It’s been a while. The Eagles are back off their bye week and are preparing for what many regard as their most pivotal game this season. Win, and the NFC East crown is all but earned. Lose, and the back-end of the season becomes a true test of character. As for our bold predictions, we’re 17/40 so far as we strive for the 50% mark. Will this be the game we can have our first perfect run?
Boys on the run:
The loss of Ezekiel Elliott is huge for the Dallas Cowboys, that goes without saying. Alfred Morris carried the ball for just 53 yards last Sunday as the Falcons sent the Cowboys surging back to earth…but they now face a ruthless run defense. In fact, no running back has rushed for over 40 yards against the Eagles since Kareem Hunt in week 2…and the Birds are allowing just 2.25 yards per carry in their last five games.
My first bold prediction is for the Cowboys running backs to amass no more than 35 yards on Sunday Night.
Ertz so good:
Dallas are hurting without Sean Lee and with Zach Ertz now back into the mix after missing his last game due to injury, the threat of a tight end who has 528 yards and 6 touchdowns this season will be terrifying. The Dallas Defense has struggled all season long when it comes to containing tight ends. Just ask Travis Kelce who led the Chiefs with 73 yards and a touchdown a few weeks back.
My second bold prediction is for Ertz to continue that trend and punish a wounded Cowboys defense by recording two touchdowns and over 100 yards of receiving.
Alshon Jeffery is listed as questionable and although Doug Pederson expects his number one receiver to go on Sunday Night, that may not be the case, as it wasn’t with Ertz two weeks ago. If Jeffery is sidelined, then the Birds will likely return to “backpack Mack” for an infusion of explosiveness.
The former Tarheel has 172 yards and a touchdown on the season, but Hollins has caught at least one pass in each of his last four games. In fact, all but 32 yards of his 172 have been amassed during that time as he continued to prove himself as much more than a perennial special teamer.
My third bold prediction is for Hollins to explode onto the scene if Jeffery is indeed listed as inactive, receiving his second touchdown pass of the year and 50 yards.
The long awaited return of Ronald Darby is nearly upon us. The former Buffalo Bill has been a full participant in practice all week and will likely rotate into the game depending on how close he is to full fitness. While he may not start, expect Darby to still have an impact and a hunger to make a statement after missing nearly half of the season.
My penultimate bold prediction is for Darby to record an interception on his return to action.
Fresh off a new contract, the incentive for Jernigan to run rampant against an offensive line that is teetering on the edge of implosion will be higher than ever. The defensive tackle recently penned a four-year extension and while he is a menace in the trenches, his impact rarely shows on the stat line.
I’m predicting that to change this week as Dallas attempt to keep the ball in Dak’s hands due to the absence of a run-game, and for Jernigan to amass two sacks and 3 tackles, marking his best game as an Eagle so far.
What are your predictions for the game? Let us know in the comments!
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports