Game-by-game predictions: Can the Eagles secure the NFC East?

NFL: NOV 01 Cowboys at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 01: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz (11) talks to Head Coach Doug Pederson in the second half during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on November 01, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles are back in action this weekend after a much-needed bye week. Sitting atop the NFC East at the midway point, the Eagles really do control their own destiny. Getting out of their own way will be crucial if they are to secure a playoff spot, but will their remaining opponents allow them the opportunity to do so? Here’s a game-by-game look at the road ahead.

@ New York Giants

Record: 2-6
Offense rank: 31st
Defense rank 15th

The G-men might have (barely) held onto a win against the Washington Football Team, but their glass ceiling is turning into one of cement. Daniel Jones ranks 28th in completion percentage and despite two flurries of production in his last two games, he’s always come crashing back down to Earth. Last week’s win was the first game all season in which he didn’t turn the ball over. With 9 picks and 7 fumbles on the season, expecting Jones to step up against an Eagles defense that severely punished him last time is a big stretch.

The Eagles are currently favored by three points over the Giants, with SportsBettingDime projecting a 28.9-16.2 win.

All the Eagles offense needs to do in this matchup is not shoot themselves in the foot. If they can ensure they put points on the board early and are able to ride Miles Sanders, which they were unable to do last time, it’s hard to envision the Giants being able to keep up with such a rampant pass-rush on the other side forcing Jones into high-pressure situations.

Prediction: Win

@ Cleveland Browns

Record: 5-3
Offense rank: 24th
Defense rank 20th

The Browns are a puzzling team, but one thing that is crystal clear is that Nick Chubb is among the NFL’s top running backs and returned to practice today. The Eagles run defense will have a hard time stifling Chubb if the tackling isn’t up to scratch, as has often been the case this season. His six rushes of 20+ yards lead the NFL

Without OBJ in the fold, the Eagles will simply have to put Baker Mayfield under pressure. There is every chance that the Browns defensive line decimates whatever is left of the Eagles O-line, and that Myles Garrett eats Carson Wentz alive. Wentz will have to be at his best in order to keep the offense moving. This Browns defense may look weak on the surface, but it shouldn’t be underestimated.

If the Eagles can enter this matchup riding a three-game win streak and really begin to feel some swagger, I see no reason why they can’t seal a big victory

Prediction: Win

Vs Seattle Seahawks

Record: 6-2
Offense rank: 3rd
Defense rank 32nd

Talk about a tale of two halves. The Seahawks’ defense has been a trainwreck, while Russell Wilson (aside from last week) has been playing some of the best football we have ever seen him play.

What this game will come down to is whether or not the Eagles can do enough to win a shootout with Russell Wilson – something they have been unable to do since he entered the league. I haven’t yet seen enough from Carson Wentz this season to suggest he can take advantage of that terrible defense and pull off the team’s first win over Seattle since 2008.

Prediction: Loss

@ Green Bay Packers

Record: 6-2
Offense rank: 7th
Defense rank 11th

Some will view this as an instant loss due to the fact it’s a matchup at Lambeau against a thriving Aaron Rodgers. Other will cast their minds back to what happened when the teams met in week 4 last year, when the Eagles pulled off an unthinkable win by stopping Aaron Rodgers at the goal-line via a Craig James pass breakup that fell softly into the hands of Nigel Bradham.

The Eagles somehow find a way to win one game a year that they have no business winning, and I feel like this could absolutely be that matchup if the team can continue to pull assets back from IR as the season progresses, and Wentz comes off of the bye improving each week.

Prediction: Win

Vs New Orleans Saints

Record: 6-2
Offense rank: 9th
Defense rank 3rd

I don’t think anybody expected the Saints to blowout the Bucs in the way they did, but that was very much a warning shot. Carson Wentz has looked vulnerable against the Saints in the past and that defense has only gotten better. In fact, they’ve not allowed a 100-yard rusher in any of their last 51 games.

If they take away the threat of Miles Sanders (as expected), it will be down to Carson Wentz once again to make sure the Eagles can hang. If the Birds go down early, hero ball could come into play and things could get ugly very quickly. I can’t see this being the year Wentz overthrows the Sints.

Prediction: Loss

@ Arizona Cardinals

Record: 5-3
Offense rank: 1st
Defense rank 19th

This will be the biggest test of the season defensively. Stopping Lamar Jackson is one thing, stopping Russell Wilson is another. Stopping Kyler Murray who takes the best of both worlds in an offense that potent? That’s a lot of pressure on a linebacking corps that has proven it struggles against play-action and moving sideline-to-sideline.

It could be close if Darius Slay can pocket DeAndre Hopkins, but Murray has so many other weapons to blow the secondary apart with (including Eagles owner Larry Fitzgerald), I’m not sure it would matter anyway.

Prediction: Loss

@ Dallas Cowboys

Record: 2-7
Offense rank: 8th
Defense rank 21st

The Cowboys are a dumpster fire right now. Even with Garrett Gilbert’s glimmer of hope, the Steelers sent them crashing back to reality. Dallas does have a much easier schedule than the Eagles, which could at least keep them lingering around the NFC East title race, but the Eagles will be in do-or-die mode…and we’ve seen Carson Wentz in this exact scenario one year ago. This should be an easy win.

Prediction: Win

Vs Washington Football Team

Record: 2-7
Offense rank: 30th
Defense rank 5th

The season-opening loss to Washington is still one that will sting Eagles fans everywhere when it’s brought up in discussion. The bad news is that they have an easier run-in to the end of the season than Philly, and Alex Smith exploded back onto the scene following a miraculous recovery from a scenario that nearly involved him losing his leg. Washington may have lost last week, but there were plenty of positives to take and with that defense, you can never count them out.

This game could well decide the division. It’s a coin-flip at this point. If Carson Wentz heats up and shakes off whatever is holding him back, then I could definitely see an Eagles win. If we’re to take both teams as they are right now, Washington would just about scrape by. For the sake of our mental health, we’ll say they win.

Prediction: Win

Final 8 games: 5-3
Final record: 8-7-1

How do you think the remainde

r of the season will pan out? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

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