The Eagles head to Detroit this weekend to take on the 0-7 Lions. Kickoff is set for 1 PM and features two teams that have been struggling for most of the 2021 season. With two first-year head coaches in need of a win, this game is setting up to be a dog fight. Will the Lions get HC Dan Campbell his first NFL win, or will the Eagles come through for Nick Sirianni and end a 2 game losing streak?
The model has this game racking up 46.53 total points, with the Lions coming out on top, 25-21.53. This is about 1.5 points lower than the Vegas total of 48, which has already dropped since opening at the number of 49.5. Additionally, the model predicts the Lions winning outright by about 3.5 points, while Vegas has them listed as 3.5 pt underdogs. To see more scores for Week 8, head to the CapWize NFL Dashboard. You can learn more about the CapWize Model here.
The Eagles come into this game having lost their last two games to the Bucs and the Raiders. They have been a pedestrian team overall, more or less winning the games they are supposed to and losing in the same fashion. Since taking care of the Falcons in week 1, the Eagles are 1-5 outright and are on the road for the second consecutive week here in Detroit.
The Achilles heel of this team has been the defense so far. Philly’s defense is allowing 74.4% of passes completed by opposing QBs and allowed Derek Carr to have a 91.2% completion rating last weekend, the second-highest mark in 30 years. To make matters worse, the Eagles are statistically the least disciplined team in the NFL. They have accrued 58 total penalties against them this season, including 37 on the road, which leads the NFL. While they have cleaned it up in recent weeks, it is obvious that Philly’s self-inflicted wounds have been costing them opportunities this season.
Offensively, the Eagles have been up and down as well. Jalen Hurts has yet to show a step-forward in his game from his rookie season. His accuracy has been a concern, only completing 53.6% of his passes across the last three games. The Eagles have made it a habit digging themselves a hole early in games, and being forced to play from behind. This predictability has made it difficult to get rookie WR Davonta Smith (32/406/1 TD) going with consistency, and the supporting cast has been dwindling away by the week. After dealing Zach Ertz, who was 3rd on the team in receptions, Philly has placed Miles Sanders on IR with an ankle injury. Sanders has been moderately productive this season, however is 2nd on the team in rushing yards to QB Jalen Hurts. Another sign that this offense isn’t where it needs to be. Will the Eagles be able to overcome these hurdles this weekend, or will the Lions be able to take advantage?
As for Detroit, you probably know how the story has gone so far for HC Dan Campbell. The last remaining zero-win team, Campbell tried pulling out all the stops last weekend in a hard-fought loss to the Rams. Despite the scoreboard, the Lions were in the game and threatening late, until an untimely Jared Goff pass was intercepted in the end zone by Jalen Ramsey. Despite Goff’s lackluster performance, the bright spot on this Lions team has been RB D’Andre Swift. Swift leads all RBs this season with 42 catches for 391 yards, including a season-high 144 yards of total offense against the Rams last weekend. This could be good for Detroit, as the Eagles Defense has allowed 348 receiving yards to RBs this season on 58 receptions, both of which are bottom-5 numbers in the NFL.
To be fair to Jared Goff, he has a bit of a Motley Crue of WR to throw to. Kalif Raymond has been a dynamic threat on the outside, while Amon-Ra St. Brown has shown to be a shifty slot receiver with breakaway speed. After an impressive first month, the Lions placed Quintez Cephus on IR a few weeks ago and are awaiting his return. The most veteran name in the group is TE TJ Hockenson, who leads the team in targets and is 2nd in receptions and yards behind only Swift. Hockenson has carried the load recently, going for 14 receptions on 20 targets and 122 yards across the last two games. Conversely, the Eagles also rank among the bottom of defense when it comes to TE production allowed.
Jared Goff – 283.3 yds, 28.86/38.76, 2.59 TDs
Jalen Hurts – 259.07 yds, 24.27/37.03, 2.11 TDs, 26.43 rush yds, 6.57 attempts
D’Andre Swift – 50.84 yds, 12.68 attempts, 46.95 rec yards, 5.6 rec, 7.09 targets
Jamaal Williams – 47.4 yds, 11.64 attempts, 16.21 rec yds, 2.08 rec
Kenneth Gainwell – 13.24 yds, 3.31 attempts, 30.54 rec yds, 3.27 attempts
Devonta Smith – 44.1 yds, 4.07 rec, 6.81 targets
Jalen Reagor – 33.06 yards, 2.88 rec, 4.34 targets
Dallas Goedert – 50.64 yds, 3.89 rec, 5.66 targets
Amon’Ra St. Brown – 35.77 yds, 3.67 rec, 4.8 targets
TJ Hockenson – 50.56 yds, 5.5 rec, 7.4 targets
Kalif Raymond – 53.79 yds, 4.08 rec, 6.03 targets
We will be rolling with the Lions here to cover the 3.5. As listed earlier, the CapWize model has them winning outright and we don’t hate the ML+155 play either. The loss of Miles Sanders will put the Philly offense at a huge disadvantage, which plays well for Detroit. This correlates with the model’s prediction of the total going under, as well as the early line movement we’ve seen from 49.5 to 48. While the Lions have been burnt by pass-friendly teams like Cinci and GB, Detroit has held their own against the Rams, Vikings, and Ravens. With Philly’s offense, not exactly a passing threat, take the Lions as home dogs to cover the spread and likely get their first win of the season.
For props, we expect another big game out of D’Andre Swift, particularly in the passing game. With a model projection of 47 receiving yards, we lean o45.5 Swift rec yards. Another prop to watch for Swift is anytime TD at -130 odds. I like this small juice as he leads Detroit in rushing and receiving. (listed on Fanduel)