Philadelphia at San Francisco Odds & Picks
The Philadelphia Eagles take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. The Niners have looked good the last few weeks, which some might find bizarre in light of their massive recent injury issues. On Sunday, they crushed the Jets, 36-9. After two straight road wins over both New York teams, they now return home to host the Eagles. On Sunday, a draining 23-23 tie against the Bengals got them close, but they’re still looking for their first win of the season. Who can cover this week at Levi’s Stadium?
The Power of Depth and Resilience
The 49ers had things go well last season, but they're really a team that has been forced to withstand massive injuries over the last several years. As a result, they're accustomed to this situation. And in the process, reserves who wouldn't otherwise be very game-ready are very capable of filling in well in key spots. Over the years, they've built a ton of reliable depth, and they're going to need it moving forward. Luckily for them, they're being eased into the season, opening with the Cardinals, both NY squads and then a sideways Philly team. It will give them time to get Jimmy Garoppolo back in the fold, as he is listed as questionable for this week. They are also without Deebo Samuel and Tevin Coleman, while Raheem Mostert, George Kittle, and Jerick McKinnon are listed as questionable. The “D” is also suffering, with their pass-rush missing key guys like Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Dee Ford, with CB Richard Sherman on IR and Dre Greenlaw also questionable.
Philadelphia finds themselves in a similar spot, albeit with some lower-profile injuries, with starting QB Carson Wentz still in there. But their O-line is starting to see bodies drop. Their secondary has one starting corner out, while the other is questionable. Key Wentz tools Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery, and DeSean Jackson are either out or questionable. And they simply don’t have the depth, particularly on offense, to maintain their edge. They are really reliant on their defense at this point, not a good thing with all the recent injuries.
Tough Spot for Philly
For all the Niners’ injury issues, they have maintained a nice clip defensively, allowing a combined 22 points in their last two games, both being on the road. Now at home and knowing they have to bridge the gap for an injury-ravaged offense, the San Fran “D” could be tough on an Eagles’ offense that has a stunningly-low amount of options at this point. It’s basically Wentz working with Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz, with other ball-catching talents that would struggle to make most NFL rosters. Even with so many guys down, there is still a lot of remaining defensive talent on the field for the 49ers.
Potential Eagles backers this week could site San Francisco's quarterback issues, and truth be told, having Garoppolo's status iffy does boost the Eagles' chances in this spot. But in QB Nick Mullens, the Niners have a backup with experience and a guy who has performed well before. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s at home, working against a Philly secondary that has taken some knocks this season and is now heavily-compromised with injury setbacks.
While we've seen the Eagles' defense perform well in spots, they are giving up a lot of points, first allowing 27 to Washington in a season-opening loss, before giving up 37 to the Rams in week two. Last week saw them do better, especially in the OT period. But as they keep losing personnel, it's taking away their main strength. They hope it evens out somewhat this week, as the Frisco offense is also dilapidated to some degree. Again, it comes down to resilience and depth, which the 49ers have illustrated, while the Eagles have not.
- Get more details: PHI at SF Match-up Stats
Eagles vs. 49ers Prediction 10/4/20
The combination of the 49ers’ injury problems and the Eagles’ urgency to get in the win-column before their season officially capsizes could make Philly an appeal underdog choice this week after they flopped three weeks in a row as the favorite. You can never completely dismiss the heart of a champion, and it could surface here. At some point, however, you either have the horses on offense, or you don't. And it's going to take a special spot to forecast success for the Eagles' offense, as I don’t see it surfacing this week. I’ll lay the number on the 49ers.