Well, we would’ve had our first ever 100% record last week if not for a 17 point collapse that ruined it all. However, we still predicted the breakout and touchdown from Dallas Goedert and a defensive stat that stood tall, leaving us with a 10/35 record so far. But now the Eagles are in London…but is London calling or burning?
London Bortles becomes regular Bortles:
Blakey B is unbeaten in his last 3 games in London, but after being benched last week and without much in the way of talent around him, it may finally be a long day at the office. The Eagles defense is coming off of a 17-point crumbing against Carolina and vengeance will be on the mind of Jim Schwartz, who cannot afford to take his foot off the gas or let the same thing happen again. If the Eagles get off to a strong start, Bortles is going to have to throw from behind which may finally give the Eagles pass-rush some leverage.
My first bold prediction is that the Eagles will hit Bortles a total of ten times, sacking him four and stagnating the Jags offense.
RUN THE BALL:
Where have we heard this before? The main complaint from fans coming out of last week’s loss was that the Eagles didn’t run the ball more, especially when trying to nurse a 17-point lead. The Jags are a different beast when it comes to run defense and they will absolutely want to crowd the box and marginalize Carson Wentz, just as the Panthers did one week ago. But if Doug Pederson can find a way to get all of his backs active, it may be enough to at least sustain drives. Committing to the run is going all in on your gameplan, deviating away can either be a lifesaver or a dreamcrusher.
My second bold prediction is for Pederson to learn from his mistakes and see his backs total 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in London.
The Green Goblin rises:
Jalen Mills has come under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks and most of it is with good reason, but this week he finally has an edge over a receiving corps that doesn’t boast the firepower that several teams he’s already faced do. It will be down to the likes of Dede Westbrook and Keenan Cole to carry the load today, but Westbrook hasn’t received for more than 55 yards in 3 weeks.
If the Green Goblin is ever going to rise, it has to be at Wembley where he can take advantage of a matchup where the receiver averaged just 4.3 yards per reception last week against Houston. Are we going to see the first Jalen Mills interception of the year? I believe so, I’m predicting Mills to pick off a pass and have 3 pass defenses and 5+ tackles on the day.
Gibson’s British day out:
The strange Jags night out aside, Jacksonville are extremely low on cornerback depth, with up to 3 players missing today’s game. Jalen Ramsey is almost forced to lock in on Alshon Jeffery, freeing up the rest of the receivers to potentially exploit easier matchups. With this in mind, it’s time for one former West Virginia player to make his mark.
My penultimate bold prediction is for Shelton Gibson to be unleashed, receiving for 70 yards and a touchdown in London as his deep speed terrorizes unexperienced corners.
Best fans in the world:
This isn’t related to the game on the field, but more the one in the stands. By now, we all know that the Jags have a home game in London every year and they usually perform very well. The difference maker this year is, well, I have barely seen ANY Jags fans walking the streets this weekend. Every corner, every pub, every hotel, there’s Eagles fans singing the fight song at the top of their lungs.
I think this may actually be LA EP 2 for the Eagles, who completely took over the Chargers stadium last year. My final bold prediction is to very audibly hear that the Eagles are the louder set of fans, drowning out the sorry cries from the Jags fans in attendance.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports