Wednesday, September 28, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (Week 4, 2011-12)


The San Francisco 49ers are a meltdown away from potentially being 3-0. The Philadelphia Eagles are two Michael Vick injuries away from being 3-0. Can the 49ers put an end to Vick’s season with their high-pressure defense?

The early spread on this game is Eagles (-8.5). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for when betting. All lines from Cooper's Pick and Injury Reports from covers.com as of September 28, 2011. Always keep yourself updated with injury lines because they’ll unexpectedly change throughout the week.

#0: Current Record (Straights Only)
San Francisco 49ers 2-1
Philadelphia Eagles 1-2

#1: Injuries
Michael Vick has stated that he’s 100% certain that he’ll play with his injured hand. However, they could still be without WR Jeremy Maclin, who is doubtful with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 3. DE Juqua Parker is questionable but DE Darryl Tapp should return this week.

The 49ers should have Frank Gore for this contest. WR Braylon Edwards and S Donte Whitner are listed as questionable. The 49ers still have Joshua Morgan and Michael Crabtree so that shouldn’t be a devastating loss.

#2 NFC West on the Road
The NFC West was 6-27 in road games last season. They've started 1-5 this season. The sole victory occurred when the 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, 13-6.

#3: Eagles’ Rushing Defense
The 49ers must rely on Frank Gore for most of their offensive production. Alex Smith won’t beat many teams in a shootout. That’s bad news for an Eagles’ defense that is allowing 131 yards per game at nearly five yards per attempt.

#4: 49ers’ Pass Rush vs. Eagles’ Offensive Line
Michael Vick has been knocked out of two games this season in just three weeks. The 49ers only have seven sacks on the season. However, they were able to take advantage of an injured offensive line and knock Tony Romo out of their game against the Cowboys for about a quarter.

#5: Eagles vs. 49ers: 2010
The 49ers gave Kevin Kolb everything he could handle last year in a 27-24 Eagles’ victory. The Eagles have won the past three regular-season meetings dating back to 2008. DeSean Jackson, Frank Gore, and Vernon Davis have all been significant contributors in those games. Ted Ginn Jr. had a 61-yard kickoff return (no touchdown). The 49ers did have four sacks and five QB hits.

Final Predictions:
I’m really tempted here. I have a lot of concerns with the Eagles. Many of the 49ers’ strengths are piited up against the Eagles’ weaknesses. Frank Gore could run. The 49ers’ can rush the quarterback and have Patrick Willis for the run game and/or spying. Vernon Davis could excel against their linebackers.

The 49ers already knocked one quarterback out of a game this season. The 49ers use a plethora of blitzing attacks that could confuse Vick. The problem is that their secondary is vulnerable to the deep pass. They don’t have that shutdown cornerback that could make that defense great. Without Maclin, I see DeSean Jackson having a monster game here.  

The 49ers keep it close. However, Alex Smith doesn’t allow the 49ers to have enough offensive firepower in this game. The Dream Team gets another scare but they should prevail.

Should is the key word. This could get real interesting if Vick were knocked out again.

Against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers (+8.5)
Straight:  Philadelphia Eagles 20, San Francisco 49ers 16

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