Rams vs. Eagles Odds & Pick: Back Philly to Get Back on Track In Week 2 (Sept. 20)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images. Pictured: Carson Wentz
- The Philadelphia Eagles look to get back on track against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2.
- Our analyst BJ Cunningham thinks the Eagles will get the job done and sees Philly as an intriguing moneyline prospect.
- Check out Cunningham's full preview with updated odds below.
Rams vs. Eagles Odds
Sunday’s matchup against the Rams and Eagles is perhaps the most fascinating game of the 1 p.m. ET slate. The Eagles squandered a 17-0 lead, losing, 27-17, to the Washington Football Team last week while the Rams put together a fantastic defensive performance on Sunday Night Football to beat the Cowboys, 20-17.
The Rams have now locked in all of their stars to long-term contracts on both sides of the ball, so keeping everyone healthy is going to be critical if they’re going to make the playoffs since they lack depth at a number of positions. They are in the toughest division in football, so each and every week is vitally important.
For the Eagles, questions are starting to be raised about Carson Wentz. After a really bad second half against Washington in Week 1, the Eagles’ signal-caller needs to get back on track or they could be looking for another quarterback sooner than expected.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff took a step back in 2019 as issues with the Rams’ offensive line took a toll on the former No. 1 overall pick. His passer rating dropped all the way down to 88.8, which ranked 25th among qualified quarterbacks last season.
Goff is now be without Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks, so it’s hard to imagine the quarterback improve with fewer weapons and a bad offensive line. He was really efficient against the Cowboys in the season opener, throwing for 8.4 yards per attempt, but he’ll have a much tougher time against the Eagles’ front seven — especially if the Rams aren’t able to run the ball.
With the departure of Gurley, Los Angeles’ rushing attack is reliant on a three-man committee. Malcolm Brown seems to have taken over the lead role after Week 1, rushing for 4.4 yards per carry. The Rams drafted Cam Akers out of Florida State in the second round in hopes he could be their feature back, but he ran the ball for only 2.8 yards per carry on 14 attempts against the Cowboys.
Los Angeles could have a really tough time running the ball against a Philly run defense that ranked fourth in rushing success allowed last season (per Sharp Football Stats).
The Rams don’t only have the best defensive lineman in all of football — they may have the best player in the game in Aaron Donald. Donald pressured the quarterback 80 times in 2019, which was the highest mark in the league.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 14, 2020
The problem for the Rams up front is building around Donald.
Dante Fowler Jr. flourished playing on the same defensive line as Donald, but Fowler has moved on to Atlanta. Right now there isn’t another above-average lineman to complement Donald. The Cowboys were able to run the ball with ease on the Rams last Sunday (5.0 yards per carry), so if the Eagles offensive line can find a way to shut down Donald, they should be able to find some success on the ground.
In the secondary, the Rams have one of the best corners in the game in Jalen Ramsey. However, outside of Ramsey, things look pretty bleak. The Rams ranked 11th in defensive passing success (per Sharp Football Stats), but that number is likely to go down with the departure of Eric Weddle at safety.
Wentz wasn’t very efficient in his first outing of the season, but if Philly is able to establish the run, Wentz could be much better in Week 2.
The Eagles offense was clicking on all cylinders in the first half of Week 1. They gained 5.98 yards per play, most of which came through the air. However, the second half was riddled with turnovers and poor offensive play as the Eagles turned the ball over three times.
Philadelphia also struggled to establish its run game, running the ball for only 3.4 yards per carry.
The Eagles dealt with a ton of offensive injuries last season, with many of their skill players sidelined or placed on Injured Reserve for various stints. Wentz was still able to post a fantastic touchdown-to-interception ratio of 27-to-6, but struggled with efficiency — his yards per attempt (6.70) proved to be one of the lowest in football and his passer rating (95.2) came in at 15th in the NFL.
Philly’s running backs had the benefit of playing behind one the best run-blocking offensive lines last season. The Eagles return most of that unit, but with Jason Peters moving back to left tackle. And although the team struggled on the ground in Week 1 without Miles Sanders, he and Boston Scott showed a lot of promise in 2019, running for a combined 4.65 yards per carry.
That said, the offensive line struggled in the opener against Washington, allowing Wentz to get sacked eight times. The Eagles were dealt a big scare with Peters and Lane Johnson going down with in-game injuries, but both are probable to play as of writing, which is huge considering they’ll be facing Donald.
The Eagles’ success in this game rests in the hands of their offensive line. If they aren’t able to block Donald and Co., Wentz is going to be running for his life again.
Philadelphia’s defensive line is one of the best in all of football. Not only does the unit have a ton of talent, but it also has a ton of depth.
The Eagles ranked fourth in terms of rushing success allowed and third in stuff rate last season (per Football Outsiders). And they showed out against Washington, limiting the Football Team to only 3.4 yards per play and 2.2 yards per rush attempt. Now the Eagles will have a great opportunity to wreak havoc in the backfield against Pro Football Focus’ 31st-ranked offensive line of 2019.
The Eagles went through a number of changes over the offseason, mainly in their secondary. They traded for Darius Slay and let Ronald Darby walk in free agency. Slay is an upgrade from Darby and should improve a secondary that ranked 10th in passing success rate last season.
The Eagles should put up a better performance than we saw in the second half against Washington.
The difference in this game is going to be defensive line play — whoever is able to wreak more havoc will likely win. And in my opinion, the Eagles defensive line vs. the Rams offensive line is a significant mismatch that falls in Philly’s favor.
This spread has been moving around all week, but currently sits at Eagles -1.5. I have the Eagles projected at -1.97, so there’s some value on their moneyline at -112, but I would only go up to -115.
PICK: Eagles -112