Welcome back to the roller coaster ride that is the Philadelphia Eagles season. 2020 has thrown us a lot of curveballs, but one consistency we see each season is the inconsistency of play from the Eagles. I went out on a limb last week and picked the Eagles to beat the Giants. It was a bold call, I must admit.
The Philadelphia Eagles are +3 dogs against the Cleveland Browns during Week 11, according to the DraftKings Online Sportsbook. Think they can cover? Get your bets in today!
Eagles need to get it together
In the Eagles’ Week 10 matchup in New York, the Giants ran Carson Wentz back into his hole. Wentz posted a QBR of just 37.7 for the game and took three sacks. It’s not as if there weren’t guys open. Honestly, it was the same “Carson Wentz looks rattled, again” rhetoric. The defense wasn’t awful, limiting the Giants to just 5-14 on third down.
The Eagles held the Giants to 4.2 YPC, but Daniel Jones was efficient (21 for 28 passing). The problem, again, was third-down efficiency for the Eagles’ offense. The Eagles were zero for nine on third down. Despite a healthy 6.8 YPC on the ground, the Eagles just couldn’t convert even once on third down.
With seven games remaining, the Eagles need to get it together. They will likely need to win three of their remaining seven to clinch the division, but there are scenarios out there where they could win just two. It sounds like a low bar because it is.
The Giants have a slightly easier schedule the rest of the way, as the Eagles’ remaining opponents are the Browns, Seahawks, Packers, Saints, Cardinals, Cowboys, and Washington.
Week 11 preview
The Eagles have a big road test in Cleveland this weekend. On paper, it’s a pretty bad matchup for the Eagles, as the Browns have one of the NFL’s best pass rush units. The Browns passing defense isn’t very good, but their run defense is eighth in the NFL. For the Browns, having the great pass rush and good run defense combination is a complementary combination.
They have two solid defensive performances (11.5 PPG allowed) over the past two weeks against decent offenses. Though the weather aided greatly in both games, the Eagles offensive line is going to have their hands full this week against an elite pass rush.
The Eagles’ offensive line has been rough in pass protection. For the Eagles, their troubles are at the guard positions, as the tackles and Kelce have been solid. Interior pressure is a problem for quarterbacks like Wentz, because Wentz hasn’t been good throwing on the run in 2020.
Right now, Carson Wentz is rated by PFF as the 31st ranked quarterback and that’s hard to argue. His straight passer rating is 59, which ranks 30th in the NFL. Wentz has just been more bad than simply inconsistent. Even with the troubles in pass protection, we’ve seen worse protection from 10-12 other quarterbacks and yet, they’re still performing better than Wentz.
Justin Herbert has an offensive line of mostly traffic cones and a post-prime Brian Bulaga and yet he’s still played exceptionally well. Right now, people need to stop making excuses for Wentz and the Eagles need to focus on how to utilize Wentz towards his strengths.
We should expect the Browns to come out with a run-heavy approach this week. When Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb have played this season, the Browns have been the number one rushing offense in football. The Eagles have the 26th best run defense in football, so this matchup should heavily favor the Browns at home.
Week 11 prediction
On the most basic level, this matchup looks bad across the board for the Eagles. The Browns have momentum, a good matchup, and need this win to grab a playoff spot in the AFC. Even though the Eagles need a win as well, nothing about their recent games leads me to believe they’re a good bet this week.
I expect the Eagles to utilize the short passing game and a heavy dose of Miles Sanders to offset the Browns pass rush. I realize I say this quite a bit in regards to the Eagles, but it still holds true each game. We know their strengths, and their weaknesses are clear. I anticipate the Browns to use a very run-heavy approach, sprinkling in some creative screens to get Hunt into space.
I like for the Browns to be in a positive game script throughout the course of the game. I expect the Eagles will have to take some chances downfield as the game progresses, which will expose them to Myles Garrett more frequently. I think the Browns will control this game from start to finish and handle the Eagles at home.