The Philadelphia Eagles are 12-1 and have looked dominant for the 3rd week in a row. They dismantled their hated rival New York Giants 48-22 and gained a game on the Minnesota Vikings in the race for the #1 seed in the NFC.
They are two straight wins away from an NFC east title, boast the best point differential in the NFL, and appear to be locked in and focused.
Before we get too far ahead, let’s look at the hungry dog (player/coach of the game) and bird in the doghouse (worst player/coach of the game). I’ll also be predicting the best and worst performers in the Eagles’ upcoming matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Week 14 Hungry Dog, Eagles @ Giants
For the 2nd straight week, the entire Eagles team turned in a complete effort from start to finish. Hungry-dog will be shared by multiple players and units.
Jalen Hurts is continuing his case for the most valuable player. He was efficient with his deep ball, passing for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns, and added 77 yards on the ground. His 2 touchdown passes were for 41 yards to Devonta Smith, and 33 yards to AJ Brown, respectively.
Miles Sanders is continuing a stellar season, one worthy of earning a bigger paycheck. With 17 carries for 144 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, Sanders is up to 1,000 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns on the season, averaging 5 yards a carry. He is producing his best statistical season to date. He indicated in his postgame interview that he is focused on a Super Bowl over his statistics, and it’s showing.
AJ Brown’s magic has continued, and he notched 1,000 receiving yards in his first season as an Eagle. He’s the 1st Eagles’ wide receiver with 1,000 receiving yards in a season since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.
Some may vent frustrations with the Eagles’ defense, but circumstance affected the unit more than anything.
- 1 of the 3 touchdowns allowed was due to a blocked punt allowed by special teams, giving the Giants a short field.
- Another was added in garbage time.
- The Eagles’ defense notched 7 sacks and held Saquon Barkley to 28 yards on 9 carries.
Special teams recovered from an awful injury to Arryn Siposs, as Jake Elliott filled in nicely in a punting role, and Britain Covey filled in holding snaps for two of the Eagles’ field goal attempts, which were good.
Boston Scott had 3 punt returns for a total of 117 yards, helping the Eagles’ with field position on two key drives.
Week 14 – Bird In The Doghouse, Eagles @ Giants
This is a bit unorthodox, but the bird in the doghouse award will not go to any specific player or unit, but the MetLife stadium turf and the injury bug.
Fix your turf, Giants! The Eagles lost punter Arryn Siposs to an ankle injury, safety Reed Blankenship to a knee injury, and linebacker Kyron Johnson to a shoulder injury.
These injuries could prove threatening to the Eagles’ depth, but none appear to be long-term yet.
Week 15 – Hungry Dog Prediction, Eagles @ Bears
The Chicago Bears are a bottom-10 team in the league in offensive efficiency, scoring 20 points per game. They are also the worst team in the NFL at passing the football, at 140 passing yards per game. The Bears also boast the worst pass rush in the NFL, with 16 sacks through 13 games.
I have two hungry dog predictions in Chicago and the 1st is the Eagles’ #1 ranked pass defense.
They will be able to blanket the Bears’ receivers and hold Justin Fields to less than 200 yards passing, as the Bears don’t have a consistent threat at the position.
Jalen Hurts is my second hungry dog pick. If the Bears can’t pressure him, they’ll get picked apart. Hurts ability to avoid the rush and throw on the run will give the Bears’ defense a hard time. The potential for tight end Dallas Goedert returning in this game will make it easier for Hurts to spread the ball around. An honorable mention could be the Eagles’ offensive
Week 15 – Bird In The Doghouse Prediction, Eagles @ Bears
Although the Bears suffer statistically in multiple offensive categories, their rushing offense is good for #1 in the NFL. This is mostly due to the elusiveness of their quarterback Justin Fields, and their rushing offense puts up 189 yards per game.
My prediction for the bird in the doghouse is the Eagles’ rushing defense. Although we’ve seen a string of great performances against Jonathan Taylor, Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, and Saquon Barkley, the Eagles will have Justin Fields and David Montgomery to worry about this week.
Although they can shut down the passing of Fields, allowing him to make plays with his legs will make this game harder than it needs to be, and allow the Bears’ offense to move the ball. Although the Eagles will be favored, this game is a great test for Jonathan Gannon’s aggressiveness.
He needs to ensure gap coverage, and consider putting a spy on Justin Fields to minimize his elusiveness. If Gannon and his defense can control those things, this game will be a rout. If not, a trap is on the horizon. We should also do a prayer circle for the Soldier Field turf and no visit from the injury bug, as injuries can be common in Chicago.
Who would be your hungry dog and bird in the doghouse picks for the Eagles’ game against the New York Giants? Who would you pick going into the week 15 matchup against the Chicago Bears?