Hello Bolts From the Blue,
Tonight we have a Monday Night Football game that could end up being a battle of the backup quarterbacks. Both starting quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts for the Philadelphia Eagles and Geno Smith for the Seattle Seahawks, are questionable to play in this game and it could mean that Marcus Mariota and Drew Lock are leading their teams into a much needed get-right game. Ironically, this game was the first ever one picked to be flexed into Monday night replacing the Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots game due to a concern over the quality of that matchup. Yet now we face the very real possibility of this being a low scoring affair with two backups at the helms of their offenses.
Jalen Hurts came down with an illness late in the week and quickly moved from a precautionary update to a dubious Questionable tag as his illness has “worsened”. Geno Smith has been dealing with groin injury that kept him out of last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Looking at the backup quarterbacks, Seattle have the advantage as Drew Lock played last week and could have done a lot worse whereas Marcus Mariota has only thrown three passes for the Eagles, funnily enough also against the 49ers, and has a lot less time experience in his offense.
The Philadelphia Eagles are entering this game on the back of two straight losses against teams in the race for the number one seed in the NFC. Not only have they lost to teams that could be their rivals in late January but they also lost momentum at a critical time of year. They’re looking for a boost against a Seattle Seahawks’ side that has completely lost control of this season falling to four straight losses. At one point they were 5-2 and leading the NFC West but they have since gone 1-5 with some key injuries being a major factor.
DraftKings Sportsbook have the Eagles as field goal favorites at the moment however the betting landscape will change dramatically if either starting quarterbacks are forced to miss this MNF game. From reports, Jalen Hurts is less likely to play than Geno Smith however if both Smith and Hurts are able to start then I trust the Eagles to cover their 3-point spread at -112 despite their offense struggling. Nick Sirianni’s offense has only scored 32 points over the last two weeks however the Seahawks are allowing the eighth highest points per game in the league and are looking likely to be missing key pieces in Devon Witherspoon and Jamal Adams which means their secondary could be exposed. The Eagles’ receiving trio of A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert will look to take advantage of this mismatch and I think it will be too much for a reeling Seattle to keep up with.
Keep an eye on the injury reports in the hours leading up to kick off as the betting markets will swing dramatically based on the availability of the quarterbacks.
Injuries to Consider
Jalen Hurts is Questionable. Cam Jurgens, Zach Cunningham and Darius Slay are all Out. Avonte Maddox has been placed on IR.
Geno Smith, Devon Witherspoon, Jamal Adams, Dee Eskridge and Nick Bellore are all Questionable.
Here is how the BFTB staff sees this game breaking down:
What do you think, BFTB? Any of you placing bets tonight?