On Tuesday, Bovada released stat predictions and prop bets for a few players from each team. We’ll be looking at one player each day from now until the start of the season.
We already looked at Carson Wentz. Today, we check on Ryan Mathews.
Total Rushing Yards in the 2016 Regular Season: 900
Mathews is the team’s starting running back heading into Week 1. When he was healthy, he was the team’s best running back last season. He finished the year with 539 yards on 106 carries, for a solid 5.1 yards per carry. If he finished this season at the same pace, with 171 carries (his average through six years in the league), he be 24 yards from the desired 900-yard threshold.
But I’m going to take the UNDER here. I don’t think Mathews will see 171 carries, and I don’t think he needs to. Doug Pederson’s goal should be to keep Mathews healthy for as long as he can. The more weapons Carson Wentz at his disposal, the better.
The Eagles aren’t pushing for a conference championship this year. They’re trying to teach a young quarterback the position, and see what they have around him. Kenjon Barner should see some work out of the backfield after a solid camp. Plus, if Lane Johnson’s eventually suspended, the offensive line’s depth is concerning.
Total Rushing & Receiving TDs in the 2016 Regular Season: 6
I’m going way, way OVER here. The Eagles’ first preseason touchdown was a Mathews rush, utilizing a three-tight end set and a strong push from the right side of the offensive line. Mathews ran with plenty of power in the preseason, and looked like a man determined to prove his detractors wrong.
Plus, the numbers say yes.
Last season, Mathews only played in 13 games, and only started in six. He ran the ball just 106 times, behind a patchwork offensive line lacking both health and talent.
Through all of that, he scored six rushing touchdowns. Mathews has notched at least six rushing touchdowns in four of his five seasons with double-digit starts. Ergo: when he’s actually, physical able to run, he scores.