So, I’ve had this Eagles / Seahawks game circled on my calendar ever since the Eagles started 1-4. Based on my crazy wishful thinking back in October, this was the week that the Eagles would overtake the Giants and get into 1st place. I had the Giants losing a bunch of their recent games (they did drop three of their last four, so I was right about that), the Eagles would be surging and a win this week over Seattle, coupled with a Giants loss this Sunday vs Green Bay, would move the Birds into 1st place. Well, that sorta didn’t turn out like I planned.
Now we’re stuck with a Thursday Night NFL Network primetime matchup of 4-7 teams, and who’s leading the charge you ask?? Well, it’s Vince Young and Tarvaris Jackson.
To the rest of America, I will say… I’m sorry you have to sit through this.
But I’m an Eagles fan and I’ll watch every play of this game, no matter how painful it becomes. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of listening to the Eagles/Patriots game on the radio, the ‘theater of the mind’, every word from Merrill Reese that poured out of the speakers had me visualizing Tom Brady ripping apart the Eagles defense, or what was supposed to be a defense. The ‘Fire Andy’ chants were short-lived but loud when the did happen, I heard them clear as day on my radio. The natives are getting restless. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but can we just give up on the Juan Castillo Experience already? Enough of this. I’m half expecting Jeff Lurie to pull back the curtain and let us in on his own personal Truman Show.
That Patriots game was ugly. But this week if the Eagles can recover and get a win, improve to 5-7 and… move one game closer to ending the season.
But in brighter news, we went 3-1 last week with the picks. 2-1 on Thanksgiving Day and another Monday Night winner (7-3 on the season on Monday nights).
So stick with us and we’ll recap our Week 12 picks, then we’ll breakdown the Eagles/Seahawks and make a pick in that one. You’re gonna watch it, so you might as well bet on it, right? (for amusement purposes only, obviously)
Week 12 Revisited
Like I said earlier, the picks went 3-1 last week. It was a pretty nice weekend. Even I was a little surprised at how easily the Packers and Saints covered, Baltimore defense did what I expected and shut down the 49ers. The Cowboys? Well, when I need them to score a bunch of points, they can only manage 20. F the Cowboys.
We’re 16-12 overall on the season, not too bad (All of the 2011 picks are documented here.). And that number includes losing 5 out of 6 games a few weeks ago. Let’s hope we keep the momentum going this week, starting with our pick for the Thursday Night Eagles game…
Thursday Night Football
TNF Bet #1: (a.k.a “The 2nd String is now the 1st String” pick): Eagles / Seahawks UNDER 43.5
As soon as I started thinking about this Eagles / Seahawks game on Monday my first thought was to go with the UNDER. Both teams are struggling offensively, the Eagles are pretty banged up and travelling out west and playing Thursday night after a Sunday beatdown like they got against the Patriots will not be easy.
This game opened as Eagles -3.5, O/U 45.5, and then everyone on the Eagles got hurt and the total dropped to 43.5, I wouldn’t be surprised if that total dropped to 43, or 42.5 by kickoff. The wiseguys, and the public at large, is wondering how the points will be scored. I know I am. This is the lowest total for an Eagles game this season.
First, the obvious statement, both teams aren’t playing that good this season and neither are fighting for a playoff spot. So it’s kind of hard to handicap two teams playing without any motivation. Then you factor in the injuries on the Eagles, the list is long and distinguished. Mike Vick and Jeremy Maclin are OUT. DRC is still OUT too (that could be a good thing, jk). Now Nnamdi and Shady McCoy are game time decisions? And in the ‘non-injury’ department DeSean Jackson has a bruised ego and is destined to not give 100% tonight. It’s a given that he doesn’t want to get hurt in a meaningless game and ruin his free agent value. So pretty much every decent player on the Eagles is banged up.
Seattle is coming in struggling on offense. Over the past 6 games they are only scoring 12 points a game, not good. FootballOutsiders.com has Seattle as the 26th ranked offense, 196 yards per game passing and 97 yards per game rushing. Not very potent. But the Eagles counter with the 19th ranked defense. So it’s a good thing Seattle sucks moving the ball. I mean I know Tom Brady tore them up last week, but is Tarvaris Jackson even half the QB of Tom Brady? I say no. Seattle’s leading receiver is Doug Baldwin (who?). Next is Ben Obomanu with 295 yards receiving on the year. Sidney Rice was their #1 WR but he’s out this week with a concussion.
Running the ball it’s all Marshawn Lynch. I think he is the only offensive weapon the Seahawks have. He started very slowly but has turned it on the past few weeks so he is someone to watch. But if Seattle sticks with the run game, that can only help the UNDER. I expect the Eagles to gameplan against Lynch and try to make Jackson beat them passing.
The Eagles offense is tough to predict. Started strong early in the year, but they have only put up 19 .5 points a game over the last 4 games. Vince Young has had some decent numbers last week but alot of it was in garbage time. He hasn’t been terrible in his two starts, but I wouldn’t want to rely on him with the game on the line.
I was hoping for alot of Shady on the ground this week but it looks like he will be a gametime decision with a sprained toe. I guess that might leave the RB duties to… Dion Lewis? Ronnie Brown? Well, Seattle has the #8 rush defense, so they would probably eat those 2 guys alive. So I expect Shady to play, mainly because the Eagles really don’t have a #2 back. And if Shady does play, he will be limited. Again, more reason to go UNDER.
So it seems like it will be up to DeSean Jackson to be the playmaker this week. Hopefully he will be mentally ready.
And former Seahawk Jason Babin gets himself Tweet of the Week honors with this one…
Distain, nice. That sounds like some Dirty Harry/Death Wish shit right there. Mike Holmgren better watch his back (Jason does know that Holmgren is out of Seattle and works for the Cleveland Browns now, right?)
Sportsbookspy.com is showing 56% of the action is going to the UNDER, so this pick is not original.
The trends are against us on this one: Seattle 4-1 OVER at home this year, and the Eagles are 9-2 OVER in their last 11 road games. But I’m bucking those trends tonight.
I think this game will be a borefest (sorry, but it’s true), with both offenses struggling to move the ball. Maybe a few big plays here and there but overall a slow paced game. The Eagles are still the better team and I think Andy has them ready to get a road win, 20-10 Eagles on top.
I would expect the Eagles to cover the 3.5 points, but I’m not taking a side. With this Eagles team, who knows what you will get.
The Line: Eagles -3.5, O/U 43.5
The Pick: Eagles/Seahawks UNDER 43.5
Back on Friday with the Sunday pick.
Season Record: 16-12. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.
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