The Philadelphia Eagles snuck into the 2020 NFL Playoffs but what now? Bold predictions for the NFC East champs in the Wild Card Round vs. the Seahawks.
When the Philadelphia Eagles began the 2019 regular season, they were expected to be part of the 2020 NFL Playoffs. To their credit, that has held true as the NFC East champions punched their postseason ticket. However, most people did not expect them to limp their way into the playoffs at 9-7 and as narrow favorites at home against the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round.
Carson Wentz has remained healthy this season for the Eagles but that’s about the only good health luck that Doug Pederson‘s team has enjoyed since Week 1. On both sides of the ball — particularly on the defensive line and in the wide receiver room — Philadelphia has been devastated by injuries. Now they must try to stop and also keep pace with Russell Wilson and a potent but also banged-up Seahawks team.
Will Philly be able to overcome their missing pieces and win at home to punch a ticket into the Divisional Round? Here are five bold predictions for the Eagles in their Wild Card matchup with Seattle.
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5. Sanders rolls with 125 total yards, 2 TDs
The emergence of rookie running back Miles Sanders at the end of the regular season was truly one of the saving graces for the Eagles offense. He’s showcased dynamic ability with the ball in his hands, particularly with his ability to affect the game as a pass-catcher as well.
Since Seattle should be able to generate some pressure, I expect Philadelphia to attack often with Sanders in any way they can. The Penn State product will deliver on his chances and ultimately end the Wild Card Round with a stellar playoff debut.
4. Cox, Graham combine for 3 sacks
Despite how impressive Russell Wilson has been this season, the play of his offensive line has not improved all that much. This is still a group that can be taken advantage of and the Eagles have the defensive front to do just that.
The problem with Philadelphia is that their defensive line hasn’t performed up to their potential at times this season. What’s good news for Eagles fans, however, is that they’ve come on at the end of the year and will keep that trend going as Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, in particular, make life difficult for Russell Wilson and notch three combined sacks.
3. Eagles give up 3 TDs to Seahawks wide receivers
Perhaps the biggest bugaboo for the Eagles this season has been the shortcomings of their secondary. Due to injuries and just generally poor performance from their defensive backs, Philadelphia has struggled to defend on the outside. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, though the latter has struggled down the stretch, are capable of taking advantage and will on Sunday afternoon.
2. Ertz, Goedert, Perkins all find end zone
Zach Ertz playing on Sunday is truly incredible considering he suffered a lacerated kidney just two weeks ago. And though the Seahawks outside corners are susceptible, the tight end trio of Ertz, Dallas Goedert and even Josh Perkins is the Eagles’ best chance at finding success in the passing game.
Pederson and the Philadelphia coaching staff know this and will exploit that. The Eagles will find those three tight ends throughout the game and, more importantly, each of them will find paydirt.
1. Wentz avoids turnovers, guides Philly to victory
With Lane Johnson missing Sunday’s game, there is concern about Carson Wentz as the Eagles quarterback has struggled when his right tackle is out. But even though Jadeveon Clowney is back for the Seahawks, the quarterback will step up in the biggest moment.
Wentz will utilize Sanders and his tight ends and put forth a superstar effort on Sunday in the Wild Card Round. The quarterback will throw at least the three aforementioned touchdowns but will also avoid any turnovers as he guides Philly to a high-scoring victory.