Another week of Eagles Football means it’s also time for another week of our “five bold predictions” series. So far this season, we’re 12/30 on predictions as we aim for the 50% mark. Here are our five bold Eagles predictions for week 8.
The Warriors effect:
The Eagles have no problems spreading the ball around, especially when it comes to the wide receivers. Whether it’s Nelson Agholor and his five touchdowns, or a wild Mack Hollins streaking down the seam, the Birds have a multi-dimensional receiving corps that has no real dominant threat, but more a flurry of electric wideouts ready to punish mismatches.
One receiver who hasn’t shined as brightly as expected this season is Torrey Smith, who has amassed 210 yards and a touchdown this year. Smith is playing his former team this week and a secondary he knows all too well. Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz will steal most of the attention, which leaves a big window for Smith to run rampant against his former teammates.
My first prediction is for Smith to lead the team in receiving yards and score his second touchdown of the season.
Special teams are special:
The Eagles special teams unit has always ranked among the most impressive in the league and this year has been no exception. The emergence of Jake Elliott and some huge plays across the board have propelled the Eagles into great field position on more than a few occasions, but the one thing they haven’t yet done is score a touchdown off of a kick/punt return.
With Wendell Smallwood back into the fray, the Eagles my second bold prediction is for the Eagles to score their first return touchdown of the year. The Niners special teams unit has been equally impressive this season, but the Birds could buck that trend at home.
The Niners have already conceded 942 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground this year. Numbers less than ideal when coming up against a rushing offense that has amassed over 100 rushing yards in each of their last six games.
Blount only has one game of 100+ rushing yards this season which came against the Chargers, but with the Niners being unable to stop an up-the-gut style of rushing, expect the Eagles to rely on the run early and often. Wentz barely threw the ball on Monday Night in comparison to what we’re used to seeing and that’s something that is likely to continue against a team that allowed 265 rushing yards against the Dallas Cowboys.
Kendricks makes a statement:
The Eagles are without Jordan Hicks this weekend and their linebacker depth will be tested more than ever. It wasn’t so long ago that Mychal Kendricks had himself a 17 tackle game, but it also wasn’t long ago that he played a career-low in snaps. The Birds’ have a potential out on the contract of Kendricks after this season, and with Bradham’s contract expiring, this is a very unique opportunity for the former Cal Bear.
My penultimate bold prediction is for Kendricks to have another impressive outing, leading the Eagles in tackles as he seeks to make the most of his opportunity and cement his role on the team moving forward.
Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor. All big names who can punish Defenses relentlessly. But there are a few more names who continue to wreak havoc. Marcus Johnson has been targeted on deep looks unsuccessfully a few times this season, while UNC’s Mack Hollins showed what he brings to the table on a. 64-yard bomb from Carson Wentz.
The Eagles clearly love to spread the ball around and create mismatches…and against a potent secondary there is no better time to get the underdogs involved.
My final bold prediction is for both Hollins and Johnson to record at least 25 yards of receiving each and at least one touchdown between them.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports