The regular season is finally here and the beginning of a brand new era is just a few hours away for the Philadelphia Eagles. Last season, this series of articles was one that really began turning heads…and I hope that this year will be just the same. Here are this weeks five bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles have thrust Carson Wentz into the spotlight, naming him as their starting quarterback against the Browns but while there are reasons to doubt the decision, there are also plenty to get behind it.
From getting to the NovaCare Complex at 5:45 AM, to arriving at the facility before Training Camp had even started in order to get more reps in with Jordan Matthews, the work ethic of Carson Wentz is unparalleled and he’s already earning the trust of his teammates.
While the workload will be slowly but surely placed on his shoulders, easing him into a rhythm early on, the Eagles have such a dynamic Offense that it’s tough to envision a concerning debut. From versatile running backs to the nature of the West Coast Offense, the athletic Carson Wentz brings a whole new element to the Offense that was missing under Sam Bradford.
With that in mind, I predict Carson Wentz to throw for 200 yards and one passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in his rookie debut, not throwing a single interception. The Browns pass-rush may improve under Ray Horton, but the Secondary is wobbly at best.
Backfield battering ram:
I’ve long been backing a Kenjon Barner breakout..and even though he sits third on the depth chart, I think this is the year it happens. Averaging 6 yards per carry in preseason and playing heavily in the “dress rehearsal”, Barner showed coaches that he’s capable of adapting a “Spencer Ware” role in the Offense.
With the durability of Mathews, the age of Sproles and his usage increasing elsewhere, the Eagles could turn to Barner as one of the following..a change of pace back, or a battering ram to wear down the Defense before allowing Mathews to do the damage.
Either way, Kenjon Barner could see quite a few snaps today and as a result, I predict that Kenjon Barner will rush for at least 50 yards.
The Eagles Defense is ruthless. Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan are accompanied on the line by a heavy rotation of powerful Defensive ends against a relatively weak Cleveland Offensive line.
With minimal receiving threats, the Browns could be forced to rush the ball more than they’d want too..which against this Defense is a bad move. The mobility of RGIII will no doubt come into play, but will it be enough to save him from the “man dog” on a play-action look?
Today, I think the Jim Schwartz Defense will be licking their lips at the scent of the Browns Offensive line and wreak havoc. RGIII will be sacked a total of five times.
Josh Huff bursts into life:
He may have struggled during the summer, but Josh Huff finally found his niche in Pederson’s Offense as he ran a Jet Sweep in for a touchdown in preseason. The coaches obviously want to get him the ball and with a weak Browns Secondary being the team’s first opponent, expect Huff to get a lot of attention.
I’m predicting Josh Huff to have 60 receiving yards, something he achieved just once last year.
It’s a well known fact that Safeties in this system are crucial and with a starting tandem of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, they’re going to be dominant against this Browns Offense. How dominant however, remains to be seen. The Eagles could use an extra defensive back quite a lot during today’s game and also blitz the safeties, something Jenkins thrives in doing.
As a result, I’m predicting the Eagles safeties (Jenkins, McLeod and Watkins) to account for 12 total tackles and a sack.
At the end of the game, we’ll score the predictions out of five, gaining a point for each correct one and carry the score into next week.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports