Week 7 of the NFL is upon us and the Eagles are just over 24 hours away from a showdown with the Washington Redskins. This of course means it’s once again time for our “five bold predictions” series. So far this season, we’re 10/25 on bold predictions…which isn’t bad at all. After hitting two last week however, it can be even better. With that in mind, here are this week’s five bold predictions.
F I N A L L Y
Every week I make this pick and every week it’s failed so far. But it feels as if each week there is an extra reason why Alshon Jeffery will finally have his first 100-yard game as an Eagle…and this week, it’s simple.
The Redskins are missing both Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland this week. Rookie Fabian Moreau was questionable on Friday. The secondary is hurting…badly. Norman held Jeffery to 3 receptions on 7 targets in week 1 for a total of 38-yards, but with no all-pro cornerback to shadow the Eagles top receiving threat…this has all the makings of a breakout.
To make this even more favorable, Jeffery finally had a game where he wasn’t shadowed by an elite cornerback in Thursday Night Football. He put up 71 yards and led the team in receiving. With the setbacks to the Redskins secondary, my first bold prediction is for the former Chicago Bear to hit that elusive 100-yard game and score a touchdown.
Bradham balls out
It’s hard to forget Nigel Bradham’s incredible showing in Thursday Night Football last week, and even harder to overlook just how much of an impact he’s had on this Defense since joining the team. Monday Night will see Bradham tasked with an even tougher challenge.
Just one week removed from the dynamic Christian McCaffrey, Bradham now faces Chris Thompson. He may have only rushed for 33 yards, but turned four receptions into 105 yards last week against the Niners…and the Eagles Defense may still nightmares about that huge touchdown and broken tackles Thompson bestowed upon the team in week one.
Bradham’s been here before. A patient and instinctive linebacker who consistently churns in under-the-radar performances. For my second prediction of the day, there will be no under-the-radar performance on Monday Night, as Bradham exploded for another 10+ tackle game with 2 tackles for a loss.
Ertz so good
The Eagles leading receiver this year has simply been electric and that all started when he led the team in receiving against the Redskins. Washington aren’t exactly great when it comes to containing tight ends…opening the door for yer another Ertz breakout.
The Redksins surrendered 46 yards to George Kittle, but one week before let up 117 yards and a touchdown to Travis Kelce, a tight end built in a similar mold and used in a similar way to Ertz. Ertz even put up 111 yards back when the teams met in December last year.
The Redskins have a complete lack of secondary help which means things are going to open up on the outside. If they do naturally pay more attention to the Eagles wideouts, expect Ertz to come up big again.
I’m predicting Ertz to rack up 120 yards and a touchdown in his second meeting against the Redskins this year.
Running the table:
The biggest change in this Eagles offense since the teams last met has undoubtedly been the explosion of the running game. The Eagles are currently on a five game streak of rushing for 100 yards or more, which in comparison to the imbalance and inconsistency displayed in week one is just incredible.
The Redskins defensive line is no joke however and their impressive ability against the run has not disappeared. The Redskins boast the fifth best run defense in the league statistically, allowing just 4 yards per attempt.
Heading into MNF, the big difference is that the Eagles offensive line is clicking on all cylinders and Doug Pederson has found a way to balance the offense consistently. My penultimate bold prediction is for Pederson to stick to his gut and the Eagles to extend their streak of 100+ rushing yard games to six.
One last serenade:
The return of Ronald Darby is nigh. Rasul Douglas has performed valiantly in his absence and has been able to haul in a pair of interceptions as well as batting away passes all over the field. It’s been a rollercoaster rookie year for Douglas, but his short memory and ability to hold his own against big-name wide receivers, staying disciplined in coverage has been beyond impressive.
If Darby does return for the matchup against Denver, then it likely means Rasul Douglas will be the cornerback taking a back seat. This may be his last chance to start and close a game…meaning that with Washington’s receiver situation, there’s one last shot to make a statement and show he’s ready to come in and start at a moments notice.
My final bold prediction is for Douglas to pick off his third interception of the season and bat away two passes on Monday Night.
What are your bold predictions? Let me know in the comments!
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports