Nelson Agholor

Interesting prop bets for Eagles-Falcons

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Interesting prop bets for Eagles-Falcons

We all know the Eagles are home underdogs Saturday against the Falcons. Eagles fans seem really into being outraged about it … even though it makes sense.

Anywho, the rest of country doesn't expect an Eagles upset. According to Bovada, 77 percent of the betting public is going with the Falcons -3.

Some other interesting Eagles-Falcons prop bets:

Wentz mentions
How many times will Carson Wentz be mentioned during the game? The over-under is 2.5.

Air it out
Nick Foles is 6/1 to record the most passing yards in the divisional round. That places him fourth among the eight quarterbacks, behind Tom Brady, Drews Brees and Matt Ryan.

Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery are tied at 12/1 to record the most receiving yards in the divisional round. Those are the seventh-shortest odds among skill players. 

Nelson Agholor is far behind at 22/1.

On the ground
Jay Ajayi is 12/1 to have the most rushing yards of the weekend. Five running backs — Le'Veon Bell, Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry, Latavius Murray and Dion Lewis — are ahead of Ajayi.

LeGarrette Blount is 20/1, tied with Jerick McKinnon for the longest odds.

Roob's 10 observations from Eagles-Giants

Roob's 10 observations from Eagles-Giants

BOX SCORE

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nick Foles was way better than expected, the defense was worse than expected and the Eagles somehow escaped the Meadowlands Sunday with a way-too-close 34-29 win over the Giants (see breakdown).

With the win, the Eagles clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs, their first since 2004.

It sure wasn't pretty. But that first-round bye will be. 

While we all catch our collective breath, here are 10 instant observations from the Eagles' 12th win of the year.

1. Nick Foles showed a little rust early but ultimately did everything you would want your quarterback to do. Moved the ball, got the offense in the end zone, managed the offense, avoided mistakes. In his first start in 14 months and first start in an Eagles uniform in more than three years, Foles threw four TDs on the road, and that's darn impressive. I really felt good about Foles going into Sunday. He's a good, solid QB, and other than a few bad games on a terrible Rams team in 2015, he's always been a good, solid quarterback. But he was actually better than I expected. He finished 24 for 38 for 237 yards and the four TDs, no INTs and a 115.8 passer rating (see report card). What I was most impressed with was how Foles kept his composure early, when the Giants had that two-TD lead and nothing was going right for the Eagles. This is a guy who hasn't played much football lately, but he was calm and poised in the face of adversity. On the road, down 13 points, nothing going right. Impressive afternoon for Foles.

2. On the other hand? This was an absolutely embarrassing performance by the Eagles' defense against one of the NFL's worst offenses, a team that just fired its coach, a team with a lame-duck interim coach, a team with nothing to play for, a team with the third-worst offense in the NFL. Pathetic. Forget who's playing quarterback for the Eagles, if the defense doesn't get its act together soon, the Eagles' postseason run is going to be a very short one. This is three straight games now where their tackling has been poor, they've allowed big plays and they've been unable to keep an opponent out of the end zone. After allowing just 18 touchdowns in their first 11 games, they've now given up 10 in their last three. For crying out loud, the Giants came into the game averaging 14 points on offense, and they scored three TDs on their first 26 plays and laid 29 points on the Eagles. Are they worn out? Are they being exposed by better, more experienced quarterbacks? Are they just getting away from basics, like tackling and coverage? Whatever the answer, Jim Schwartz has to get this solved very, very soon.

3. A couple numbers to ponder: Eli Manning, benched just a few weeks ago, threw for 434 yards, the second-most yards ever against the Eagles (Jon Kitna once had 446 for the Lions in a 2007 Eagles blowout win). And the Giants netted 504 yards. This is one of the worst offenses in the NFL! It just seemed like there were Giants open 8 to 12 yards down the field on every play, and nothing ever changed. The Eagles were really, really fortunate to escape North Jersey with a win.

4. I have to say I'm just not in love with the Eagles' running back rotation right now. It just seems too hard for any of the Eagles' four backs to get into any sort of rhythm right now. Early in the year, the way the offense was operating, they were all getting enough carries to kind of get going individually, but in close games, when the Eagles are scrambling on offense, it just seems that the rotation is hurting the offense's rhythm. Kenjon Barner had an 18-yard run at the start of the second quarter, then didn't get another carry. LeGarrette Blount gets the ball on a crucial 4th-and-1 midway through the second quarter, but it's only his second carry of the game and the play goes nowhere. Corey Clement runs for 10 yards midway through the first quarter and doesn't get another carry in the next five drives. Jay Ajayi? I've been saying since about the second game he played in an Eagles uniform he should be this team's lead back, but after gaining four yards on his first carry of the game, only five of the next 14 running back handoffs went his way. His next carry? That went 22 yards for a first down. Ajayi had only 12 carries Sunday and that's not enough. He needs to carry the bulk of the load. Has to.

5. I can't think of a more dramatic transformation in Philadelphia sports history than what we've seen this year from Nelson Agholor. It's flat-out remarkable, and that kid deserves so much credit for never making excuses and just working his ass off during the offseason and hammering himself into a legit NFL wide receiver. That insane third-quarter touchdown catch on the heels of his 141-yard game in L.A. last weekend … that's big-time stuff right there. 

6. Howie Roseman has to do everything imaginable to make sure the Eagles don't lose Trey Burton. That kid can play.

7. Impressive day for Zach Ertz, especially that 15-yard catch and run down the right sideline for a huge late first down. Ertz didn't have huge numbers — 7 for 59 with a touchdown — but his history with Foles really showed up. They were together in 2013 and 2014, and you can tell Foles loves having him out there.

8. I'm trying to figure out Ronald Darby. Played awful much of the game, but he did have that huge interception and big return, and then he made an enormous play in the end zone in the final minute, knocking away a potential Manning touchdown pass to Roger Lewis. One thing is for sure — the kid has talent. Another is for sure — he has to be more consistent.

9. With all due respect to Fletcher Cox, sometimes I really believe Brandon Graham is this team's defensive MVP. He was very good once again Sunday, extending his career high in sacks to 9½ and also making a huge play in the fourth quarter, throwing Shane Vereen for a nine-yard loss on a drive that ultimately ended with the Eagles' blocking a field goal. On a day when most of the guys around struggled, Graham continued his brilliant play. He was there when the Eagles needed him the most.

10. The left side of the offensive line was everybody's biggest concern going in, and while Chance Warmack and Halapoulivati Vaitai aren't going to pick up any late Pro Bowl votes for their performances, they hung in there enough, protecting the blind side of a quarterback making his first start in 14 months. Foles didn't always have a ton of time, but he was only sacked once — that was on Big V and caused a fumble (that the Eagles recovered). The Eagles scored 34 points with those guys. Could have been worse. Could have been a lot worse.

How Eagles receivers really feel about QB switch

How Eagles receivers really feel about QB switch

When we last saw Nick Foles, his wide receivers were Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper and Josh Huff.

Oops. We can't forget Jeff Maehl.

The Eagles have turned over their entire wide receiver corps since trading Foles after the 2014 season. Nelson Agholor arrived in 2015, and Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Mack Hollins this year.

So when Foles goes out there Sunday afternoon to face the Giants at M&T Stadium, he'll be playing alongside wide receivers he's barely played with.

"I've watched them run their routes all year, I've been able to practice with them at different times to throw them routes, so you just sort of build that database," Foles said. 

"I'm not going to always be able to get the reps Carson gets, but I'm always standing behind the play, I'm always watching film, I'm always watching his drops, I'm always doing drops in the background, so you just go out there … and play."

Since he got here in March, Foles has worked with the scout team at practice, facing the starting defense and working mainly with receivers like Marcus Johnson, Hollins and Shelton Gibson.

But starting Sunday, he'll be out there with Jeffery, Agholor and Smith — a group he's completed six passes to in his career.

That's why this practice week was so important. These guys don't have a huge history together.

"Moving forward, these guys can really spend time together, Alshon and Nick, Torrey and Nick, (Zach) Ertz and Nick and everybody on offense, can spend time this week kind of getting to know each other a little bit better and understanding it's going to be different," head coach Doug Pederson said. 

"The ball is going to come out a little differently. It's going to be in a different spot. It's just the nature of the game. So it behooves them to spend as much time at practice this week to get on that same page."

Foles has played with all three tight ends — Ertz, Brent Celek and Trey Burton. In fact, he and Celek were together for three years. And Foles and Ertz hooked up on 49 catches for 643 yards and six touchdowns in the 20 games they played together in 2013 and 2014.

But for Foles and the outside receivers, this is all new.

"It's just us getting repetitions with him at practice, that's all it is," Jeffery said. "My comfort level is pretty high with Nick. I'm extremely confident in Nick, we all are. 

"Nick's been in there throwing every once in a while, they switch it up, so I have a pretty good feel for him.

"On Sunday, we'll see. We'll just keep practicing and go out there and let Nick have fun and we're going to do a great job rallying around him."

Smith, coming off his first 100-yard game as an Eagle, said people are making too much of Foles' lack of experience with the Eagles' wideouts.

"I think it's overrated, especially when it's a guy who's been here the whole offseason," Smith said. "He knows the system. It's not like we haven't been in practice with him. 

"We know how he throws the ball. It's not going to be as tough a transition, in my opinion. I've gotten plenty of reps with him in there. They rotate him in there in 7-on-7. The 7-on-7 periods, we're all in there, so the quarterbacks get reps with all the receivers. 

"I'm very comfortable with Foles and for him, it's really just him getting the reps and getting back into it. He's ready. He looks pretty good."

If anybody is concerned, they're not letting on.

"It's basically just talking to them, what they like, how they feel, what they see this week," Foles said. "And it'll come really fast."