There’s no doubt that both the Eagles and their fans are hungry for a win over divisional rivals the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night. But for that to happen, they will certainly need not only a big team performance but some individual standouts as well.
Over the past few weeks, we have successfully predicted the unthinkable. From exact rushing yards and touchdowns in a game for DeMarco Murray to Sam Bradford milestones and a Nelson Agholor breakout..every single week we hit at least one bold prediction on the head whilst every other news/media outlet sleeps on us or continues to stay posting inside their comfort zone. It’s time to break the internet yet again with our three bold predictions for what could be the biggest game of the year so far.
3) King Kiko
Kiko Alonso has been absent since week two, although on the surface you wouldn’t really notice. Sure the pass rush has been inconsistent but the Eagles linebackers have stepped up massively and the spotlight very swiftly shifted from Kiko’s absence to the emergence of Jordan Hicks. Alonso picked up 7 tackles in two weeks as well as a beautiful interception in week one and we are expecting a similar performance on Sunday as he explodes onto the scene yet again.
The Cowboys have allowed 13 sacks this season which doesn’t seem bad at all..but the powerful Offensive line are now having to protect a shaken up Matt Cassel who has had a terrible couple of games. The Eagles are definitely going to bring the heat and should finally have the talent needed to set the edge effectively, allowing the dominant force of Kiko Alonso to storm through the trenches to pick up his first sack as an Eagles and end on at least 5 tackles. We would say 7+ but this is his first game back so Kelly may well ease him into rotation, especially considering how well Hicks has been playing so 5 is bold enough for us!
2) The homecoming
We have already written two articles on what’s needed from DeMarco Murray this weekend if he is to succeed as an Eagle but with Ryan Mathews listed as questionable, it would not be a surprise to see a much more aggressive style from Murray in order to compensate. The Eagles will effectively be playing with one running back whilst Sproles will predictably take screen plays and line up in the slot.
Because of the increase in touches and the change in style that we have seen Murray adapt in recent weeks, this should be his most complete game as an Eagle. That and he already has first hand experience of what it feels like to run as DeMarco Murray (North/South, Shotgun plays) against the Cowboys which should give him enough motivation to change things up and keep his former teammates guessing.
Finally the Eagles have all the pieces of the run game when it comes to Murray who has been able to become a much more versatile player than originally thought and this weekend will see a culmination of his progress and a Defense that has recently struggled against the run, giving up over 100 yards or more in their last five games. We’re predicting DeMarco Murray to rush for 100 yards and score both a receiving AND a rushing touchdown…the wheel route is a glorious thing.
1) A new beginning
Yes, the Eagles have the most drops in the NFL and yes Jordan Matthews is the main culprit but after reportedly playing through a hand injury and having a week off, it’s time for things to change..they simply have too. We have seen weeks of Sam Bradford’s ignorant persistence in targeting Matthews more than much more reliable options and we have seen weeks of sub par performances and easy drops. If things don’t improve now then I really don’t think they will for the rest of the season..but if they do, they will explode. Bradford’s accuracy is astounding when he’s rolling and so was Jordan Matthews last year. Dallas have been very strong against the pass and most analysts will be quick to close the door on the chances of an Offensive breakout, but here’s why they’re wrong.
The Cowboys will have seen the consistent struggles in the passing game and evaluated that this late in the season the Eagles would be wise to seek refuge in the running game. So as they pack eight in the box to stop DeMarco Murray, who gets open? Jordan Matthews..and once that first catch comes in, the confidence builds and the chemistry begins to flow..big things will happen. We’re predicting an 80 yard receiving game for Jordan Matthews and his second receiving touchdown of the season.
What do you guys think? Leave your three bold predictions in the comments below, oh and be sure to check back after the game has ended because recent trends suggest that the world should really stop sleeping on us..we’re coming.