The Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars open second week preseason action tonight in Florida. Both these teams lost their opening summer scrimmage, the Eagles at home to the Tennessee Titans, 27-10, and the Jaguars at Baltimore to the Ravens, 29-0.
While neither team is looking to extend playing time of their veterans tonight, it is worth noting that the Eagles like where they are and head coach Doug Pederson is quite satisfied with his vets in practices. In fact, quarterback Carson Wentz has looked sharp, but again will not see action tonight in preseason action.
A team satisfied off a lopsided loss is a lot different than a team concerned off a lopsided loss. Preseason or not, the Jaguars are feeling the pressure with their quarterback situation.
Blake Bortles was the Jaguars first round draft choice, the third pick overall, in 2014. The Jaguars chose the University of Central Florida standout confident they were getting their franchise QB.
If it had, the Jaguars may have won a Super Bowl or two the past few seasons because their defense was good enough to make them a threat, but Bortles was bad enough to level their potential. The five year experiment and hopes with Bortles ended this offseason and Blake is not a backup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars are pinning their future hopes on one-time Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. He is a bit of a legend in the City of Brotherly Love, having filled in for an injured Wentz two years ago and leading Philadelphia to their only Super Bowl triumph. After being named Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl LII, the Eagles held on to the veteran signal caller last year and again Foles was forced into action while replacing an injured Wentz.
The results were not as spectacular, although Foles did lead the Eagles to a postseason win over the Chicago Bears before falling the following Sunday to the Saints in New Orleans. The bigger question for the Eagles, now that Foles is not on their roster, is who is backing up Wentz? Wentz played all 16 games in his rookie season, but was sidelined by injuries after 13 games in his second year and after 11 games in 2018.
The first choice entering camp for the backup role in Philadelphia was four year veteran Nate Sudfeld, who was originally picked by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round. He started last week against the Titans, but was injured in that game and will not be available tonight.
Next on the Eagles depth chart is Cody Kessler, a one time Jaguar who will get the start against Jacksonville and is expected to see at least a full half of play. When he is relieved, it will be by untested Clayton Thorton.
Now, with that as a quarterback rotation, one might expect the Eagles to be underdogs tonight even against a Jacksonville team that got shutout last week. They are. The books installed the Jaguars a three point home favorite and that brought the gamblers descending on the books like locust looking to take the three points and the visiting Eagles.
Nearly 70% of the bets on this game are on the visitors, but the books haven’t blinked. If the public wants the three points they can have them because the line hasn’t moved despite the one-sided action.
What can we deduce from this fact?
We know that the books like the money coming in on Philadelphia and have done nothing to dissuade the public from betting on them. If the books feared the Eagles, they would have moved this number in unison with the action on the game. Instead, the books are as quiet as a snake eyeing prey moments before pouncing.
Snake eyes tonight is a winner.
Qoxhi Picks: Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) over Philadelphia Eagles