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Submitted by Wayne Root on Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM

It’s weird to see an NFL team go from a Super Bowl favorite to a potential Cinderella story. But, that’s exactly what happened when Carson Wentz was injured in the Philadelphia Eagles’ recent win over the Los Angeles Rams. There’s enough of a drop-off to backup Nick Foles, that many Power Ratings dropped Philly from “Super Bowl caliber” to “Wildcard caliber.”

Was that fair? I have to tell you…I watched a lot of last week’s Eagles game against the New York Giants. It might be! Yes, the Giants have been playing better since they fired the head coach. But, Philadelphia was badly outplayed most of the day. They won (but didn’t cover) thanks to a couple of very cheap touchdowns from field position. Were you aware that the Giants won total yardage 504-341? Foles threw mostly safe passes, which helped the team avoid mistakes and grab a lucky win.

As the documented KING OF UPSETS (which has been true for many years), I’m always on the lookout for potential surprises. Philadelphia winning the NFC with Foles would now qualify as a surprise in Las Vegas. Everyone out here is looking much more seriously at Minnesota, New Orleans, and the Los Angeles Rams. To the degree the Eagles are getting respect, it’s because of favored bracketing thanks to all the work that Wentz did! Philadelphia might actually be a home dog, or a very cheap home favorite if they ran into any of those teams next month (which they will if they want to get to the Super Bowl.)

I’ll be watching this Monday Night’s game with Oakland very closely with an eye toward mapping out Philadelphia’s “true” odds to win its conference. Frankly, any good team should crush the Raiders in that schedule spot. Oakland just lost a heartbreaker to Dallas that virtually eliminated them from the playoffs. Now they have to go on the road for Christmas to play an opponent that needs the win. I’ll say this…if the Eagles have to sweat the Raiders, there’s NO WAY they’re going to the Super Bowl.

Even if Philadelphia wins, it might just be taking candy from a baby until reality hits them next month. I will be optimistic about the team’s Cinderella hopes if I see the following:

*Intense defense! The Eagles have almost disappeared on defense the past couple of weeks. They allowed a lot of points and a high yards-per-play mark to the Rams in a road win. I already told you about allowing 500-plus yards to Eli Manning and the Giants. If Derek Carr has a big night, then Nick Foles isn’t the problem. A defense that peaked early before running out of gas is the big problem. You can’t win in January with one of the worst playoff defenses. Even New Orleans is playing defense now.

*Big play offense! Nick Foles isn’t winning the NFC by playing it safe with dinks and dunks. You can get to the postseason that way. You can’t beat other elite teams that way. I need to see a much higher yards-per-pass-attempt from Foles, and impressive touchdown passes under pressure. Wentz had a knack for firing the ball to receivers whenever a big play was needed. This team is going to miss that skill.

*Confidence and swagger! Intangibles matter in the playoffs. Drew Brees believes he’s going to win whenever he takes the field. The young energy from both Minnesota and the LA Rams is impossible to miss. Philadelphia can’t just hope for the best with Foles. They need to show me they BELIEVE they still have a chance.

We’ve talked a lot about the Oakland Raiders this season because they’ll be moving to Las Vegas in the near future. I know that team inside and out. I have great sources that tell me more about what’s going on behind the scenes. I’ll also be evaluating the Eagles based on what I know about the Raiders.

Between now and Monday Night, I’ll be firing away at bowl games and NFL showdowns throughout the holiday weekend. You can purchase all the smart investments in THE ROOT TRUST right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my services best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages with basketball. My trip down “The Road to March Madness” has already started. Smart investors attack every sport for fun and profit. You don’t become a handicapping legend by being a one-sport wonder!

It’s very easy for NFL teams to lose focus during a holiday weekend. I think you’ll see that the eventual Super Bowl champion WON’T fall into that trap because winners keep their eyes on the prize. Cinderella just might announcer herself as well. I’ve made my name by spotting surprises before they happen. Would you like to win with the only man in the sports betting industry to earn a star on the “Walk of Fame” in Las Vegas? It’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!

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