Welcome to the Week 9 Pre-Game Predictions! I will address many items in these articles each and every week. I will give you my score prediction, offensive and defensive key players of the game and much more. Let me know what you think of my picks and let me know your picks for the game in the comments. Go Birds!
If you want to see how I did last week, click here.
27 Eagles 17 Broncos
The Eagles are now 7-1 and look to make it 8-1 before their Week 10 bye. The desperate Broncos are going to do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen. This game pits two of the best defenses in the NFL against each other, which makes for predicting the score very difficult. This game could very possibly end up 10-7 or something similar, but I am sticking with the hot hand of Carson Wentz to overcome adversity against a stingy Broncos defense.
The Eagles have scored over 20 points in all eight games this year and all but one game last year. These guys can put up points regardless of the opponent. The main reason is their 3rd down efficiency, which is just a shade under 50% right now. They can pick up 3rd downs with their multitude of backs or by trusting Carson Wentz to make the right read to move the sticks. It helps that they are good on the offensive side of the ball in all facets, where they are ranked as the 11th best passing offense and the 5th best rushing offense. If the Eagles can stick with the run despite the elite Broncos run defense, they can influence the Broncos to change their schemes to dedicate more resources to stopping the run. At which point, enter Carson Wentz. And at this point I don’t need to tell you what this kid can do. If you want a more an in-depth analysis of Carson, click here.
And we can’t talk about this team without talking about the defense. So first I will say this, the Broncos will not be able to run the ball against the Eagle’s defense. Good luck Brock. Now, I have to address this. All I am hearing out of national analysts is that the Eagle’s defense is just okay. They are using passing yards against the Eagles to form that conclusion. There is no context for that conclusion though. Not only are the Eagles the best run defense, teams aren’t even trying to run against the Eagles. So if they are’t running against us, they are passing against us. So that is point #1. Point #2 is that the Eagles are usually beating teams by double digits going into half time, so these teams are giving up the run all together in the second half. So don’t let anyone tell you that this isn’t a top three defensive unit. This Broncos offense is in for a long, long day.
PHI -7.0 : Like I said above, this is one of the harder games for me to predict, but these defenses are both capable of holding teams to single digit scores. I will say the Eagles cover this spread. *Crossing my fingers* If you want to see how I’m doing this year against the spread, check these out.
Eagles Key Offensive Player of the Game:
I am going to go with LeGarrette Blount as the key offensive player of the game this week. I think it is very evident to Eagles fans that by going to get The Jay Train (Jay Ajayi), the Eagles want to run the ball a lot going forward. I think they start that stubborn running attack today and it will fall on Blount Force Trauma to carry that load. Can you imagine if the Eagles come out and put up 150 yards rushing? This game looks way different if the Eagles can run the ball today and I am hoping we can stick with it. Now, if we come out and can’t run the ball and we have to throw the ball 50 times against the Bronco’s secondary, I am a little nervous. Let’s hope LGB can ball out today.
Eagles Key Defensive Player of the Game:
Brandon Graham is my key defensive player of the game this week. Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan and the rest of the defensive line have been great so far, but Brandon Graham is rated as the #3 edge rusher in the ENTIRE NFL. No Eagle’s defensive lineman is rated higher. Brock Osweiler doesn’t move well and with Denver needing to commit extra resources to stop Cox and Jernigan, Graham is going to have a fantastic day. And not only in the pass rush, but he will have some big plays in stopping the run game of Denver. We will hear Graham’s name a bunch this week.
I am predicting that either:
A) The Eagles score two rushing TDs (DEN has given up 0 rush TDs this year)
B) The Eagles put up 30+ against the DEN defense.
Well, there it is folks. Let me know what you think of my picks and feel free to share your picks in the comments. For more Eagles goodness, follow Birds Off Broad on Twitter @BirdsOffBroad and Facebook or hit the “Follow” button on the Home page to get e-mails when a new article comes out. Go Birds!