The Philadelphia Eagles are set to take on the washington Football Team in Week 17. The huge NFC East matchup is a must-win for the Birds, who are desperately grasping at any chance of a playoff run. In their last meeting, the Eagles beat the COVID-depleted Washington team in Week 15. The final score was 27-17 in favor of the Eagles, but a lot has changed in the last two weeks. That being said, let’s take a look at my four boldest predictions for the NFC East matchup.

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Eagles Week 17 Predictions

4. New rusher in the spotlight

The Eagles recently pushed their record to above .500 in their Week 16 win against the New York Giants, but the win came with a cost. One of Philadelphia’s top running backs, Miles Sanders, suffered yet another injury. This time, it wasn’t a lower-body injury, but a broken hand. Needless to say, he will not be available for Sunday against Washington.

For more insight on the Eagles’ Week 17 matchup against Washington, listen below:

So, who takes his place in the top rushing offense in the league? Look no further than Boston Scott. While the running back is known for his top-tier performances against the Giants, expect his dominance to carry from Week 16 to Week 17. Last week, the “Giant Slayer” ran for 41 yards and one touchdown in their 34-10 win.

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3. Jalen Hurts does what he does best

Recently, Jalen Hurts hasn’t been running as much as he had previously. This is likely due to the ankle injury he suffered in the Eagles’ Week 12 loss to the Giants. Through Week 12, Hurts was consistently the top rusher on the team, averaging 57.75 yards per game. In Week 16, Hurts only ran the ball twice for a total of seven yards.

All of this in mind, expect Hurts to run the ball a lot more this week. He has had plenty of time to recover from his ankle injury and test it out in two game settings. By Sunday, Hurts will be ready to run the ball a lot more, and could even get his 11th rushing touchdown of the season.

2. Close game

There’s no doubt that the Eagles are coming into the NFC East matchup full of energy and drive. They can almost taste the sweetness of the NFL playoffs. However, this game won’t be as simple as when they last played Washington.

In Week 15, the Eagles beat Washington, who had over 20 players on their COVID-19 list that week. They were forced to start third-string quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who admittedly did a pretty decent job given the circumstances. Don’t expect another two-score win for the Eagles on Sunday, because this one is going to be a much closer race.

1. Birds bring it home

Although it’s going to be a close game, expect the Birds to come up with the Week 17 win. Philadelphia’s defense has been ruthless the past few weeks, and the offense has found an identity in both the run and pass game. The Eagles have faced a lot of adversity throughout the season, and it looks like the team is finally starting to come together as one, cohesive unit. Finally, my boldest prediction yet: Eagles win 24-20.