The second half of the 2021 NFL season is officially underway. Entering Week 10 with a 3-6 record, the Philadelphia Eagles are heading West to play the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The Broncos are two wins ahead of the Eagles (5-4), with two consecutive victories under their belt. However, both teams have been inconsistent all season, which could make their match-up even more unpredictable than most this week.
With their first difference of opinion last Sunday, Iggles writers give their latest prediction.
EAGLES VS. BRONCOS PREDICTIONS
Alicia’s Pick: Eagles, 24-23
The Eagles didn’t win last week, but they certainly played a respectable game.
Philadelphia has taken a bit longer than fans would have liked to find their footing. From a quarterback perspective, Jalen Hurts is making plays when the team needs him the most — they just aren’t happening early enough. The Eagles need to get off to a quick start Sunday. They also need to continue running the ball. Over the last three weeks, Philadelphia has led the NFL with 547 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. Though Denver has a good defense, they have six questionable defensive players, including cornerback Patrick Surtain II. It will be essential for Philadelphia to tire them out.
Eagles over last 3 weeks lead NFL with 547 rushing yards and 7 rushing TDs
They are tied with Cowboys for most yards/rush in NFC (4.9)
“They have found their identity”
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) November 13, 2021
As for the Eagles’ defense, they have to step up their game, and I think we’ll see that this week. Denver’s quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is above average, but he isn’t elite. He holds the ball and has been sacked the 4th most times in the league. His offensive line is also missing its two starting tackles (Bolles and Massie), and their left guard (Risner) is questionable. Pair that with a defense that can certainly whip out its aggression, and I think we see a lot of missed opportunities from the Bronco’s offense.
The Eagles are the only thing left standing between Denver beating the entire NFC East this season. Though they may have done enough things right last week against the Cowboys, their inconsistencies have proved it’s unlikely they’ll be able to play at that level again.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think Denver gets their third consecutive win. The Eagles win this week.
Drew’s Pick: Eagles 20-17
Bridgewater certainly isn’t the most explosive quarterback, but he does have a pair of weapons in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy that could give the Eagles fits. Denver also has a pair of explosive running backs, Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams, that will definitely challenge the Eagles’ run defense – the Broncos are averaging 113.2 rushing yards/game, and even after a solid showing against Austin Ekeler last week, Philadelphia isn’t going to be solid against the run all of a sudden.
However, the Broncos will also be dealing with a slate of injuries – as Alicia mentioned, the Broncos will be without a bevy of key defensive players and two starting linemen. Perhaps most importantly, old friend and Denver offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is out due to COVID-19, meaning the Bronco offense could struggle. The Eagles would be wise to bring as much ongoing pressure as possible, even though the DL has been utterly abysmal in that area these past few weeks.
All this week, I found myself preparing for an Eagles loss. Yet, I don’t think that’ll be the case. Nick Sirianni and co. have seemed to realize the key to victory is a balanced attack of rushing and passing. Even better, it seems Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith are about to go on a hot streak. Hopefully we see more repertoire between Hurts and the rest of the receivers, as well.
While it’ll be a close one throughout the game, I predict the Eagles make some key stops in the fourth quarter and come away with a clutch victory, one that’ll give them momentum heading into next week’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints.