We’re less than 24-hours away from a week 2 clash between the Eagles and Rams. it’s only fitting that we turn to the crystal ball once again and make some bold predictions ahead of a crucial NFC matchup – one that the Eagles haven’t lost since 2005.
I would walk
500 100 Miles
If it was magic Eagles fans wanted, a disappearing act was not what they had in mind. It’s what they were given in week one however, with the running-game vanishing before it could even find its feet. That should change this week, with Miles Sanders making his season debut.
All signs are pointing towards a heavy workload for Sanders this season, with Duce Staley ready to let the Penn State product loose. If he is 100% as he claimed earlier in the week, then there’s a good chance we see him dropped straight into the deep end.
L.A’s new-look defense should present a tough matchup, but they still allowed Zeke to average 4.4 yards per carry. With Sanders’ dynamic ability to impact the offense as both a rusher and a receiver, his return may provide the spark this offense was desperate for last week.
My first bold prediction is for Sanders to combine for a total of 150 scrimmage yards and score his first touchdown of the year.
If you go down to the Woods today…
Fresh off of a 105-yard game and a zesty new four-year deal, Robert Woods will enter this matchup with all the momentum in the world. But the receiver may be in for a big surprise.
Darius Slay put clamps on Terry McLaurin in week one, allowing only 3 receptions for 30 yards and sticking to him like glue for the majority of a matchup in which he dominated last year. Slay may well be rekindling a Pro Bowl fire, and that doesn’t bode well for Robert Woods.
Woods may be one of the league’s more underrated receivers and has back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons in L.A, but Slay is on a mission to prove that last year’s dip in production was an outlier in what has been an outstanding career. This matchup is juicy.
I’m predicting that Slay holds Woods to under 80 yards receiving and records his first interception as an Eagle.
Eagles are diggin a Hargrave
The long-awaited debut of Javon Hargrave is upon us and the matchup couldn’t be better. The star nose tackle was part of a Steelers defense that stifled the Rams last year, holding them to 12 points and under 100 yards rushing. Hargrave had a sack to his name on the day and could well be looking to repeat that feat this year.
As part of a truly dominant front four that’s nearing full strength, Hargrave will have plenty of chances to make his presence felt. I’m predicting a sack on his debut along with 1.5 TFL.
Back with a bang
After missing the season opener due to an injury that sidelined him through raining camp, all signs are pointing towards the return of Derek Barnett. This is a huge year for the former first-round pick. Could 2020 provide the opening needed for Barnett to put the league on notice? The team did pick up his fifth-year option, guaranteeing his spot for 2021, but he needs to take a big leap if he is to secure anything beyond that.
The Eagles have amassed a pair of sacks in each of their last two encounters against the Rams, and that offensive line looked stout against Dallas, allowing pressure on just 11.8% of pass attempts. If Barnett is going to separate himself from the competition (Hey, Josh Sweat), he needs a big game here.
My third prediction is that he’ll do exactly that upon his return, sacking Jared Goff 1.5+ times.
From Wentz the Eagles came
Carson Wentz laid an Egg last Sunday, there’s no denying that. But with Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson back in the lineup, we may see a more confident QB playing in his home stadium.
The Eagles’ offense was deployed in some very questionable ways last week, but if Pederson can adapt and help get his quarterback in a better position to make those high-percentage throws, then we could well see a rebound game.
The Rams did a great job at limiting the Cowboys’ offense output, which considering the weapons faced, is impressive. But with so much speed around him, will this be the matchup where Carson Wentz can settle in and make the most of it?
It’s been a long time since Wentz has faced the Rams, but he has faced star, CB Jalen Ramsey, since then. Just like he should do in this matchup, he spread the ball around for 286 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and a ridiculous Houdini maneuver.
My penultimate prediction is for Wentz to throw for 300+ yards, 2 TD, 0 INT.
Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire