The Eagles are under 24-hours away from taking on the 2-9 Dolphins in a game that will carry significant weight as far as the NFC East title race is concerned. With that in mind, it’s time to make some bold predictions ahead of the Sunny road trip.
Record so far: 16-50
The offensive identity game
The Eagles offense has been sputtering in recent weeks, but that should change against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. For context, the 2-9 ranked Phins’ rank 30th against the pass and 31st against the run.
Zach Ertz may be sidelined, but getting Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor back will be key here. Although the Dolphins shouldn’t present too much of a challenge, I think this will be a game where the Eagles use them as a punching bag to take their frustration out on.
Bold prediction number one? 40+ points.
Jay Ajayi’s revenge tour
On Sunday, Jay Ajayi will face the team who traded him away. He definitely wound up the better of the two parties, but there’s bound to be an extra chip on his shoulder. Whether that stems from some subtle bitterness, or just wanting to make more memories in the stadium he called home for the opening few years of his NFL career.
With Jordan Howard absent again due to a stinger injury, this may be the game we see Ajayi get a bump in snaps. He took on a short-yardage role last week, but there’s every chance that he’s given a slightly bigger role each week for the remainder of the season if the injury situation stays as it is.
My second prediction is for Ajayi to amass 70+ rushing yards and score his first touchdown of 2019.
Captain Cre’von’s ship
The Captain is finally back from injury, having spent every game so far this season on IR. LeBlanc injected the intensity that the secondary lacked this time one year ago, and although the group is nearing full health, his availability could come in very handy as the season wears on.
He may not start over Maddox, but we should expect LeBlanc to see some defensive snaps, and he’s never been someone to let those opportunities go to waste.
I predict LeBlanc to make a splash play in his return to Football. Whether it’s a big-time PBU, an INT, for a forced fumble, LeBlanc will come up in the clutch when you least expect it.
The ‘Hall’ of fame
The Dolphins are allowing an average of 4.2 sacks per game, but that number has risen to a shocking 4.7 per game over the last three weeks. We can expect a recently rampant Eagles pass-rush to feast, especially given their sudden surge in blitzing, with 7 sacks on 31 blitz attempts in 3 weeks.
The amount of pressure they look set to hound Ryan Fitzpatrick with is sizable, meaning rotation at defensive end will be key and we could expect a heavier workload for guys like Daeshon Hall.
My penultimate bold prediction is for Hall to tally his second sack of the season and his first TFL.
Perking up at the right time
If Zach Ertz is indeed sidelined, the Eagles will turn to Joshua Perkins, who was recently promoted from the practice squad. Perkins spent time on the Eagles roster last year, most notably amassing 57 yards against the Bucs, and moving the sticks with a ten-yard catch one game later.
Perkins could be the perfect wildcard that goes unaccounted for by a sloppy defense and a secondary with 5 DB’s currently injured.
He’s not quite Zach Ertz, but I predict that Perkins will record his first NFL touchdown and put up 35 receiving yards.
What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments below!
Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports