On the road again. After last week’s loss to the Lions in Detroit, the Eagles look to rebound against a division rival. Washington is riding a three-game win streak and looks to keep things going at home. The game will be a good test for both teams. However, it’s important to note that Carson Wentz doesn’t lose. Carson Wentz either wins, or he learns. Let’s see what the statistical forecasts have to say.
First, here are roundups from prior weeks:
On to this week:
VEGAS: Eagles -2.5, 54.6% win probability
Last game: Eagles -3.5, 60.7% win probability
The Eagles actually opened as 1.5 point underdogs, but betting trends have pushed them to 2.5 point favorites. In terms of win probability, the swing is relatively negligible with the Eagles moving from a 45.4% chance of winning to 54.6%. Washington’s home field advantage is only worth 1.7 points, second worst in the league (league average is 2.7).
538: Eagles, 50% win probability
Last game: Eagles, 54% win probability
Thanks to the loss in Detroit, the Eagles have dropped two spots in Elo, moving from ninth to eleventh in the rankings (1563 points). Washington is a few spots behind, ranked 16th with a perfectly average Elo score of 1500. In 538’s model, home field advantage levels the playing field a bit and each team wins 50% of the simulated games (100,000). Nate Silver says, “flip a coin.”
ESPN FPI: Eagles, 57% win probability
Last game: Eagles, 66% win probability
For the second week in a row, ESPN’s Analytics team is the most bullish on the Eagles, giving them a 57% chance of winning. The matchup represents the 7th best of the week in terms of quality (52 out of 100). Here’s what they had to say about the game:
[Washington] is showing signs of improvement after defeating Baltimore on the road, but they will need to continue that momentum to have a chance to defend their NFC East title. If Washington loses to Philadelphia at home Sunday, FPI gives [Washington] a 2 percent chance to win the division and a 6 percent chance to make the postseason.
Football Outsiders DVOA
Football Outsiders continue to rank the Eagles highly. After last week’s loss to Detroit, the Eagles dropped from the first ranked team to second behind Minnesota. The Eagles’ defense is ranked second in DVOA and will compete against Washington’s 16th ranked offense. Flipping sides, the Eagles’ offense is eight best and will play against Washington’s 23rd ranked defensive unit. All favorable signs for the Birds.
Here are some other notable win probabilities:
Dr. K NFL Forecasts – Eagles, 65.1%, 28-23 (Last week: Eagles, 53.4%, 24-23)
Dratings.com – Eagles, 54.7%, win by 2 (Last week: Eagles, 54.1%, win by 2)
This week’s statistical forecasts favor the Eagles slightly, with one coin flip (538). According to the interactive Trend Finder below, teams tend to favor a balanced attack against Washington in the first quarter, then adjust to a heavy pass attack in the second (65% pass, 35% run). Washington’s pass defense seems more susceptible on third down than league average, yielding first downs 44% of the time when 3rd and long. Perhaps this accounts for the change in strategy. We’ll see if Wentz can take advantage.