it should be expected. If the Eagles can get the ground game going, they could put up a fight.
In the end, the Eagles just loss embarrassingly to the Giants, and the Browns are even better. The Browns’ strengths match up well against the Eagles, and I think Mayfield will be successful enough to win.
I expect Hunt to have a huge game, and I think Sanders will be unable to crack 75 yards on the ground.
I like the Browns to win and cover the spread, but I think the total score will be under 47.5.