The general consensus in NFC wild card expert picks is that New Orleans is about to eviscerate the Philadelphia secondary, and that has some weight to it especially if you review the head-to-head betting trends. The Eagles are not a superb, statistical secondary by any stretch of the imagination, ranking dead last with 289.8 yards against through the air. However, that thinking undermines just how strong Philly has been towards the end of the year with Nick Foles at the helm.
It also undersells how efficient the Eagles have been offensively, and what that means for their secondary. Teams are forced to pass against Philadelphia because they can’t stop Chip Kelly’s offense, and that’s part of the reason why Philadelphia has allowed so many passing yards – teams throw more passing plays against them than any other team in the NFC. And do you know what the by product of that is? Philadelphia may have the lowest rated pass defense in terms of yards, but they’re also second in the NFC with 31 turnovers, 19 of which came off of interceptions.
You want more reasons as to why Philadelphia is a better play in NFC wild card expert picks? The Eagles have scored 33.3 points per game in the eight games that Nick Foles has started. That’s the highest average posted by any team in the regular season’s final two months (yes, higher than Denver). During that run, Philadelphia is also 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS with one lone loss to Minnesota in that mix. Listen, teams can have bad games every now and then. It happens.
Discrediting the Eagles for one rough loss on the road against one of the league’s worst teams is nothing compared to the consistent stench that New Orleans emitted on the road this season. New Orleans was an awful, travelling circus this season, going just 1-4 SU and ATS in their last 5 trips away from home. You can lather Drew Brees all you want, but he was just as big of a culprit for the Saints’ woes during roadies as anyone else.
The only reason that Philadelphia loses this game is because of the pressure of the moment, which is something neither Chip Kelly nor Foles (nor most of the team) is really familiar with. But I think that New Orleans’ struggles on the road will allow Philadelphia to stay in this game.
Keep in mind that when Philadelphia went down to Minnesota, they rallied back and Foles threw for 428 yards total. This team doesn’t go quietly in to the night. In fact, my NFC wild card expert pick has them roaring violently in to the divisional round with a win over New Orleans.