The NFL is nearly impossible to predict. No one expected the Atlanta Falcons to be as terrible as they are, or the San Francisco 49ers to be as good as they are. The Philadelphia Eagles fall somewhere in between those two but have the potential to be so much more.
Many counted the Eagles among the NFC’s elite at the start of the season, but they haven’t shown they belong anywhere near there. Week 11’s matchup against the New England Patriots is a huge opportunity to prove themselves. But facing the Patriots means facing the league’s best defense and the league’s best defensive coaching.
Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz will have his hands full on Sunday, but don’t count out the Eagles’ offense just yet.
3. Carson Wentz is responsible for three touchdowns
Carson Wentz hasn’t been a model of consistency to this point. Some weeks he looks like an elite, top-five quarterback, and others he looks like Andy Dalton. The Patriots defense has also been terrific against quarterbacks not named Lamar Jackson. Besides Jackson, the Pats have only allowed one 200-yard game from a quarterback.
Including Jackson, the Patriots have allowed three passing touchdowns. New England also had 20 interceptions on the year. Yeah, not a good matchup for quarterbacks. But Wentz has a chance to do something different. His supporting cast is far better than any other Patriot opponent, besides the Baltimore Ravens.
Head coach Doug Pederson is a great game-planner in big games, which will obviously come into play. If he can channel his last season self, Wentz has a chance to shock the NFL world.
2. Miles Sanders has over 100 total yards
In recent weeks, rookie running back Miles Sanders has come on strong. In the last two weeks, he has 191 total yards and a touchdown. Sanders has been especially impactful in the receiving game, an area that he should get plenty of opportunity in against the Patriots.
It’s likely that the Eagles will be trailing much of the game, forcing Philly to resort to the passing game. The Patriots have been strong against receiving backs this season, but it’s not impossible. If Sanders can get himself 40 yards on the ground, 60 yards receiving is definitely a possibility.
1. No receiver tops 75 yards through the air
This one may not count as bold for this week, but it would if the Eagles were playing anyone but the Patriots. New England has only allowed one receiver to cross the 75-yard threshold, and there’s no reason to think the Eagles will be able to make it two.
Top pass-catcher Alshon Jeffery hasn’t practiced all week, so there’s no promise that he’s available. Tight end Zach Ertz has shown flashes of great play, coupled with a couple of disappearing acts. Carson Wentz will have to distribute the ball to everyone if the Eagles want a shot at winning, so a 75-yard receiver would be a surprise.