Eagles 2020 Betting Record
Point Spread: 6-10
Hoping to atone for the previous season’s playoff failure in the wild-card round, the Philadelphia Eagles were roughly projected to at least make the postseason again. Their season win total was set by the online sportsbook at 9½, and given a slightly better than average chance of winning the Super Bowl at +3000.
Given the relative strength of the NFC East, the Eagles managed to stay in the race much longer than they might have in any other division. Midseason, with a losing record, they still held the division lead.
But after returning from their bye week, things cratered, and the Eagles lost seven of their last eight games and watched the disintegration of their franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, in the process. Against NFL point spreads, they still managed only six covers on the season.
Foreshadowing the year ahead in their season opener, Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz literally got blasted off the ball, getting sacked eight times, throwing two picks and giving up three forced fumbles. Philadelphia lost to the Washington Football Team, 27-17, snapping a six-game winning streak against their division rival.
Then came their home-opening loss against the Los Angeles Rams, a 37-19 blowout in which the Eagles didn’t even cover the teaser. Still, no NFC East team won their opening two games, so during the following week, coach Doug Pederson’s decision to more or less play for a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals seemed like a positive decision.
Still, the slumping Eagles travelled west for a primetime Sunday match against the San Francisco 49ers. Catching more than a touchdown, the Eagles upset the Niners thanks in part to a touchdown catch by recently-signed wide receiver Travis Fulgham.
Point Spread: 1-3
The winning streak stopped at one, as the Eagles hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers as better than touchdown underdogs in a 38-29 defeat that saw the Steelers tack on an insurance touchdown, denying the Eagles a point-spread cover.
The following week, they came within a two-point conversion of tying the Baltimore Ravens with under two minutes. Philadelphia clawed back from a 16-point deficit, but failed to convert the try, losing 30-28. (They handily covered as 10½-point underdogs though.)
Then came the highlight of the Philadelphia Eagles’ season — back-to-back division wins against the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Favored in both games, they mounted a comeback to narrowly edge the Giants in a 22-21 final. But the following week, having lost both starter and backup, the Cowboys travelled to Philly with their emergency quarterback Ben DiNucci. The Eagles managed to cover the hefty double-digit chalk, winning 23-9.
Entering their bye week, holding a losing 3-4-1 record, the Eagles still led the NFC East.
Point Spread: 2-2
Emerging from that bye week, things quickly fell apart. Travelling to New York to take on the Giants as five-point road favorites, the Eagles lost 27-17, snapping an eight-game winning streak over the Giants. That was followed by another loss in a weather-ravaged game in Cleveland, in which the Browns won 22-17.
Philadelphia followed that with a primetime home loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. In a never-in-doubt type of game, Carson Wentz did manage a garbage-time Hail Mary to Richard Rogers giving them the point-spread cover with 12 seconds left in the game.
That would mark the highlight of the Eagles’ third quarter, as they unceremoniously marched into Green Bay to be pummelled badly enough that Wentz was pulled in favor of Jalen Hurts. Covering the point-spread lumber, the Packers won by two touchdowns, 30-16, ensuring the Eagles a losing record on the year.
Still, it was the NFC East, in which their 3-8-1 record still didn’t disqualify them from the division title. Though they were two games out of the race, two more division matches remained on the schedule.
Point Spread: 1-3
In his first career start, Jalen Hurts ran for his life. He did so to the tune of over 100 yards on his way to helping Philadelphia upset the New Orleans Saints, whose vaunted defense was part of the reason they were laying over a touchdown on the road against the Eagles. The interdivision win brought their division title longshot hopes back into reality.
Catching almost a touchdown the following Sunday, on the road in Arizona, Hurts took his second start. They held tough against the Cardinals, holding them to a fourth-quarter tie, but fell behind mid fourth quarter on a DeAndre Hopkins touchdown. Unable to mount a comeback with their ensuing two drives, the Eagles also failed to cover the spread, losing 33-26.
Yet still, they remained alive for the division title, and travelled to face the Cowboys as field goal favorites in the NFL betting market, still somehow in control of their playoff fate. They took a strong 11-point lead in the opening quarter, lost defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and then completely unraveled. Hurts would end the game with three turnovers, losing 37-17. The loss finally eliminated the Eagles from playoff contention.
And The End
The following week, Philadelphia was sacrificed on the altar of scheduling, as the NFL flexed their game against the Washington Football Team into the final Sunday Night Football primetime slot. Earlier in the day of the season finale, the Giants beat the Cowboys, moving New York temporarily into the division lead. If Philadelphia, who had nothing to play for other than pride, could beat Washington, they would eliminate them, giving the division title to the Giants.
Not only did the Eagles’ players give a motivated effort, they mounted a comeback to lead Washington late into the third quarter. With the game within reach, coach Doug Pederson inexplicably benched Jalen Hurts for third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter. Sudfeld threw a pick, botched and fumbled a snap, and took the Eagles out of contention for the game, ultimately losing 20-14.
After a week of grumbling from the players about their losing coaching decisions, Pederson was dismissed as head coach. Though the loss granted them a draft position three slots higher, the sour taste of the loss wasn’t how the roster wanted to end the season.
Point Spread: 2-2
Divisional Record: 2-4
Conference Record: 4-8
Full Season Grade: C
Looking Ahead to Next Season
Money. Worse than anything, they needed cap space, and their jettisoning of Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts should be a start. Of course, now they also need a new quarterback.
Their new coach, Nick Sirianni, Indianapolis’ former offensive coordinator, will face a roster full of holes at just about every position. (Maybe exclude running back?)
A small silver lining, in that the Eagles pick sixth overall and have seven picks in total. (One for each round but the fourth, with two picks in the fifth.)
While there’s still talent at a number of positions, it’s hard to point to any strength the team possesses with a revamped coaching staff. It’s reasonable to project that the team that hits the field in training camp will be a bit different than its 2020 precursor.
Injuries heal, and as the previous season wore on, scores of players moved off the NFL injury report. Betting markets anticipated an improving Eagles team in the second half of the season that never came, but at least the over a dozen players who hit injured reserve during the course of the year will very likely be healed up and reconditioned for 2021.
To their credit, they have locked up their four Pro Bowlers to return. Having four Pro Bowl selections on a team with as many wins isn’t a normal occurrence.
Predicted Record for 2021 Season: 6-10
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