By the end of this season, the Cleveland Browns could find themselves with a winning record but sitting on the outside of the NFL playoffs looking in -- while the Philadelphia Eagles could post a losing record and make it into the playoffs.
That's what happens when you have a really bad division like the NFC East that still has a mandatory playoff berth for the best of its bad teams. The Eagles currently hold that position with their 3-5-1 record.
And that's what happens when the Browns (6-3) play in a tough AFC North division and conference in which wild-card spots are hard to earn.
The Browns and Eagles face off on Sunday in Cleveland at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns are 4-1 at home, but since losing star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a torn ACL, their offense has been struggling. In their last two games, the Browns averaged 8.0 points per game.
On the bright side, Cleveland's defense is only giving up 11.5 points per game in that same span. However, their top defender, NFL sacks leader Myles Garrett, has been ruled out for this game after being put on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Betting Odds
Philadelphia Eagles odds: +125
Cleveland Browns odds: -145
Spread: The Browns are -3.5 favorites on Sunday
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Picks
1. Nick Chubb will top 100 yards rushing. The Browns were already a run-heavy team, but without their best playmaking receiver in Beckham, Chubb will be relied upon even more by the offense.
2. Rookie backup QB Jalen Hurts will see the field for the Eagles for a snap or two, utilized for a trick play and/or in a formation designed to capitalize on the threat of his running ability
3. The Eagles will lose, but will remain in the NFC East division lead
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Key Notes
- The Eagles are 1-3 on the road.
- The Browns are 4-1 at home. This is their third straight home game.
- Baker Mayfield hasn't thrown a touchdown or an interception in Cleveland's last two games. He is becoming the definition of a "game manager" at quarterback. It's not the worst thing in the world -- especially given the Browns' history at QB -- but "game manager" isn't the goal when you use the No. 1 overall draft pick on a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.
- Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, another former No. 1 overall pick, leads the NFL in sacks with 9.5 this season. Garrett is in contention for Defensive Player of the Year. But he's been sidelined due to being put on the COVID-19/reserve list.
- Nick Chubb returned to the Browns last week after a knee injury cost him four games. Chubb is one of the league's best running backs, and he looked like it against the Texans; he ran for a season-high 126 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
- Eagles QB Carson Wentz has thrown a league-high 12 interceptions, which is just two shy of his career-high. Coupled with his five lost fumbles, Wentz leads the NFL in total turnovers with 17.
- Eagles RB Miles Sanders has had two runs of 70-plus yards in his last three games.
- The Eagles have a lot of speed on the roster that they can't use on Sunday. Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson is on the IR with an ankle injury, and receiver Marquise Goodwin -- an Olympic track and field athlete -- opted out of the season due to COVID concerns.
- After recording at least two interceptions every year for the past six years, Pro Bowl cornerback Darius "Big Play" Slay has zero interceptions this season for the Eagles.
- The Eagles rank 26th in run defense in the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Key Injuries
S Rudy Ford (hamstring) is out
LB Mack Wilson (hip) is questionable
OG Wyatt Teller (calf) is questionable
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Prediction
Prediction: Browns 22, Eagles 12
Money line: Browns -180, Eagles +160
Against the spread: Browns 3-6, Eagles 3-6Published 21 Nov 2020, 13:05 IST