With little else happening in the world of sport today we turn to the good old U.S. of A where the actions never stops! Here the 7-7 Washington Redskins can clinch the NFC East title with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles conversely will need to win both this and their final game of the year if they are to keep alive their hopes of making the playoffs after missing out in 3 of the last 4 years. The game is the 2nd of the weekend, kicking off at 01.25 GMT on Sunday morning.
The handicap line of the Eagles being 3 and half point reflects the general consensus that they have the better players on both sides of the ball. However based on performances over the last 15 weeks it’s hard to see the Eagles as the better side. In truth this season they have only beaten two good teams of note. Their defence has been particularly woeful giving up an average of over 35 points a game over the last 4 weeks and ranking 24th in the NFL. With cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Eric Rowe struggling for fitness things don’t look like improving this week. They have their problems on the offensive side also with running back Demarco Murray having a very public falling out with head coach Chip Kelly and Quarterback Sam Bradford turning the ball over 4 times in the last 2 weeks.
Washington meanwhile has turned it season around following a 2-4 start to the year when few would have given them a shot at making he playoffs. The catalyst has been the strong play of Quarterback Kirk Cousins who in the 8 games since has thrown for 15 TDs against just 3 interceptions. He now leads the league with a 69.7 completion percentage. Many have questioned his ability to get things done in the road with most of his better games coming within Washington. In truth however he has faced some stiff defences on the road and should be able to find success against this Eagles secondary despite the game being played in Philly. I certainly have much more faith in Cousins than I do in his opposite number Bradford and I think Washington are worthy of some support to win this games at 27/20 outright. Maybe I just find it hard to support a team who’s fans infamous attacked Santa Claus during a Christmas Day game!
In the anytime touchdown market I had looked at Redskins TE Jordan Reed who is on a particularly good streak right now catching every target that’s been thrown his way and grabbing two TDs last week against the Buffalo Bills. However in the end I’ve gone with DeSean Jackson who has also been finding quite a rapport with Cousins in recent weeks. Jackson, a former Eagle, will be eager for a big showing against his former team. He missed the matchup between the teams earlier this year but last season he burned his former employers over two games for over 250yards and a touchdown. Given his big play ability and the weaknesses in the Eagles secondary he is a strong play at 13/10 anytime.
Hope you all have a very merry Christmas and I’ll be back on Sunday with the week 16 preview.
Washington Redskins @ 27/20 outright
DeSean Jackson – Anytime TD @ 13/10