It comes as no surprise that the 5-4 Eagles are three-point underdogs (per DraftKings Sportsbook) in this matchup. On paper, at least, they look to be outclassed by the 8-1 Patriots.
But a closer inspection of the Patriots’ record raises questions about how just good they are. The Patriots’ strength of schedule (.366) ranks second easiest thus far; only the Buffalo Bills have had it easier. Take a look:
Save for their Week 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Pats haven’t really been challenged.
This isn’t to suggest the Pats are merely being propped up by an easy schedule. To their credit, they’ve destroyed those inferior opponents. And I’d say a team with the duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick probably isn’t fraudulent.
But, as the Ravens proved, the Pats are not unbeatable.
There are reasons for Eagles optimism. Doug Pederson has previously proven he can out-scheme Belichick, for starters. Carson Wentz is doing a great job of not turning the ball over. The offensive line has shown the ability to open holes the run game in recent weeks. The wide receivers can only be better than they’ve been to this point. The defense has been less gettable over the past two weeks as the pass rush starts to come on.
There also reasons for Eagles pessimism. The Pats are going to be determined to not drop two games in a row in addition to wanting revenge for Super Bowl LII. The Eagles should struggle to easily move the ball and score points on the Pats’ No. 1 DVOA ranked defense. History isn’t exactly on Philly’s side:
Since the 2004 season, the Patriots are 23-6 straight up and against the spread on the road following a loss.— BobCrossingBroad (@BobWankelCB) November 4, 2019
They are 10-2 ATS and SU on the road following a loss by 10+ points.
They’re 7-2 ATS and SU on the road following a bye week. #Eagles
For as much as I don’t feeling amazing about the Eagles, I don’t get the sense they’re going to get blown out by the Pats. I do think this game will be competitive. It’s just difficult to imagine the Eagles having enough in the passing game to outpace Brady’s production.
What say you?
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