Pro Football Picks – Jaguars vs. Eagles: For Pederson, it’s personal
On Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars will tangle at Lincoln Financial Field (1 PM ET). And you can bet this game will be very personal for Doug Pederson, although he’d probably downplay it.
Pederson spent five seasons as head coach of the Eagles. And he won the Super Bowl with Nick Foles starting in place of Carson Wentz. Ultimately Wentz became a centerpiece for whatever problems developed. It was, in effect, a triangle between Pederson, Wentz and owner Jeff Lurie, and it was clear that all three could not exist under the same roof. So Pederson was let go in January 2021, after a 4-11-1 season. Wentz was later jettisoned, landing with former top Pederson lieutenant Frank Reich in Indianapolis.
Lurie is, at the moment, pretty happy with his choice. And Pederson may turn out to be even happier, as he eventually landed in Jacksonville.
Jaguars vs. Eagles, here are the numbers…
In the BetOnline odds through which we will make our pro football pick on this game, the Eagles are the favorites:
|Jaguars||+6½ ( -110 )||45½ ( -110 )||+230|
|Eagles||-6½ ( -110 )||45½ ( -110 )||-280|
And don’t forget that pleasure awaits you at BetOnline, as you can not only use Prop Builder for plenty of different angles!
About the Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Sirianni is the guy who replaced Person as the head coach. He had come from Indianapolis, where he had been the offensive coordinator. He inherited Jalen Hurts, who was brought along previously by Pederson. And last season, as the offense was struggling, he undertook moves to pep things up.
They involved making this a run-first team. That not included maximizing Hurts’ abilities in that regard, but also using Miles Sanders as the head of the running back “committee.” This was wildly successful, as the Eagles won a spot in the playoffs. In 2022, this has been taken to a new level. Or at least that has been the expectation, based on the 3-0 record.
Philadelphia is about 50-50 when it comes to run-pass balance. And Hurts has been showing some more ability to make plays with his arm. AJ Brown (305 yards) and former Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (249) form a dangerous wide receiver duo. And Hurts is on a pace that would give him more than 5,000 passing yards.
About the Jacksonville Jaguars
The story with the Jags centers around Pederson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence. It also has to include Urban Meyer, since the former college coach created such a ball of confusion in J-Ville. Things were so dysfunctional that it ruined Lawrence’s rookie season, when he tied for the league lead in interceptions.
With a former NFL quarterback heading up the staff, and a steadier situation, a leap was expected. And all indications are that Lawrence is making that leap. He’s been picked off just once in three games, with 69% completions (he completed less than 60% last season).
The Jags made an investment in securing more weaponry for Lawrence. And they’ve gotten a payoff. Christian Kirk has 267 yards, with speedster Zay Jones adding 173 more. And Lawrence has found tight end Evan Engram twelve times already.
Jacksonville lost its opener to Washington (and Carson Wentz, who had his own bone to pick, we presume). But they have come back strong, with wins over the Colts and Chargers by a combined total of 62-10. So they have gotten people’s attention.
So what’s the verdict?
It hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing that many of the pundits have labeled the Eagles a favorite to reach the Super Bowl. Indeed, they are +350 at BetOnline to get there. But this has the potential of creating value in the line for us.
For what it’s worth, the Jags’ defensive unit ranks first in the NFL in TD’s allowed per drive. And they’re yielding just 3.1 yards per rush attempt. So they’re not an easy nut to crack. What’s more, Philly is surrendering 5.4 yards per carry, and this gap between the two teams could mean a lot.
And this game with the Eagles means a lot for Pederson. He’s quickly won the confidence of his team. And let’s face it – these players are grateful that they have a real NFL coach in place. So they’ll do anything to please him. We’re taking the points.
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