The Eagles are heading into their third primetime matchup of the season and there’s a lot on the line. An NFC East crown will be the prize if the Birds can dethrone the Seahawks…but it will be anything but easy. We’re now 19/50 when it comes to bold predictions this year, a little less than the .500 we set out to achieve. But when the stakes are high, unbelievable moments can take place. It’s time to make five more bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles and their matchup this week.
Wentz makes a statement:
Last year, Carson Wentz had his “welcome to the NFL” moment against the Seahawks. Seattle’s ruthless secondary picked him off twice, reading his eyes like a book and forcing some erratic throws. Wentz was asked to throw 45 times with the team completely abandoning the run. One year later and things could not be more different. The Eagles have ten consecutive games of 100+ rushing yards and Wentz is a front-runner in the MVP race, leading the league with 28 touchdowns.
Revenge will be the last thing on the mind of this selfless team, however the strides that Wentz has taken since his rookie season are absolutely huge. Without Richard Sherman or Earl Thomas, Wentz is poised for a more consistent game than what we saw last season, but it still won’t be easy.
This will very much be a “coming of age” game for the second year quarterback. A win secures them the NFC East Crown and a loss will open up a very different can of worms. My first bold prediction is for Carson Wentz to respond to the pressure in a way only a franchise quarterback can. Protecting the ball, Wentz won’t throw an interception for his fourth consecutive game, throwing for over 300 yards and 2+ touchdowns.
Chaining the beast:
It’s safe to say that the Seahawks offense has spluttered this season, especially in the run game. Russell Wilson leads the team in rushing yards while the offensive line have crumbled throughout the season. With that said, Wilson is still one of the most elusive quarterbacks. With the win at San Francisco (11/26), became the winningest quarterback in a player’s first six seasons in NFL history with 63. 23 touchdowns and 3,029 yards sum up another impressive season for an elite quarterback who has lacked a strong supporting cast.
The Eagles are no stranger to dual-threat quarterbacks. They marginalized Cam Newton with relative ease and silenced Das Prescott in a complete demolition job. Wilson is a very different beast, but I’m predicting the stout run defense to hold Wilson to less than 50 rushing yards and 250 yards passing on Sunday Night.
Twelfth man silenced:
Seahawks fans have quite the reputation. The Twelfth man has lost just three games by double digits of their last 111 outings. 128 consecutive sellout home games partnered with an average of 1.59 opposing false start penalties since 2005 make for one of, if not the most intimidating place to play in the entire Football League. Luckily for the Birds, they’ve been silencing the doubters all year long.
My third bold prediction is for the Eagles to avoid falling victim to the pressure and noise that goes hand in hand with the Primetime spotlight and playing in CenturyLink field, winning by double digits and adding an extra loss to Seattle’s formidable 88-37 home record since 2002.
Ajayi’s frustrations turn into production:
Jay Ajayi carried the ball five times against the Bears. Four of his runs went absolutely nowhere and one 30-yard breakaway rush ended in a goal-line fumble that was recovered by Nelson Agholor. Frustrations were brimming and understandably so. There were some who decided to blow it up out of all proportions, but the fact is that any running back who is used to being “the guy” and is having to adapt to life in a “team first environment” will not be used to struggling so much out of the blue.
Penultimately, I’m predicting for the Brit to explode out of the gate to lead the Eagles in carries and amass his first 100 yard game since 2016.
Legion of Gloom:
The Seahawks had their way with the Eagles last time out, but their defense is missing its heart and soul and the Eagles offense is scoring points at a production rate that is rarely seen. Philadelphia leads the NFL with 351 points, which are the most through 11 games in franchise history. The team has also scored 30+ points in 5 consecutive games (longest active streak in the NFL), which is tied for the 2nd-longest streak in franchise history. Do the Seahawks really stand a chance?
Finally, I predict that the Eagles will put up another 30 point performance, their sixth consecutive game…highlighting a weakness in the Seahawks Defense and making a firm statement by claiming the NFC East crown.
Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports