Five bold predictions for Eagles’ Thursday Night throwdown with Atlanta

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One more day. That’s all that separates the Philadelphia Eagles form orchestrating their first ever title defense. Anticipation could not be higher and that means it’s once again time for our ‘Bold prediction’ series. This has easily been one of our most popular concepts throughout the NFL season and we want to kick things off with a bang! We’re aiming for a 50% strike rate this season, can we enjoy a strong start?

 

#GoedErtz
Without Alshon Jeffery or Mack Hollins, Doug Pederson will undoubtedly seek to unleash his newly formed tight end tandem against the Falcons. Zach Ertz hauled in 8 touchdown receptions and put up 824 yards last offseason and will now be joined by Mountain-like rookie, Dallas Goedert, who has already boasted his stunning catch radius inside the red zone during preseason. If the Eagles are going to send the Falcons home empty-handed, the tight ends will play a huge role.

My first bold prediction is for both Ertz and Goedert to receive for at least 75 yards each and combine for at least one touchdown.

 

Waking the demon:
Fletcher Cox stated during the offseason that he wants to be named defensive MVP this year. That would be an astonishing feat for the Eagles defensive tackle, who is coming off of a big year but now faces a long string of games without running-mate, Timmy Jernigan. Cox looked the part in preseason, making his opposition crumble with ease.

Atlanta’s offensive front does have some notable names, including the recently acquired Brandon Fusco, but will they really be able to stop the wrath of Fletcher Cox? If the league’s best run defense is going to carry that reputation into this season, Cox will have to take over, starting tomorrow night.

My second bold prediction is for Fletcher Cox to amass 5 tackles and 2 sacks, as opposed to just wreaking the havoc that linebackers and edge rushers often clean up.

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Sid the kid: 
The long awaited ‘meaningful’ debut of Sidney Jones is just around the corner. Last year’s second-round selection is a potentially starting nickel-option for Jim Schwartz after an offseason-long battle with Avonte Maddox. Jones has been nothing but impressive during his time on the field, stemming back to week 17 and showing exactly why he was ranked among the best corners in his class. With a new year comes a new opportunity, but will Jones be able to make the most of it against the experience of Sanu?

Thirdly, I predict that Jones will hit the ground running, literally…running to the end zone. Jones will break on a stray pass, plucking it from the clutches of the intended target, taking it to the house for his first ever touchdown.

 

Nicky Six:
Much has been said about Nick Foles in recent weeks, some of it doubling down on unwavering confidence due to his astonishing place in NFL history as Super Bowl 52 MVP, while others have began to question the team’s chance of success after a wobbly preseason. The gameplan will likely be tailored to the desire of the man who first entered Canton in 2013 for a similarly outstanding feat, giving him a chance to move the chains against the Falcons in a simple manner as he did back in January.

Replicating his success from that game, I’m predicting Foles to throw for 250 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, completing at least 63% of his passes.

 

A true underdog story:
With a lack of depth at wide receiver due to injury, the gates have been heaved open for one DeAndre Cater. A spree of impressive preseason games earned him a spot on the final roster, but could he take on a much bigger role?

It’s a little more likely than you think and if it really is the ‘Year of the Dog’, then my final prediction is for Carter to record his first ever NFL touchdown on a deep pass from Nick Foles, catching an unsuspecting Falcons defense by complete surprise.

 

What are your predictions for tomorrow’s game? Let us know in the comments!

 

Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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