Philadelphia Eagles make the trip to Ohio to face Cleveland Browns this Sunday, with the visitors looking to retain their grip on first spot in the NFC East. The Eagles may well be top of their division, but they have a poor 3-5-1 record in 2020. The Browns are third in the AFC North, with a record of 6-3, the same record as second-placed Baltimore Ravens. They head into this game on the back of a tight 10-7 over Houston Texans last time out, and will be keen to win a second successive game to give their season a boost.
Browns need to stop Sanders
The Browns will need to keep a close eye on Eagles running back Mules Sanders. He has become the first running back in 10 years, and only the second in the last 35 years, to rush for 80 or more yards on 15 or fewer carries in three successive games. In his last three games, Sanders has 283 yards on just 35 attempts at an average of 8.1 yards per carry. For the year, he averages six yards per carry, and he has rushed for 80 or more yards in five of his six starts. If the Browns want to beat the Eagles, they need to stop Sanders.
The Browns’ offense has a rushing threat of its own, however. Their running back Nick Chubb leads the NFL with his tally of seven rushes for 20 or more yards. The Eagles don’t defend against the rush too well either – they have given up 10 rushes of more than 20 yards this season which is the worst record in the NFL for that particular stat. Their offense has had some issues too, with their offensive line having allowed 35 sacks in 2020 – another league high. Quarterback Carl Went has also thrown 12 interceptions – yet another NFL leading stat of the wrong kind.
The Eagles are long way from being the team that head coach Doug Pederson took the Super Bowl crown in 2017. Pederson has received criticism from some quarters about his seeming lack of a plan on offense, with quarterback Carlson Wentz often struggling to unleash any of his receivers. If the Browns can keep Sanders locked down then they have a great chance of victory on Sunday.
Our Pick: Browns to score first and win
We think that the Browns will win this game, despite the awesome form of Mules Sanders. The Eagles’ offense has struggled to find any winning pattern this season and we expect them to struggle to score points again on Sunday. For that reason we are tipping the Browns to score the first points of the game and then go on to win. The odds of +148 on that happening look tempting to us, especially as the Browns are at home. If Wentz struggles to fire up the Eagles offense again then it could be a long day for the men from Philly on Sunday.
Our pick: Browns to score first and win @ +148 with 888Sport
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