The Philadelphia Eagles have lost two straight games, but is Wentzmania still running wild? That is what people who bet on NFL are going to find out when the undefeated Minnesota Vikings visit Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, October 23rd. These are the online sportsbook odds for that game:
Vikings -2½ (-115) 40 (-115)
Eagles +2½ (-105) 40 (-105)
The last time we saw the Vikings before they went on bye, they defeated the Houston Texans 31-13. Minnesota QB Sam Bradford threw 22 of 30 for 271 yards with no interceptions and two scoring passes to wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Thielen – who finished with a career-best 127 yards on seven catches. Patterson and Thielen more than covered for absent leading receiver Stefon Diggs, out with an injured groin. Additionally, CB Marcus Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for a non-offensive TD. The Vikings are 5-0 and remain the only unbeaten team in the 2016 regular season.
And speaking of byes, the Eagles (3-2) just have not been the same since returning from their bye week, losing to the Detroit Lions and, more recently, 20-27 to the Washington Redskins. Rookie QB Carson Wentz went 11 of 22 for 179 passing yards with no TDs against the Redskins, and was sacked five times. Philadelphia scored on an 86-yard kickoff return touchdown by running back Wendell Smallwood, a 64-yard interception return by safety Malcolm Jenkins, and two field goals by kicker Caleb Sturgis.
Like the cars of Jagannath Temple in Puri, the Redskins crushed the Eagles under their wheels. And the Vikings have a chance to do likewise, especially since Philly might be missing a few key players. Defensive end Bennie ‘and the Jets’ Logan will not play Sunday due to a groin injury. In addition to that, center Jason Kelce is battling plantar fasciitis and will sit out Wednesday’s practice, and offensive tackle Lane Johnson has been suspended for 10 games. Stefan Wisniewski will take reps with the first team this week in case Kelce is not available, and the Eagles will start Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle again – presumably because they want a big name in the position.
As a matter of fact, Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson will not be tinkering with the team, though more than few fans who bet on NFL might have expected him to. Washington pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan owned Vaitai in particular and the O-line in general suffered greatly against the Redskins, but Pederson will stick with ‘Big V’ and the rest. Furthermore, Pederson is adamant that he will not change his playbook, even though Bradford knows it by rote having worked under Pederson before being traded to Minnesota. But the Philly coach might be right anyway because he has bigger problems to worry about, such as the Vikings defense – which ranks first in points (12.6) and second in yards (287.6) per game. The Eagles have not lost at home yet this season, but they will be home underdogs for people who bet on NFL as they face Minnesota.