NFL Week 5 Picks: Time For The Underdogs To Take Over

JJ Watt

St. Louis Rams (+7)* at Philadelphia Eagles

One yard away from being the first 4-0 team in the NFL, the Eagles return home still sitting atop the NFC East. The last time the Rams stepped on the field, they were squandering a 21-0 lead to the Cowboys. Interestingly enough, the Eagles have made it a habit to fall behind early in games, only to come from behind and win. St. Louis’ collapse combined with Philadelphia’s ability to return from the dead would suggest that no Rams lead will be safe on Sunday.

As always, the spread is somewhat curious — the Eagles are only giving a touchdown. In fact, the line everywhere appears to be exactly seven points. If teams like the Broncos and Cardinals (arguably two of the league’s better teams) are separated by this same seven-point margin, are the Eagles and Rams really that close?

Perhaps this game has less to do with talent than it does timing. In Rams head coach Jeff Fisher‘s last 15 games following a bye (dating back to his ’98 Tennessee Oilers), his teams are 10-4-1. While we discredited the power of the bye week for unproven coaches like Mike Pettine, we cannot ignore those who have shown the ability over a long career to use two weeks of preparation for their advantage.

The Eagles must win the game to keep pace with the surging Cowboys, and they should pull it out in the end via a late field goal, but St. Louis beats the spread as Fisher leads a vintage post-bye week assault in Philadelphia.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola