It’s finally gameday and this one has a slightly different feeling to it. The season all comes down to this. If the Eagles win, they tie Dallas at the head of the NFC East and it will ignite a race for the crown. A loss however and playoffs become extremely unlikely. As for our bold predictions series, we had a successful week last time out, hitting 2.5 out of 5, bringing our total to 18.5/60. Is this the week, like the Eagles, we save our season? Here are five bold predictions for this afternoon’s game.
A Golden Wonder:
Golden Tate has had great success against the Cowboys during his nine-year career. Prior to being traded to the Eagles, Tate burned the Dallas secondary in excruciating fashion, recording 132 yards and 2 touchdowns in a narrow Lions loss. Now, with nearly a month of Eagles experience under his belt and his role becoming more and more prominent, it could be time for Tate to dominate once more.
The Cowboys pass defense found a way to stifle the Saints receivers, but Tate’s versatility and YAC ability could present a different threat that Dallas have already proven unable to smother for long. Firstly, I’m predicting Tate’s first 100-yard game as an Eagle and his second touchdown.
The Cowboys running back put up 151 rushing yards against the Eagles when these teams last met and it’s left a sour taste in the mouth of the defense. The problem is, without Timmy Jernigan, Fletcher Cox won’t have much in the way of interior bulk to help extinguish the fire. When you partner that with the recent struggle in tackling from corners and linebackers, it doesn’t exactly bode well.
However, the phrase ‘On any given Sunday’ applies here. The Eagles need to save their season and will be playing in a desperation spot. I’m predicting that the defense hold Zeke to under 100 rushing yards and keep him out of the end zone, playing with some intense ferocity outside of the tackles to keep him in check.
No Jalen Mills means it’s going to be down to Rasul Douglas to somehow keep a lid on Amari Cooper, who has really started to settle with his new team. Cooper worried the Eagles earlier this season, but was nowhere near the lethal weapon he was on Thanksgiving. Dak Prescott has a new-found trust in his newly acquired #1 receiver, but Douglas is coming off a career game and needs to keep having those kinds of performances to solidify his place in the team moving forward.
Douglas has had some wobbles this year, but thirdly, I’m predicting Douglas to pick off a pass intended for Cooper and add 5 tackles to his name.
Wentz vs Dak:
The rivalry and showdown that everyone wants to see, is former third-round pick Dak Prescott finally going to come out and outshine Wentz? The short answer is no. Even when recovering from a torn ACL on reduced mobility, Wentz completed 7/7 passes last week when on the move. He’s still battling some limitations, but even at what is visibly less than 100%, Wentz is able to protect the ball and make educated decisions, something Prescott continually struggles to do. And when it all matters most, who’s more likely to crumble?
I’m predicting that Wentz will put up 300 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Cowboys, ending the debate for another year and sparking up a very interesting playoff picture.
Maddox could see a very interesting role today. Drafted as a nickel corner, he’s spent most of his time on the field as a Safety and has performed admirably. The Eagles need experience in the nickel but they could also do with some strength on the last line of defense, especially with Zeke and Amari Cooper on the horizon. The result could be a ‘hybrid’ role for Maddox that sees him fly around the field on his return to the Eagles following an injury.
Because of this, I’m predicting Maddox will pick off Dak Prescott and lead the team in tackles.
What are your predictions? Let us know down below!
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports