graphic via lineups.com
I'm not going to lie, I'm burnt out. From the disappointing play on the field, to the yapping in the media, to the toxic bickering between fans, the fun has been sucked out of this season before we've even reached the halfway point.
Also, despite all that, the Eagles remain just one game out of first place in the division with a whole lot of football left to play. There was a reason may people believed this was a Super Bowl team entering the season, and maybe that will emerge going forward.
Anyway, the decidedly un-fun nature of this season caused us to miss our Skin in the Game column last week, but we're back at it this week as the Birds travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills.
Eagles (+1.5) at Bills, Over/Under 43
Honestly, this game might turn into a "who can screw up the least" battle. We all know the Eagles secondary has been atrocious, but the Bills passing game has left a lot to be desired as well. Meanwhile, the Bills defense is highly-regarded, but that unit also gave up 381 yards to the Dolphins.
Still, there's a lot pointing to the Bills here. They're 5-1 compared to the Eagles 3-4. They're at home. And the Eagles have looked brutally bad the last two weeks. So you might be surprised when I tell you I'm going with the Eagles here. But why?
First, the line is an Eagles line. Based on all the factors, you'd expect this line to be much higher. The fact that it isn't is a hint that the Bills are ripe for a loss here. Second, the Eagles are desperate. A loss Sunday puts them in an incredibly difficult position. As bad as they've looked recently, I expect them to respond to the circumstance and at the very least display a high level of effort and focus. And finally, we have one stat that supports an Eagles pick. Under Doug Pederson, the Eagles are 12-7 when they are an underdog of four or fewer points.
What about the over/under? I'm going under. The Bills have only given up more than 17 points once this season, and their offense isn't the type of unit that is perfectly tailored to exploit the Eagles' defensive weaknesses. When you also consider that the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain and winds over 20 MPH the under becomes more enticing.
The pick: Eagles +1.5 and Under 43
Season record: 4-8