Wildcard Round: Sunday Slate

January 4, 2019

Wildcard Weekend wraps up Sunday with a pair of gems. The Chargers get a rematch with the Ravens in Baltimore and the Bears will welcome the Eagles to Soldier Field. Both contests have a ton of story lines and things to watch.

Let’s take a deep dive into each matchup:

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-7) at CHICAGO BEARS (12-4)
Sunday 4:40 p.m. airing on NBC
Opening line: Bears -4
Record against the Spread: Philadelphia (6-9-1), Chicago (12-4)
Series: Bears lead 29-14-1
Week 17 results: Eagles over Redskins 24-0, Bears over Vikings 24-10
Eagles won last matchup with Ravens 31-3 (Nov. 26, 2017)
AP Rankings: Eagles #12, Bears #3

Rankings:
Eagles offense: Rush (28), Pass (7), Overall (14)
Eagles defense: Rush (7), Pass (30), Overall (23)
Bears offense: Rush (11), Pass (21), Overall (21)
Bears defense: Rush (1), Pass (7), Overall (3)

Notes and Sundry Thoughts – Eagles and Bears have met three times in the playoffs with the Eagles winning twice…Eagles have won five of their last six games and are trying to become just the third 6th seed to win the Super Bowl…Nick Foles, last year’s Super Bowl MVP, is 3-1 in the playoffs…Foles has 962 yards passing and six TDs in final three weeks of the season, averaging right around 19 fantasy points per week, in that span…Josh Adams led the Eagles in rushing, with 511 yds on the ground, but Wendell Smallwood was the best fantasy football running back for the Eagles, scoring 117.4 points, in ESPN PPR leagues…Alshon Jeffery, the 26th best WR in ESPN PPR, had his best season as an Eagle with 843 yds and six scores…Zach Ertz set an NFL record for tight ends with 116 catches. He was TE2 in ESPN PPR leagues, 14 points behind Travis Kelce and 22 ahead of George Kittle…to outline the disparity at the TE position in fantasy football, Ertz finished 120 points better than Austin Hooper, the 6th best TE…Nelson Agholor set a career-high with 64 catches…Bears put together their best record since 2006 when they went 13-3 and lost to the Chargers in the Super Bowl…Chicago was 7-1 at home, this season, after having won seven home games over the past three years…the Bears defense led the league in interceptions, with 27, after having just 24 total over the last three years…Bears had best scoring defense in the league, on a per-game basis, allowing 17.7 ppg…Mitchell Trubisky held a 109.7 rating over the final three games and completed 75.9% of his passes, in that span…Tarik Cohen (RB11) compiled 1169 total yards from scrimmage (44 rushing, 725 receiving) and eight TDs…Cohen had the most receptions (71) for Chicago on the third-highest target total (91)…Anthony Miller led Chicago in receiving TDs…Trey Burton finished as TE8 with 569 yds and six TDs.

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Check out my preview of SATURDAY’S SLATE.

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LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (12-4) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-6)
Sunday 1 p.m. airing on CBS
Opening line: Ravens -2.5
Record against the spread: LA (9-7), Baltimore (8-8)
Series: Ravens lead 7-5
Week 17 results: Chargers over Broncos 23-9, Ravens over Browns 26-24
Ravens won last matchup with Chargers 22-10
AP Rankings: Chargers #5, Ravens #9

Rankings:
Chargers offense: Rush (15), Pass (10), Overall (11)
Chargers defense: Rush (9), Pass (9), Overall (9)
Ravens offense: Rush (9), Pass (2), Overall (22)
Ravens defense: Rush (4), Pass (5), Overall (1)

Notes and Sundry Thoughts – Ravens held Chargers to season-low in points scored in their week 15 meeting…Chargers offense was third in yards-per-play (6.8) and sixth in points-per-game (26.8)…LA was tops in the AFC with 6.62 yards per first down play…Phillip Rivers averaged his best yards per attempt (8.5) since 2010 and finished second in QB rating with 105.5…Rivers finished just outside the top-10 fantasy QBs (QB11) according to ESPN PPR scoring…Melvin Gordon compiled over 1,200 total yards from scrimmage (1,375) for third-straight season and finished as RB8…Keenan Allen has three TDs in three games against Baltimore…Allen was WR12 this season…Mike Williams is first Chargers WR to score at least 10 TDs in a season since 1996…Ravens are 6-1 since Lamar Jackson took over at QB…Ravens defense allowed lowest total yards, per game (292.2), and second-lowest point total, per game (17.9)…Ravens, as a team, rushed for 2,441 yds which is second-highest total in franchise history and finished one yard shy of 6,000 total yards, the best mark in franchise history…over final seven weeks, undrafted rookie Gus Edwards tied for third in the NFL with 654 yards rushing, while Jackson ranked seventh with 556…Edwards led the team in rushing despite spending the first five weeks of the season on the practice squad…the rookie tight end with the most receiving yards in the NFL was Mark Andrews (552)…Jackson to be youngest QB to start a playoff game in NFL history…Ravens 7-1 in Wild Card round, won five-straight, and own a plus-26 turnover margin in 23 playoff games…Only New England has a better home record than Baltimore, since 2008 (65-23)…Justin Tucker has the best career field goal percentage in NFL history (90.1).

*Your fantasy season doesn’t have to end just yet, play in the GSI PLAYOFF FANTASY CHALLENGE.

  • Categories: NFL

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