Hold up, wait a minute. You thought we were finished? The Philadelphia Eagles kicked down the doors to the NFL playoffs and are preparing for a clash against Matt Nagy’s high-flying Chicago Bears team. Can the Birds recreate last year’s magic? Only time will tell, but for now, we turn our attentions to bold predictions once more.
After predicting the perfect ending to a career-season from Fletcher Cox, our record now sits at 28/75 on the season. Here are five bold predictions for this afternoon’s marquee matchup.
The Captain Cre’Von revenge game:
I feel like I’ve made the same bold prediction for three consecutive weeks, but this one carries some extra weight. Not only has Cre’Von LeBlanc been visibly improving each and every week as a tackler and as a reliable option in the nickel, but this game stands out in particular.
LeBlanc played in 13 games as an undrafted rookie for the Bears, starting 9 games and ending that season with 44 tackles, 10 passes defensed and 2 picks. Last year, he played in 15 games, recording 17 tackles, a sack and three passes defensed. The Bears cut him at the beginning of September this year once Bryce Callahan returned from injury.
Now, facing the team who cut a productive young corner, LeBlanc will make them pay for their foolishness by picking off Mitchell Trubisky for his first interception as an Eagle.
As pointed out in an earlier this week, Mitchell Trubisky isn’t exactly the league’s best decision maker. Sure, Matt Nagy’s offense has elevated his play, but against playoff defenses, that’s a different story.
In the three games this year in which he’s played against a playoff defense (Seattle, L.A. and New England), Trubisky has combined for 5 touchdowns, 7 picks, completing 59.6% of his passes for an average of 5.4 yards per attempt. That’s hardly the ‘dazzling’ image that is often associated with his play nowadays.
My second bold prediction is for this playoff defense to force the wobbliest form Trubisky has to offer, with the sophomore quarterback throwing at least 2 interceptions and completing under 65% of his passes.
If there is one commentary line that stuck out like a sore thumb from last week, it’s ‘Foles to Sproles’. The veteran running back may have only been targeted 3 times against Washington, lest we forget his 76-receiving yard outing against the Texans that injected a sense of explosiveness into the offense.
The Bears have Tarik Cohen, the Eagles have one of the best dual-threat backs to have ever earned the label. After missing the playoffs last year, I’m predicting Darren Sproles to pick up 100 total yards from scrimmage and his first postseason touchdown as an Eagle.
Alshon makes a statement:
As much as it’s a revenge game for Cre’von LeBlanc, there’s another former Chicago Bear who will be licking his lips. On a hot run of form, Jeffery is not only proving to the world that the ‘number 1’ label belongs on his back, but that the Bears were idiotic to ever let Jeffery, who has another 843 yards and 6 touchdowns to his name despite severe offensive deficiencies, walk.
Matched up against Prince Amukamara, I’m predicting Jeffery to smash through the 100-yard barrier, recording a touchdown in the process.
Eliminating the run:
The Bears may have the 11th best rushing unit in the NFL, but that’s not the concern. It’s the versatility that could come back to haunt the Eagles defense, although is there really a reason to be concerned? Having shut down Saquon Barkley and Zeke Elliott at times this season, Jordan Howard should be fairly manageable with Jernigan, Ngata and Cox all filling the A-B gaps astutely. As for Tarik Cohen, that all falls on the DB’s and linebackers who have seen their tackling form spike in recent weeks.
I’m going to end this bold predictions article by proclaiming that the Eagles will hold Chicago’s running backs to less than 150 scrimmage yards and less than 2 touchdowns.
What are your bold predictions for today? Let me know in the comments below!
Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports