The Eagles are less than 24 hours away from a crucial matchup against the 0-2 Bengals. There’s a lot on the line here for both winless teams, but if the Eagles have any hope of making the playoffs, a win here is essential. Here are five bold predictions ahead of the matchup.
I would walk 200 Miles
Miles Sanders exploded back onto the scene last week after missing week one. The second-year running back amassed 95 rushing yards and a further 36 through the air on top of his rushing touchdown and did so against a fairly stout run defense. He now comes up against a Bengals d-line that’s depleted on the interior and a defense that has given up 370 yards in just two games.
My first bold prediction is for Sanders to add to that damage, posting 200 total scrimmage yards and at least one touchdown in a game where a struggling Carson Wentz could well look in his direction early and often.
Wentz rebounds for the Eagles
It’s been an abysmal start to the season for a man who many regard as an elite quarterback and if something doesn’t change soon, the Eagles are only going too spiral closer to the edge. He has to pick it up and this Bengals defense might just give him that opportunity.
The offensive line should have a much easier field day than it did in weeks one and two, allowing Wentz to build some confidence on longer-developing plays – even if he is going to be without Jalen Reagor.
I predict Carson Wentz will avoid turning the ball over and pass for 280+ yards and 2 touchdowns.
First pick is the deepest
Darius Slay has undoubtedly been the Eagles’ strongest piece when it comes to the secondary, having now kept Robert Woods and Terry McLaurin in his back pocket. But that elusive first interception in midnight green is evading him.
Slay has helped shut down each team’s WR1 so far and could be matched up in the slot against Tyler Boyd due to Nickell Robey-Coleman’s struggles and a ‘positionless’ defense. If that’s the case, I’m predicting Slay to pick off his first pass against a quarterback who has completed just 1/12 deep pass attempts thus far, as well as surrendering no more than 50 yards and 0 TD.
Making the most of an opportunity
J.J Arcega-Whiteside should see a hefty amount of action with Jalen Reagor sidelined and it’s very much a now-or-never scenario for the second-year product. JJAW should have a fairly winnable matchup against William Jackson in terms of size and if Wentz can trust him down inside the 20, it could well be easy pickings….hopefully not for the DB.
Penultimately, I’m forecasting a 50+ yard day for the Stanford product and at least one touchdown.
Caught in an Eagles (Bar)Nett
Derek Barnett’s return to the Eagles went below the radar in week two, but he’ll face an easier matchup this week against Bobby Hart, who has allowed one sack through two weeks.
Barnett has to make something happen. With Josh Sweat continuing to build momentum, time may well be running out for the former first-round pick, who enters his option year next season with the Eagles pressed for cap space.
I’m going to end this article by predicting an uncharacteristically big outing here. A lot of Joe Mixon’s success has come on runs to the right-hand side, meaning we could see at least 5 tackles, and I’ll go one further and add a sack and TFL into the mix.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire
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