Looking to rebound from a disastrous week one loss to the Washington Football Team, the (0-1) Philadelphia Eagles head back to the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field today to take on the (1-0) Los Angeles Rams, who themselves are coming off a win against the Dallas Cowboys (1pm ET Sunday live on Fox).
Read on for our LA Rams vs Philadelphia Eagles predictions, picks and full NFL game preview.
Tale of Two Quarterbacks
It is common practice to want to compare two quarterbacks from the same draft class, especially when those quarterbacks were drafted 1 and 2 and both have resumes almost as impressive as the other. Drafted first and second respectively in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have both been anointed their team’s franchise quarterbacks.
Both led their teams to strong regular seasons that led to Super Bowl runs in back-to-back years. Although, neither was quite able to celebrate the pinnacle of that achievement. In Goff’s case, it was due to the Rams being outmanned by the New England Patriots, a team determined to avenge their loss the year prior, to Wentz’ Eagles. It wasn’t Wentz under center when Philadelphia won their first championship, it was back up Nick Foles.
The moral of the story here is, we are now in year five for both Wentz and Goff and to this point, both have shown flashes of brilliance. They have also had some hiccups along the way, be it due to poor performance or a history of injuries. The general consensus is that you can’t really judge a quarterback until at least year three. While this COVID-influenced season will have its own challenges, both Wentz and Goff, newly extended and expected to be leading their teams for the foreseeable future, will be under the microscope.
The Eagles and Rams have played twice in the last four years but Nick Foles started one game for the Eagles. So Goff and Wentz are about to have just their second-ever meeting. It makes sense to do some comparisons on how the two have played throughout their careers, when going head-to-head and this year in general.
One of Wentz’s marquee wins came against the Rams in 2017, the first time he and Goff went head-to-head. There was a lot on the line for both teams and in the end, a gutsy win pulled out by the Eagles sealed both teams’ playoff fates. It also started a disappointing trend for the Eagles’ QB and his ability to finish seasons healthy. Wentz got the better of Goff in this meeting. As for their careers, as mentioned earlier, Goff and Wentz are pretty evenly matched. Their win-loss records are within just a few games and their completion percentages are within just a few points. Wentz holds a big edge in rushing but other than that, it is hard to say at this point who has been the better and more reliable QB for his respective team.
That brings us to last week where Goff played well enough to lead the Rams to a big opening victory and Wentz played well enough to lead his team to a shocking defeat. Having never lost to Washington in his career, Wentz had a strong first half before it all fell apart. With a patchwork offensive line, Wentz was sacked eight times and made some poor decisions that resulted in scoring chances for Washington. They made Wentz pay for every mistake, converting the Eagles turnovers into points on the board each time. Twenty seven unanswered points later and the Eagles lost the game by a final of 27-17. It was Wentz’s worst game of his career.
What happens next with these two young QBs doesn’t necessarily have to be a diverging road, though it would be rare to see both continue to excel. It is not often quarterbacks are taken 1-2 in the draft and it’s even more infrequent to see both have successful careers. Only time will tell but right now, it looks like Wentz and Goff could be the exception to the rule. Goff will look for his first win against Philadelphia today.
Best of the Rest
- Injuries: It’s only week one but injuries have already been a big story for the Eagles. This week however, they find themselves getting Lane Johnson and Mile Sanders back. Brandon Graham, who left game one to undergo concussion protocol has also been cleared for action. Having Johnson and Sanders back is especially important for the Eagles and Wentz in particular. With better protection at the line, Wentz should have an improved performance from last week.
- Rams’ Running by Committee: With both Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers doing enough to earn the co-starring nods in the off season, the Rams unveiled a new running back by committee approach. It was a new look for the franchise that had previously relied on Todd Gurley for so long but last week against Dallas, it worked. The Eagles run defense wasn’t particularly exposed, however facing this duo will be a big test.
Our Preview’s LA Rams vs Philadelphia Eagles Picks & Betting Predictions Conclusion
Led by two of the league’s best young quarterbacks, at times, both squads will be looking for their guy to lead them to a week two victory. The Eagles should be fortunate that, of their division, only Washington won, meaning that loss may not hurt them in the end.
A second loss in a row will have the team starting to question not just its quarterback, but it’s Super Bowl-winning head coach as well. It is way too early to call this a must-win, but Wentz will need to play well in order to avoid a potential QB controversy brewing with second round pick, Jalen Hurts, waiting on the bench.
For the Rams, things are a little less do-or-die. LA looked good in their new stadium debut. It is time to see what they can do on the road. So, for this NFL preview, USAbetting offers these Rams vs Eagles predictions:
- At just 1 to 2pts favored to the Eagles, this game is tied for the lowest such spread of the week with the greatest of the US-friendly betting sites. It is a tough call, but we are going to stick with the Eagles. Wentz doesn’t tend to have bad games back-to-back all that often and while there won’t be fans in attendance, expect him to rebound at home all the same. Bet on the Philadelphia Eagles -1pt @ -115 with Bovada. It is -1.5 or -2pts with the other outlets.
- As for the total points likely to be notched up in this NFL matchup, these two teams tend to play to high scores so for the second of our picks, take the over 45.5pts @ best odds of -105 with BetOnline.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.