Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings Pick 10/13/19
Philadelphia Eagles (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, October 13, 1:00 EST
Where: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
Point Spread: Phil +3 / Min -3 (Bookmaker)
Over/Under Total: 44
Two of the most difficult teams to figure out in this young 2019 football season will square off in Minneapolis this Sunday. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings are 3-2, and both are coming off of blowout week five wins. 5dimes has made the Vikings 3 point home favorites. Here are three reasons to take the points with the Eagles.
In Carson Wentz We Trust
Since Wentz came into the league in 2016 and took over the Eagle offense, he has proven himself to be one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks. He likely would have been the MVP had he not torn knee ligaments in week 14 of 2017. After a slower than expected recovery and then a back injury last year, Wentz is finally on top of his game again. He has been playing with second-string receivers for most of the year and still has the Eagles in a tie for first place in the NFC East. Alshon Jeffries has returned, and DeSean Jackson may be back on the field this week. When Wentz has all of his weapons on the field, the Eagles have one of the best passing games going. Couple that with a red hot Eagle running game, and the Viking defense will have their hands full. Jordan Howard has established himself as the lead runner in the backfield committee and has reached the end zone 4 times in the last two weeks.
The Purple People Eaters have not faced this strong of an offense this year. They are still one of the league’s best defenses and have playmakers at each level, but they have not faced an offense as capable as Philly this year. The Vikings are 7th in the league in sacks with 15, but Wentz has only gone down eight times through 5 weeks. Minnesota’s rush defense is also top 10 in the league, but this will also be the best running game they have faced this year. This is a strength against strength match up when the Eagles have the ball. The Vikings will make Wentz, and his squad earn every yard and point they get, but I expect the Eagles offense to win some battles this week. This will be a close game as the clock winds down, and Wentz will be up to the challenge to convert key 3rd downs and score in the clutch. He can work the outside to his receivers, audible to run plays when the coverage dictates, or use tight end Zach Ertz over the middle. The Vikings will have to match Wentz in crunch time to win (and cover) this game.
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In Kirk Cousins We Don’t Trust
The Vikings have won 3 games this year, all against teams with bottom ten pass defenses. They have played two teams with top 15 pass defenses and lost both games. Cousins has not been able to elevate his game since landing in Minnesota despite having Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs making up one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league. Cousins is averaging less than 200 yards per game in 2019, including a lot of garbage time yards. Philly’s secondary is the weakness of their defense, especially with 3 of their four starters injured, so Diggs and Thielen will have their chances if Cousins can make the throws. Running back Dalvin Cook has done all he can to take the pressure off of Cousins. Cook is averaging 108 yards per game on the ground and 40 yards per game receiving.
The Eagles will have to focus their gameplan on containing Cook, and they should be able to accomplish that. Philly currently allows the fewest rushing yards per game of any team in the league. Their front 4 is the strength of the team and will face a Viking O-Line that is one of the weakest in the league. And when Cousins drops back to pass, there will be Eagles in his face all day. Philly has 13 sacks on the year, and Cousins has been sacked 11 times. Eleven sacks doesn’t sound bad, but that includes games against the Falcons, Raiders, and Giants who have no pass rush. 2 weeks ago, the Vikings line couldn’t hold back the Bears rushers, and they took down Cousins 6 times. The Eagles defense should be able to replicate that this week. The game will fall on Cousins’ shoulders at some point. He has yet to deliver in a big game as a Viking in the 4th quarter, and the Eagle defense will be too much for him to handle this week.
The Vikings Don’t Trust Cousins Either
Coach Mike Zimmer prioritized having a strong running game coming into the year to minimize having to rely on Cousins. He learned last year that he couldn’t get to the last 4 minutes of a key game and count on Cousins to win the game, and Cousins has already proved him right this year. The frustration of Thielen and Diggs has boiled over in recent weeks, even to the point that Diggs missed practices and floated the idea of being traded. The exact opposite is true with Wentz. The Eagles are all in with their QB, and always believe he will find a way to win the big games. This is not a playoff game, but it is a game that could end up being a playoff tie breaker. It’s a bigger game for the Vikings because all 4 of the NFC North team have three or more wins, and if the Vikings lose this one, it will create one more data point that they made the wrong decision at QB. The game will be close, and one of the quarterbacks will probably determine the outcome of the game. It’s a lot easier to believe in Wentz than Cousins.
Play the Eagles +3
Philly is primed to win this game. The teams are both strong, but we’re getting 3 points with the decidedly better quarterback. Fly Eagles Fly. Take the Eagles +3.
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