Eagles-Cowboys NFL Week 10 predictions

Eagles-Cowboys NFL Week 10 predictions

The Eagles (4-4) are coming off their bye week and hosting the Cowboys (3-5), who just played and lost on Monday Night Football. 

This is the Eagles’ second division matchup of the season and their first game against the Cowboys this year. 

To the predictions: 

Reuben Frank (5-3) 
Losing this game would be inexcusable for the Eagles. The Cowboys sputter into the Linc having scored 20 or fewer points in all but two of their eight games and are averaging less than 13½ points on the road.

The Eagles’ defense should feast on the Dallas offense, with or without Amari Cooper. No excuses. I don’t want to hear about injuries or fluke plays or bad calls. It’s time for this football team to start playing up to its capabilities.

The Cowboys are wounded, and the Eagles need to jump on them early, finish them off and send everybody home happy at midnight. They need to protect their home field. They need to put together a winning streak. They need to dominate their biggest rival. And I think they will. Bring on the Saints!

Eagles 37, Cowboys 13 

Dave Zangaro (2-6) 
This is the Eagles’ second straight game against an opponent that is in complete disarray. The Cowboys should have taken a lead and put the Titans away last week, but they coughed it up and lost by two touchdowns. Now, they have to go on the road on a short week to face a team coming off its bye with an added weapon. 

I guess there’s a fear the Eagles could come out sluggish after their bye, but I don’t even think that would matter. They’re just clearly the better team in this game. I think we’re about to see a pretty huge collapse from the Cowboys and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jason Garrett not make it through the season. 

Eagles 27, Cowboys 16 

Derrick Gunn (3-5) 
The Eagles are like a mash unit right now. Who’s in? Who’s out?

The Birds’ back end of their defense could have problems defending Cooper. They may have to give help over the top. 

Meanwhile, the Cowboys are still having problems along their offensive line. Ezekiel Elliott has only 94 yards rushing his last two games. And Dak Prescott, who has been sacked 28 times this season (third most in the league), has been dropped 12 times in the ‘Boys' last three games.             

The Eagles’ defense has to get to Prescott and generate some turnovers. How will Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz implement their new weapon Golden Tate? The Cowboys’ fourth-ranked D can't be overlooked. It gives up less than 100 yards on the ground per game and has given up an average of 18.9 points per game.

Wentz and company should find success through the air, but he can't afford to hold onto the ball too long with Demarcus Lawrence coming off the edge. If Tennessee could put up 28 points on Dallas, how many should the Eagles be able to tally? Garrett and Prescott will find a way to screw up their opportunity. Even with all their injuries, I like the Birds at home. 

Eagles 28, Cowboys 21

Ray Didinger (4-4) 
Things are starting to break the Eagles’ way. On Sunday, the Redskins were routed at home by Atlanta and lost three players to injury. On Monday, the Cowboys lost at home to Tennessee and now even Troy Aikman is saying the team needs a complete overhaul. While all this was going on, the Eagles rested up for the stretch run.

They start the second half of the season with an absolutely critical Sunday night game with the reeling Cowboys. Five of their remaining eight games are against NFC East opponents and if they take care of business there, they will repeat as division champs in spite of their early missteps.

I expect Tate to have an impact right away, especially on third downs where the Eagles can use a pick-me-up, and the Cowboys have all kinds of trouble scoring on the road, averaging just 13 points while dropping all four games away from home. I don't think things will get any easier playing in front of the hostile Philly crowd.

Eagles 24, Cowboys 13 

Andrew Kulp (4-4) 
It really shouldn't be this close. The Cowboys will be without the heart of their defense, Sean Lee, the Garrett/Prescott-led offense stinks out loud, and the team is flying into Philadelphia on six days rest to meet an Eagles team coming off a bye.

But the Eagles are still nicked up themselves and haven't run away with many games this year, so it'll probably be another nail-biter, or worse, they'll find a way to lose — not what I'm predicting, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Eagles 20, Cowboys 17 

Corey Seidman (3-5) 
In an age of high-powered passing games and creative schemes, the Cowboys look like a high school offense. They’re a simple, boring, predictable team that runs a trick play once in a while. They just don’t have enough to stay with the Eagles, up and down the field, for 60 minutes.

Tate scores in his debut.

Eagles 31, Cowboys 20

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How Carson Wentz’s mind has become a weapon for Eagles’ run game

How Carson Wentz’s mind has become a weapon for Eagles’ run game

Carson Wentz first said it after the win over the Bills and it definitely piqued my interest.

After the Eagles’ 31-13 win in Buffalo, Wentz stated that running the ball was the “recipe” for his team. He spoke about the importance of controlling the line of scrimmage. And he mentioned it again after the win over the Bears.

It seemed like a strange thing for a 26-year-old franchise quarterback to say.

That is, until you realize just how involved and invested Wentz is in the Eagles’ run game.

“That’s what he’s embraced, the power of the five guys in front of him and the abilities of the backs,” 40-year-old backup quarterback Josh McCown said. “When you have those weapons, you have to use them and he’s not afraid to use it.

“And his mind. His mind is a weapon. When you can identify fronts and realize this is a good run vs. that, it’s rare and it’s hard for quarterbacks. When you get a guy that can do that and you got the guys up front who can pull it off, it can be a weapon. He’s certainly helped us with that.”

That’s something very similar to what quarterbacks coach Press Taylor said earlier in the week, that Wentz’s mind is “one of the strengths” of the Eagles’ rushing attack.

You’ve probably seen it several times this year. Wentz will be at the line of scrimmage and check to a run play based on what the opposing defense is showing. But it’s a more detailed process than that.

And Wentz is heavily involved.

“Carson, since Day 1, has been very involved in the run game,” center Jason Kelce said. “Probably a little different than a lot of other quarterbacks. He really wants to know what the checks are for, why they want to do them. With some guys, I’m really the one who’s taking control of it and that’s not the way he is. He’s a guy that wants to know why we’re doing everything. He’s a very cerebral guy. He’s very knowledgeable when it comes to the run game, really any facet.”

Likewise, McCown is impressed that a “rather young” quarterback has the awareness and control over games that Wentz does.

So just know when Wentz makes a check, there’s a whole long process behind it.

Really, it starts with film study during the week as the Eagles work to create their game plans. It continues on the sideline during games, based on the actions of the opposing defense. These are conversations between Wentz, Kelce and offensive line coach/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland.

Sometimes, there are glaring reasons for a check. Other times, there’s a more back-and-forth discussion between the group about what might work and where there might be a flaw in their thinking.

Wentz, as you might imagine, downplayed his involvement in the run game. “Not a ton,” he said, before crediting Stoutland and Kelce.

Don’t buy it.

“He’s involved in all of it,” Kelce said.

It’s not like Wentz is Peyton Manning up there with the full playbook at his disposal. There are “tight parameters,” as Taylor put it. If the defense shows this, check to that. But with all their prep work, the Eagles feel confident that Wentz and Kelce will get them into successful plays.

Recently, that has meant a whole bunch of runs. With their receivers struggling this season and with DeSean Jackson out, the Eagles have kind of become a run-first team. While Wentz thinks chunk pass plays will come, he also thinks the Eagles can win like this.

And that’s all he cares about.

“I think he wants to win,” Taylor said. “So I think he will do whatever it takes for us to win the game.”

For now, that means running the football. And Wentz will be involved every step of the way.

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5 matchups to watch as Eagles host Patriots in NFL Week 11

5 matchups to watch as Eagles host Patriots in NFL Week 11

The Eagles (5-4) are back from their bye week with what might be their toughest game of the season against the Patriots (8-1) at the Linc.

The last time these two teams played against each other in a game that mattered, the Eagles won 41-33. But a lot has changed since then.

Here are five matchups to watch on Sunday:

Tom Brady vs. Jim Schwartz

No, the Patriots didn’t win Super Bowl LII — I remember that pretty clearly — but Brady did have a big statistical game. He threw for 505 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. That’s the most passing yards ever in a playoff game. I know they lost and I know that was nearly two years ago, but Brady carved up the Eagles that night. His numbers this season aren’t nearly as incredible. In nine games, he has 2,536 yards with 14 TDs and 5 INTs, but he’s still capable of having a big game.

“Yeah, he's a tough competitor and gives them a chance to win every week,” Schwartz said. “He doesn't make many mistakes.”

So it’ll be on Schwartz to find a way to force him into a few mistakes on Sunday. Maybe that means blitzing, maybe that means showing a few looks for which the Patriots won’t be prepared.

There will be pressure on Schwartz, with an extra week to prepare, to figure out a way to slow down Brady more on Sunday than he did in the Super Bowl less than a couple years ago.

Julian Edelman vs. Avonte Maddox

The Patriots’ top receiver this season has been Edelman, who missed Super Bowl LII 18 months ago. In 2019, the 5-10 slot receiver has 63 catches for 663 yards and four touchdowns. To put that in perspective, the Eagles’ top two receivers (not including tight ends) are Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. They have a combined 66 catches for 635 yards and six touchdowns. Edelman is a real threat.

Maddox returned for the Bears game before the bye and will be given a tough task on Sunday in Edelman. Edelman has been consistently good this season but also has two 100-yard games.

Stephon Gilmore vs. ???

The Patriots are famous for taking away their opponents best player and they do this in a few different ways. Gilmore is their best corner, so it would make a lot of sense if they just match him up against the Eagles’ best receiver. But Alshon Jeffery’s status is in question. So there could also be the possibility that the Patriots decide to put Gilmore on tight end Zach Ertz, a possibility offensive coordinator Mike Groh didn’t dismiss earlier this week. It’ll be interesting to see what the Patriots decide, especially if Jeffery doesn’t play.

It’s worth noting that the Eagles will probably use a lot of 12 personnel (two tight ends) in this game. And they already use that personnel package more than any other team in the league. It’s something the Patriots have struggled with. More on that from NBC Sports Boston.

Doug Pederson/Mike Groh vs. Bill Belichick

This is where Pederson needs to be innovative. The Eagles will have to have a few scenarios in their minds of how the Patriots want to defend them and have wrinkles ready to throw at them. In a lot of games, I think the coaching matchups are overblown; the players win or lose games. But the most intriguing thing about this game is the chess match that will go on between Belichick and the Eagles’ offensive staff, which includes Carson Wentz. The Patriots’ defense is an opportunistic bunch, leading the NFL in takeaways. So Wentz will have to be careful with the ball, but Pederson’s play-calling needs to be better in this game. Should be fun to watch.

Eagles’ run game vs. Patriots’ run defense

Before the bye week, we watched the Ravens run for 210 yards against the Patriots in their huge 37-20 win in Baltimore. Now, 61 of those yards came from Lamar Jackson and the Eagles won’t have that type of run game production from their quarterback this week. But the point is that I think the Eagles can run on the Patriots.

While they have the 11th run defense in the NFL, giving up 99.1 yards per game, you have to remember that they’ve been up on teams. In four of their nine games, the Patriots have given up fewer than 60 rushing yards. But in those four games, the Patriots have outscored their opponents 74-14 in first halves, including three first-half shutouts. Many teams got behind them and were forced to abandon the run.

And, overall, the Patriots are giving up 4.7 yards per carry, which ranks 26th in the NFL.

The Eagles have found success running the ball this season and they should try to get that run game going against the Patriots.

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