NFL Week 13 odds: Philadelphia at Dallas
The Philadelphia Eagles are on a seven-game tailspin and have clearly quit on lame-duck coach Andy Reid. So about the only satisfaction left for this team is to help play spoiler to the Cowboys’ playoff hopes.
The Eagles will be missing their three best offensive players due to injury: QB Michael Vick, RB LeSean McCoy and WR DeSean Jackson. None of the three may play again in 2012, and for sure Jackson won’t. The club also waived defensive end Jason Babin, he of the 18 sacks last year (5.5 this year) on Tuesday. Rookie QB Nick Foles will likely make his third straight start. Foles has thrown for 542 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in three games since replacing Vick during a 38-23 home loss to the Cowboys on Nov. 11. Foles has been sacked or put under duress on 21.0 percent of his dropbacks this season, just below the league average (21.4 percent). Vick was put under pressure a league-high 32.4 percent of his dropbacks.
Dallas (5-6) is tied for second place in the division with Washington, two games behind the Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Running back DeMarco Murray returned to practice Wednesday. Murray has missed the last six games with a sprained right foot, and the Cowboys rank last in the league with 78.7 rushing yards per game.
The Eagles’ defense, meanwhile, has allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 13 touchdowns and no interceptions over the last five games. Tony Romo had two touchdowns in the first meeting. Romo was 16-of-20 with two touchdowns when the Eagles rushed four or fewer in Week 10. It was the third time over the last five seasons that Romo posted an 80 or better completion percentage with at least 20 passes against such pressure. Opponents have gone 26-of-34 (76.5 percent) on throws more than 10 yards downfield against the Eagles since the firing of Juan Castillo, defending only two such passes. Prior to Castillo’s firing, the Eagles allowed a league-best 31.8 completion percentage, intercepting or defending 13 throws of those distances.
Even with the McCoy out with an injury, Philadelphia was able to rack up 204 yards (7.8 yards per attempt) on the ground versus the Panthers in Week 12. The Eagles’ passing attack is somewhat anemic and can’t move the chains consistently. Look for Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to design a game plan (eight-man fronts, zone run blitzes, stunts and twists) to force Philadelphia rookie quarterback Foles to score points.
The Cowboys’ current 8-game losing streak in Sunday night games (games that kicked off after 5 p.m. local time on Sundays) is tied for the longest in the NFL since 1987, when the league started regularly scheduling televised Sunday night games. Dallas had another 8-game Sunday night losing streak back in the late 1990s/early 2000s, snapping it in 2006. Dallas then went 10-2 in Sunday night games from 2006 to 2009.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING LINE: Cowboys -10 (43) Check out current lines
EAGLES NOTES: QB Nick Foles had career-high 76.2 comp. pct. & 89.2 rating last week … RB Bryce Brown had team rookie record 178 rush yards with 2 TDs last week. Had 65-yard rush TD, longest by Eagle since McCoy (66 yards) on 11/1/09. Brown had 129 rush yards in 1st half, most by player in 1st career start since 11/13/04 (Derrick Blaylock, 131 yards) … WR Jeremy Maclin aims for 4th in row vs. Dal. with TD. TE Brent Celek has TD in 2 of past 3 meetings … Rookie DT Fletcher Cox had sack in last meeting. Since 2007, DE Trent Cole has 56.5 sacks, 4th most in NFC. DT Mike Patterson had sack last week.
COWBOYS NOTES: QB Tony Romo had 441 yards last week. In past 5, has 1,721 yards (344.2 per game). In Week 10, had 2 TDs & 122.1 rating … In last meeting, RB Felix Jones had 93 scrimmage yards & rec. TD. When RB DeMarco Murray has 18 att., Cowboys are 7-0. Has 856 rush yards (122.3 per game) in those 7 … WR Dez Bryant aims for 3rd in row with 145 yards & TD. Aims for 4th in row with TD. PR-WR Dwayne Harris had 78-yard PR-TD in last meeting. TE Jason Witten has 74 catches (9.3 per game) in past 8. Since 2007, has 526 catches, most by NFL TE … In last meeting, CB Brandon Carr had 47-yard INT-TD & DT Jason Hatcher had FR-TD. LB DeMarcus Ware has 9.5 sacks in past 4 vs. Phi. Has 35.5 sacks in past 30. Has 101.5 sacks since 2006, most in NFL. Has 10 sacks for 7th consecutive season, tying HOFers Lawrence Taylor & Bruce Smith for 3rd-longest streak. LB Anthony Spencer has 3.5 sacks in past 3 games.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Cowboys are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 vs. NFC East. Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game. Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in December. Cowboys are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games. Eagles are 3-14-1 ATS in their last 18 games following a ATS loss. Eagles are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. Eagles are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Eagles are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record. Eagles are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings.