With the NFC East Crown essentially secure, the Eagles turn their attention to postseason preparations, but that doesn’t mean a hungry NFC North side can’t sting them in week 12. As a result, this matchup will be a goldmine for bold predictions. Talking of which, this series now stands at 18/45. We’re slipping away from our 50% target…but can we turn it around this week? It’s time for another five bold predictions!
Alshon makes a statement:
Whenever a player lines up against his former team, there Is always going to be an added hint of emotion, even if it’s just a drop. For Jeffery, he faces the team with whom he spent his first five year’s in the NFL. The 6’3 wideout has been remarkably impressive, recording a touchdown in each of his last three games as well as amassing at least 60 yards in each. He is yet to however eclipse the 100-yard receiving mark in a single game as an Eagle.
Against a weakened Bears secondary that hasn’t tallied a single interception all season, my first bold prediction is for Jeffery to finally fit the final piece of the jigsaw and receive for 100 yards as well as scoring a touchdown in his fourth consecutive game.
Clement takes charge:
The Undrafted rookie free agent who forced his way onto the final 53-man roster has been an impact-player from the very first special teams snap of the season. Corey Clement now ties for the team lead in touchdowns after ten games where both his versatility and aggressive style of running have been on full display. The new-look backfield is impressive. Jay Ajayi has led the pack in rushing yards in both of his first two games as an Eagle, while LeGarrette Blount has been just as valuable with the load now taken off his shoulders.
The Bears will be doing all they can to contain the Eagles running game and slow the tempo of the game as much as possible, but preventing a running back who is just as dangerous running downhill as he is on zonal looks and as a receiving back, will be a very different task.
My second bold prediction is for Clement to rip the reins away from Ajayi, by amassing 70 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards on Sunday as the Eagles ride the hot hand.
Brandon Graham’s emergence:
The Eagles pass rush has been ruthless all season long and for what seems like the millionth time, Brandon Graham is going severely underrated. Flying under the radar while Derek Barnett steals the spotlight, Graham has had six games of at least 0.5 sacks this season and has registered a tackle in all but one.
The Bears have very fast paced offense. Expect lots of screens, split-backfield looks and a variety of ways to get two very elusive backs involved. This will mean that Schwartz is going to rely heavily on his most esteemed edge rushers to keep Trubisky in the pocket and collapse it as soon as possible.
My third prediction is for Graham to rack up 2.5 sacks on Trubisky, his most in a single game this season…showing the Eagles exactly why extending him should be an offseason priority.
Ever since exploding onto the scene with a huge touchdown reception, the role of Mack Hollins in Pederson’s offense has only increased over time. In fact, the former Tarheel now has 179 yards this season.
With his former quarterback on the opposite sideline and Trey Burton listed as questionable, the Eagles may in need of some versatile firepower…and that’s where the deep-threat comes into play. My penultimate bold prediction is for “Backpack Mack” to trek his way to the end zone for his second touchdown of the year and end the day with at least 50 receiving yards.
Clean as a whistle:
Against the league leader in sacks last week, the Eagles kept Wentz completely clean. Dallas were unable to bring down the franchise quarterback a single time as the offensive line showed Dallas who really is the best line in the league. This week, they face a Bears Pass rush that’s missing a key cog in Leonard Floyd and one who will be so focused on stopping the run and slowing the Eagles down, that the offensive line should be able to dictate how that matchup unfolds.
With wind in their sails, my final bold prediction is for the Eagles to keep Carson Wentz clean and sack free for the second consecutive week. An incredible feat if achieved that would vindicate the talent along this offensive front.