Philadelphia (0-2-1) at San Francisco (2-1)
When: Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Where: Levi’s Stadium,
Santa Clara, CA
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: San Francisco -3.5/43.5
The luster has been taken off this week’s Sunday Night Football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. This looked like a must-see game when the schedules were released, but the Eagles are struggling and the 49ers are banged-up. The Eagles are also injury-plagued on the offensive side of the field, with only two active wide receivers on the roster. Starters DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) have been ruled out, while JJ Arcega-Whiteside (calf) is doubtful. That leaves quarterback Carson Wentz with John Hightower and Greg Ward. Wentz has thrown twice as many interceptions (six) as touchdown passes (three) this season and ranks last in the league with a 63.9 quarterback rating. An offensive line that allowed Wentz to be sacked 11 times has contributed to his slow start.
The 49ers open a three-game homestand after playing twice in a row at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Tight end George Kittle (knee) and cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) sustained injuries in Week 1 and haven’t returned to action. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), running backs Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee), defensive end Nick Bosa (leg) and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas (knee) all got hurt over the last two weeks in wins over the Jets and Giants. Nick Mullens was under center in last week’s 36-9 win over the Giants, passing for 343 passing yards.
Philadelphia will come into this contest as a 7-point underdog with a total at 45. The home team has won each of the last two meetings, with the 49ers taking the only previous clash at Levi’s Stadium with a 26-21 victory in 2014. Philadelphia returned the favor with a convincing 33-10 win at home three years later. The 49ers are 2-1 SU and ATS on the season, and have covered in five of their past seven overall. The over has cashed in the Eagles previous five road games and these teams have finished above the total in seven of their previous 10.
Wentz has completed less than 60 percent of his passes on the season and has thrown multiple INTs in all three games the Eagles have played. The Eagles are coming off a 23-23 tie at home to the Cincinnati Bengals and a rookie quarterback last Sunday. Wentz went 29-of-47 for 225 yards and a touchdown, but had two interceptions and a fumble. Ward emerged as a new threat downfield for the Eagles, catching eight balls on 11 targets for 72 receiving yards. The defense will need to step up, which is also dealing with a rash of injuries. The Eagles are fifth in the league in total defense with just 330.7 total yards allowed per game and fourth with only 4.8 yards per play surrendered. The over is 5-0 in the Eagles’ last five road games. Philly will play at Pittsburgh next Sunday.
The 49ers are expected to get back star tight end George Kittle for Sunday’s game, as he returned to full practice after missing the previous two games with a knee injury. Kittle had just four catches for 44 yards in the opener but is coming off back-to-back monster seasons. Mullens embarrassed the Giants defense last week by completing 25-of-36 passes and will get another start this week. Three different 49ers each rushed for a touchdown, while the team’s defense dominated the lowly Giants. San Francisco is second in the league with just 15.3 points allowed per game, though, they did play two of the worst teams in the league. The 49ers will host the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.
I give the Eagles a fighting chance here with a defense that can make some plays against San Fran’s backup quarterback. As long as Wentz gets some protection, the Eagles offense will be fine despite all the injuries at wide receiver.
Pick: Eagles +7
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