Five bold predictions for Eagles NFC Championship rematch with Vikings

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Last week this series finally heated up. After predicting the 50-yard and 1 TD performance of Jordan Matthews, the elite Eagles run defense dominating throughout and another flash of potential from Derek Barnett, it’s time to turn our attention to today’s heated clash with Minnesota. This is so much more than just a regular season matchup, meaning our predictions (which now stand at 6/20) will be bolder than ever.

 

Rhodes open: 
The NFC Championship game boasted a matchup between a dominant receiver and an elite corner that was always bound to spark some fireworks. Alshon Jeffery ended up scoring two touchdowns and recording 85 receiving yards, emerging as the victor in round one. The rematch clause has been invoked and a now-healthy Jeffery faces Xavier Rhodes once again.

Jeffery stunningly looked quicker off the line in his return to the NFL…although I’m sure a torn rotator cuff would slow anyone down. If Alshon was able to decimate Rhodes in January, he may well be able to have his way with him again now he looks even more explosive. I’m predicting Jeffery to notch his second 100-yard game in as many weeks, scoring another touchdown in the process.

 

Breaking a Sweat: 
Derek Barnett has been one of the defenses most impressive players so far. The sophomore edge-rusher has made big play after big play, but the Eagles will be without him against the Vikings. In his place, rookie Josh Sweat will make his NFL debut against a porus Vikings offensive front.

Its a little disappointing that we haven’t seen Sweat active on gameday yet, but the former FSU athlete will have his moment in the sun later today. Secondly, I predict Sweat will record a sack on Kirk Cousins in his NFL debut.

 

I got a Thielen…:
Sidney Jones had his first notable stumble in the NFL last week, biting on a double move and allowing a touchdown inside the red zone. This week, he faces the much bigger-bodied Adam Thielen, who we all know by now, is lethal in any situation. Thielen has over 400 receiving yards in the opening four games of the season and this is going to be a big test for Jones, who will want to bounce back from last week.

My third prediction is for Jones to hold Thielen to under 70 yards receiving and no touchdowns.

 

Digging out of a hole:
Steffon Diggs is another of the Vikings most notable threats and he gets moved around frequently. This means he could be facing a combo of Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby throughout, depending how he lines up. The Eagles pass defense has been dreadful so far, with PI’s, deep plays and mistakes across the board. With the tension of an NFC Championship game rematch building however, I’m predicting Mills and Darby to combine for a pick, 4 passes defensed and 12 tackles, as Cousins tries to force the issue without Dalvin Cook to lean on.

 

From Wentz we came:
Two pass defenses making mistakes? Check. Two laser-accurate quarterbacks? Check. Two very gifted receiving groups? Check. Two non-existent running games against two strong run defenses? Check check. This has shootout written all over it, but when it’s all said and done, only one team can walk out as winners.

The Eagles have an impeccable home record and with Wentz rapidly rising back to his MVP caliber form, we can expect the face of the franchise to spread the ball around readily. Finally, I predict that Carson Wentz will throw for 350 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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