So, we’re here. The Eagles have their backs to the wall, are dealing with a flurry of injuries, a sputtering offense, and are now facing the unbeaten Packers on the road. Oh, and it’s a short week. Wonderful. But if there’s ever a time to be bold, it’s now.
A 1-2 start has seen the Eagles’ NFC East title odds fall from -125 in the preseason to +200 after Week 3. If you like the Eagles chances here then these odds are available from Bovada, which is the #1 site according to My Top Sportsbooks, they have all the top-sites vetted for you prior to betting. While they’ve been somewhat unlucky to lose the last two weeks, the fact remains that they are already two games back of a Dallas team that’s playing well on both sides of the ball and injuries are piling up. Those looking to bet the Eagles may want to wait another week. The team is a 4.5-point ‘dog at unbeaten Green Bay in Week 4, while Dallas is a modest road favorite at New Orleans. If the chalk holds in both games, Philly’s odds will be a lot juicier come next Monday.
The odds may not be in favor of Philly, but that’s okay…the Birds are used to flying into stormy winds. As are we. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and deliver five more bold predictions ahead of tonight’s must-win matchup.
After three weeks, here are how our predictions stack up as we shoot for a 50% record:
Back with a bang
After catching a pair of touchdowns in the season opener, it’s been radio silence for Alshon Jeffery, who was sidelined with a calf strain. The Eagles’ #1 receiver returns at a vital time, with the team lining up against a pass defense ranking 5th in the NFL and has cornerbacking talent such as Jaire Alexander.
The motivation to go out and dominate should be at an all-time high, especially with DeSean Jackson still sidelined and the offense missing that deep-threat option. Jeffery should be able to open up the offense by his presence alone, but I think he’ll do much more than that tonight.
I predict that Jeffery will record a 100-yard outing and catch his third touchdown of the season, finally providing Wentz with a reliable outside option. Something that’s evaded this offense during a tumultuous fortnight.
Please, for the sake of my sanity
It’s not that the Eagles can’t establish the run…it’s that they’re trying to make one back a ‘jack of all trades’ when they have two more players in the backfield who fill those specific niches. Miles Sanders flashes elite potential every week, but it’s clouded by inconsistencies and uh…fumbles.
This has to be the week that Jordan Howard can pound the rock and build a rhythm before being ripped out of the game. For the sake of my, and everyone else’s sanity.
I’m predicting that the former Chicago Bear will put up 85-yards on 10+ carries averaging around 4.5 yards per carry.
Time to shine
Ronald Darby is out for a month or so with injury and it leaves a wide-open door for Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones to lock down long-term starting roles. Neither Darby nor Mills are contracted past 2019 and both are already set to miss significant time. The hungry, more physical corners in Douglas and Jones have a really unique opportunity to prove themselves worthy of Schwartz taking a gamble in the long-run…and what better time to do so than against Aaron Rodgers, a man who is yet to throw a pick this season, a #1 wideout in Devante Adams, and a deep-threat in Marquez Valdes-Scantling?
I’m predicting the duo will combine for 4 passes defensed, 15 tackles, and an interception.
Okay, so Hollins hasn’t exactly been electric in place of DeSean Jackson, but he’s flashed some of that scintillating production we saw at UNC and during his rookie season. He has 112 yards to his name (and a few OPI’s but shh) already this season and with Alshon Jeffery able to finally drag attention away from Ertz and Agholor, it may leave Hollins with some favorable matchups.
He may not see a high-volume of targets, but I’m predicting Hollins to go out and catch his first touchdown of the season.
The only thing holding Carson Wentz down through three games is literally everything else around him. Wentz has been borderline elite over the last few weeks (apart from a wobbly first half against Atlanta) and now he finally has a dominant #1 receiver at his disposal that won’t squander opportunities.
Can the Eagles overthrow the Packers? It’s possible. Can Wentz hang with Rodgers in a shootout? Absolutely. To cap this off, I’m going to say Wentz tosses 3 touchdowns, passes for over 300 yards and throws no picks.