Updated: 3:25 p.m.
The Eagles (6-7) are coming off a crushing overtime loss to the Cowboys last week and now they have to go on the road to face the Rams (11-2) at the L.A. Coliseum.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (7-6)
The Rams are averaging 33 points per game and 38 at home. With all the injuries the Eagles have on defense, they’re certainly not going to shut down the Rams. So their only shot Sunday is getting into a shootout and scoring last. Kind of like last year, when the Eagles won 43-35 to clinch a playoff spot. But this is a different team, and they’re not equipped to get into a shootout with anybody. Last time they tried they lost by 41 points in New Orleans. Now, maybe a healthy Nick Foles can recapture his Super Bowl magic and put up a ton of points on a very average Rams defense. Stranger things have happened. And some of them have happened with Foles at quarterback. But it’s just too much to ask. Foles hasn’t played since Sept. 16 and wasn’t particularly sharp when he did play. If the Eagles can steal a win in L.A. they would give themselves a real shot at that No. 2 wild card. But I don’t see it. So I’ll go with the Eagles falling to 6-8.
Rams 33, Eagles 23
Dave Zangaro (5-8)
Hey, maybe Nick Foles will come out and be the Super Bowl MVP and come out of L.A. after winning a shootout. I just don’t see it. This offense hasn’t been able to get going all season and they’re going to start with their backup quarterback going against one of the best teams in the league? Nah, not buying it.
This seems like a perfect storm for the Eagles to get crushed in this game. Backup quarterback on the road against a team that’s coming off a rare loss and has been really good, especially at home. And the Eagles have a ton of injuries at key spots. Sorry, Eagles fans. Not seeing it.
Rams 42, Eagles 19
Derrick Gunn (7-6)
When it rains it pours, and the Eagles have been flooded with injuries all season long. This week, Corey Clement and Josh Sweat were both placed on injured reserve. If that’s not bad enough, Wentz is dealing with a back issue and is doubtful for Sunday’s encounter with the Rams. The Eagles’ playoff hopes are on life support and they need a lot of help elsewhere. The Birds’ theme has been consistent all season long: sluggish on offense and breakdowns on defense at crucial points of games. Their run defense continues to be porous. The Birds’ D has given up an average of 143.2 yards rushing over the last five games. Of their seven losses, six have been decided by six points or fewer, and two of them were in overtime. Oh! And it gets worse! They now take to the road (2-4 away from home ) to face a Rams squad that’s 6-0 at home, and is ticked off about getting embarrassed by the Bears on national TV.
The Eagles need to stay committed to the run this week against a generous Rams' run defense ranked 23rd in the NFL (123 yds allowed per outing).
To think it was a year ago against the Rams out west where the legend of Foles began. Foles will under center this Sunday with Wentz out. But not even Foles can save the Birds’ season this time.
Rams 31 Eagles 21
Ray Didinger (7-6)
There is no point in doing the "well, they're still alive for a wild card" because while that remains a mathematical possibility it is so far-fetched, why bother? Everything — and I mean everything — would have to break the Eagles' way and it just hasn't been that kind of year for the defending champs. The news about Wentz is just the latest gut punch in a long, painful season.
Yes, Foles is taking over in the same place he took over last year, the Los Angeles Coliseum, and perhaps there are still some true believers out there who see the stars aligning for another magical run, but I'm not among them. The Eagles are too weakened and too battered to defeat a team as talented and explosive as the 11-2 Rams.
It would be smart for the Eagles to run the ball to take some pressure off Foles and control the clock — plus the Rams are allowing opposing rushers 5.1 yards per carry, 31st in the league — but that's not usually Doug Pederson's style. I see the Rams bouncing back in a big way after their loss in Chicago.
Rams 31, Eagles 21
Andrew Kulp (7-6)
The Wentz news will make it difficult for the Eagles to pull off the upset, but it's reasonable to think they could cover the spread. The Rams are an extremely talented team, but they haven't exactly been blowing opponents out, and once Foles shakes off the cobwebs, the offense should score some points.
As far as picking the Eagles to win, Foles will probably need a quarter or so to find a rhythm, and the Rams simply aren't a team they can afford to give a head start, especially given the state of the secondary. High scoring game, but one where the Birds are playing catch-up the whole time.
Rams 31, Eagles 24
Corey Seidman (6-7)
Forgetting for a second about the Carson Wentz situation, the Rams just have so many ways to attack a beat-up Eagles secondary — wheel routes to Todd Gurley, a deep shot or two to Brandin Cooks (with the accompanying DPI call), Robert Woods on deep crosses.
It’s going to take a tremendous team-wide effort for the Eagles to just stay with the Rams, much less pull out winning plays at the end of a close game on the road against a team clearly better than them.
The Rams just got punched in the mouth by the Bears, an ill-timed wake-up call from the Eagles’ perspective.
Rams 37, Eagles 20
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