Week 11 Quick Picks: Eagles at Browns

Photo: David Ellis, used via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The 3-5-1 Eagles are getting healthier, but now their ranks are being thinned by COVID-19. The 6-3 Cleveland Browns, 6-3 on the season, had their practice facility closed for the second week in a row earlier this week. Sounds like the perfect environment for some FOOTBAW!

The Eagles and Browns are, at least as of this moment, set to meet by Lake Erie on Sunday afternoon. How will the game go? It’s impossible to say, really, but that’s never stopped John and Joe from trying.

After last week’s debacle in Jersey resulted in a draw, John retains the honor.

John (1-4-4): I need to pick up a win against Joe and I’m rolling the dice that he did not pick the Eagles to be victorious. I can’t offer a tangible reason for the Birds to beat the Browns, so “ebb and flow” will have to do. Philadelphia may/may not find its groove in Cleveland, but they have no choice but to rock the Browns in a huge road matchup.

If the Eagles are going to pull off the upset, they need to overcome a confounding stubbornness to not run the football. If Doug Pederson leans on the running game and plots a balanced game plan, Philly can keep Cleveland’s pass attack off the field. Jim Schwartz’s overpaid defensive line will have to step it up and force some turnovers. While most fans have (rightfully) focused on Carson Wentz in 2020, the defensive line has flown under the radar as the most disappointing unit on the team. That needs to change if they want to return to the playoffs. Opposing Schwartz and Pederson will be Browns head coach and Philly native Kevin Stefanski. Eagles 24, Browns 20.

Offensive Standout: Miles Sanders

Defensive Standout: Alex Singleton

Joe (4-1-4): On this week’s pod, I promised to keep this short. So, instead of going on for a couple paragraphs, I’ll just say this: the Eagles suck right now, and their schedule is about to beat them over the head for the next five weeks. It’s saying something that a game on the road against a 6-3 team might be the most winnable one of the bunch, but here we are.

I don’t expect the Eagles to win this game, which means they probably will. The Eagles should probably struggle to run the ball against the Browns, so they probably won’t. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are probably devising 30 distinct celebrations to use each time they dunk on an Eagles’ linebacker, so they will probably total a hundred yards between them. All of this is to say that Miles Sanders will be the most productive back on the field, but in the end, it won’t matter. Probably. Browns 23, Eagles 18.

Offensive Standout: Miles Sanders

Defensive Standout: Denzel Ward

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