It’s gameday and with it comes a morning to sit and boldly predict how today’s matchup between the Eagles and Steelers will pan out. Now at 1-2-1, can Philly hand their in-state rival its first loss of the season?
Mailata’s Eagles mission
Jordan Mailata’ NFL debut left us all purring. In what was a totally unexpected turn of events, he looked calm and collected, giving up 0 sacks or QB hits. He’ll line up against a much tougher opponent today, however, in the way of Bud Dupree.
Dupree has become a star in Pittsburgh. After forcing 4 fumbles last year, he already has 1 in 2020 along with 2.5 sacks in 4 games. This is going to be a very different challenge and one Mailata might very well come back down to Earth against..
…or one he makes us all tweet eye emojis about.
My first bold prediction is for Mailata to allow under 1.5 sacks against Dupree, keeping Wentz upright in a matchup where the face of the franchise needs all the help he can get. If Mailata can hold his own against Bud Dupree, a proven NFL stud, his ceiling is only going to continue to rise.
Big Ben comes tumbling down to the Eagles
The Steelers have done a great job at keeping Ben Roethlisberger’s pocket clean this year, allowing 1.7 sacks per game. In fact, they’ve allowed just 22 pressures so far. The Eagles lead the NFL in sacks so far this season with a stunning 17. Something’s gotta give, right?
The rotation in Schawrtz’s front four has been absolutely ridiculous so far. Genard Avery had 5 QB hits on just 16 snaps last week, while Malik Jackson is enjoying a frankly dominant campaign that nobody is noticing.
I think the Eagles get the better of this matchup and are able to sack Big Ben 3+ times on Sunday, helping give their offense some much-needed lifelines.
Protect the rock
If there has been one thing hurting the Eagles this season, it’s the Eagles. Carson Wentz has been reckless with the Football, but that’s not new. It just seems as though the punishments are actually being dished out this season. With 7 picks in for games and a tendency to just cough the ball up when going to the ground, a Steelers defense who had a whopping 38 takeaways in 2019 and are averaging 1.7 per game this year will be salivating.
Wentz has to be smarter here. There won’t be second chances or mulligans against a defense this tough…but something’s telling me he will be. For my third prediction, Carson Wentz turns the ball over 0 times. We can live in hope.
Travis Fulgham exploded onto the scene in Philadelphia last week with a gorgeous 42-yard touchdown. The receiving corps this week is just as empty as it was last week which means we could see even more of the team’s new #13.
Penultimately, I just want to predict that Fulgham posts another 50+ yard game because could you imagine a more wholesome breakout?
Alex Singleton’s pick-six last week was almost downplayed by Jim Schwartz as being in the ‘right place, right time’. I’m going to keep this one simple. With T.J Edwards down and that defensive line ahead of him, all it takes is one errant pass from Big Ben and Singleton snags his second interception in as many consecutive weeks. Inject that content.
What are your bold predictions? Let us know in our official Eagles group chat!
Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire