Eagles-Vikings NFL Week 6 predictions 2019

Eagles-Vikings NFL Week 6 predictions 2019

The Eagles (3-2) travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings (3-2) on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Let’s get to this week’s predictions: 

Reuben Frank (2-3) 
I don’t like the matchups. The Eagles have been terrific against the run, but they haven’t faced anyone like Dalvin Cook. They'll get some cornerback help soon, but I’m not sure they have the people right now to slow down Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, not to mention Cook out of the backfield. The Eagles have been efficient offensively — No. 7 in the NFL in yards per drive — but that Vikings defense is allowing just 14.6 points per game and a bit less at home. I just don’t know where the firepower to attack a top-10 defense — No. 4 in yards allowed, No. 5 in points allowed, No. 6 against the pass, No. 9 against the run, No. 9 on third down — is going to come from with DeSean Jackson on the shelf. I still think they’ll come out of this three-game road trip 2-1, which would get them to 5-3 at the midpoint of the season. But I have the Vikings winning this one.

Vikings 24, Eagles 21 

Dave Zangaro (2-3)
Sure, Dalvin Cook is the NFL’s second-leading rusher for a reason. He’s an explosive player and the Vikings’ offensive scheme has been pretty good this season. But they want to run the ball and the Eagles stuff the run better than any team in the NFL. I think this really plays into what the Eagles want. 

On offense, the Birds need to figure out how to generate points against a good defense. But I have confidence in the Eagles’ ability to score touchdowns in the red zone, which is huge in what should end up being a pretty close game. It won’t rain confetti this time, but I think the Eagles still walk out of U.S. Bank Stadium with a win. 

Eagles 27, Vikings 21 

Derrick Gunn (2-3) 
Now that the Eagles have put their practice game against the Jets behind them, it’s on to a much more formidable opponent in the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings present all kinds of problems on both sides of the ball. On offense, they have electric RB Dalvin Cook, who is second in the league in rushing and two WRs who can stretch the field. Adam Thielen averages 15.4 yards per catch, while Stefon Diggs is at 15.8. Between them, they have 11 receptions for 20 or more yards. Minnesota’s defense is fourth overall, and fifth in points allowed at 14.6 per game. 

The Jets’ defense held the Eagles’ offense to two touchdowns and under 100 yards rushing. The Birds’ passing game was less than stellar and young receivers JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins had zero catches between them. DeSean Jackson’s absence is severely handcuffing the Eagles’ ability to stretch the field. The Eagles have to find a way to get a run game going to help set up the play action. The Birds’ defensive front will be thoroughly tested, and if they don’t get pressure on Kirk Cousins it could be a long afternoon. Doug Pederson’s crew knows what’s at stake and he will have them ready. This is going to be physical football at its finest. I think the Eagles will have just a little bit more muscle to strong-arm a win. 

Eagles 24, Vikings 21 

Ray Didinger (3-2) 
The Eagles’ run defense has been excellent through five games, allowing an average of just 63 yards on the ground, best in the NFL, but this will be their toughest test. The Vikings' offense is built around the run (166 yards per game) and they run it very well with Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison both averaging well over five yards per carry.

This isn't very complicated. If the Eagles' run defense shuts down Cook and Mattison and forces Kirk Cousins into a lot of second-and-long and third-and-long situations, the Eagles will win the game. If Cook and Mattison are moving the sticks and Cousins can pick his spots with the play-action pass, it will be a long day for Jim Schwartz and company. I like the Eagles in a close one.

Eagles 23, Vikings 21

Andrew Kulp (4-1) 
Tough one to call. Like the Falcons in Week 2, the Vikings really aren't that that great, but road games are tough. And where this differentiates from Atlanta is Minnesota's D is legit, holding opponents to 12, 21, 14, 16 and 10 points this season, home or away.

The Vikings’ offense, on the other hand, has largely been reliant on Dalvin Cook, and that plays into the Eagles' hands. As usual, this is one of the best run defenses in the NFL — tops in terms of yards per game (63.0), second in yards per attempt (3.2) — which means it could fall on to Kirk Cousins to keep the chains moving.

That sounds favorable for the Eagles, as long as the pass rush shows up for a second week in a row. I like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham to work over the interior of the Vikings O-line and rattle Cousins, perhaps even cause a couple turnovers. That should be enough as long as Carson Wentz and company play mistake-free football on the other side.

Eagles 24, Vikings 20

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Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

A few years ago, Rick Lovato was working in his family’s restaurant, Joyce’s Subs and Pizza, in Lincroft, New Jersey, just waiting for a chance.

He wasn’t the best at making pizza, but Lovato could make a mean breakfast sandwich. 

Maybe he still can, but Lovato won’t have to worry about picking up an apron again anytime soon. He’s in the middle of what might end up being a long and profitable NFL career. 

The Eagles on Tuesday signed the 27-year-old long snapper to a four-year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through the 2023 season. 

Lovato has been playing this season on a one-year deal he signed in February and was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. It’s worth noting that kicker Jake Elliott and punter Cameron Johnston are also in the final years of their contracts, so perhaps another move or two will be coming. 

While this deal won’t break the bank the way Brandon Brooks’ extension did last week, the Eagles seem interested right now in re-signing some players they want to keep around. 

The Eagles initially signed Lovato in December of 2016 after Jon Dorenbos broke his wrist. Lovato performed well enough that the Eagles traded Dorenbos the following August and made Lovato their full-time long snapper. 

Lovato has played in 45 regular-season games and five playoff games with the Eagles, including Super Bowl LII. He has a giant Lombardi Trophy tattooed on his side. 

Being a long snapper is kind of like being an offensive lineman in some ways. The less you hear about the long snapper, the more likely he’s performing well and not making mistakes. So, for Lovato’s sake, hopefully this is the last time you hear his name for a few years.  

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Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

We've got some overall defense, some Zach Ertz and some Miles Sanders in this week's edition of 10 Roob Stats.

Yes, we can always come up with positive stats even when the Eagles lose!

—> The Eagles have held three straight opponents to 17 or fewer points and fewer than 300 yards. This is only the second time that’s happened in the last 11 years. They also did it against the Steelers, Bears and Browns — the first three games of the Doug Pederson Era. Only the Patriots and 49ers have also had such streaks this year.

—> Carson Wentz’s current streak of 13 straight games with a touchdown pass is 3rd-longest in Eagles history, behind Wentz’s 22-game streak over the 2016 through 2018 seasons and Randall Cunningham’s 18-game streak in 1987 and 1988.

—> Wentz played his 50th career game Sunday. Among all QBs in NFL history in their first 50 games, he ranks 9th in most TD passes, 9th in passing yards, 12th in accuracy, second in completions and 3rd in interception percentage and has the 4th-highest passer rating.

—> Zach Ertz’s nine catches Sunday give him 55 this year. He’s the first player in Eagles history with six straight 50-catch seasons. Keith Byars [1988-92], Jeremy Maclin [2009-14], and Brian Westbrook [2004-08] had five.

—> Zach Ertz now has 17 career nine-catch games. Only Tony Gonzalez [25] and Jason Witten [20] have more in NFL history among tight ends. The last two games mark the fourth time in his career he’s had nine catches in consecutive games. The only other players in Eagles history to do that once are Pete Pihos in 1955 Terrell Owens in 2005.

—> One more Ertz: He’s increased his career total to 492 receptions, 20th-most in NFL history by a tight end. He only needs 14 to pass six more tight ends and move into 14th place. At his current rate, he’ll be in the all-time top-10 by Week 3 of next season.

—> The Eagles allowed 14 TD drives of 60 yards or more the first six games of the season. They’ve allowed 4 the last four games.

—> They’ve also held six straight home opponents under 100 rushing yards, the 6th-longest streak in franchise history and 3rd-longest since 1955.

—> The Eagles are on pace to allow fewer than 1,400 rushing yards ad fewer than 3.8 per carry in the same season for only the second time since 1991 and the sixth time since 1955.

—> He didn’t have a huge game Sunday, but Miles Sanders did add 47 scrimmage yards to his 2019 total and now ranks second among all rookie NFL running backs with 688 scrimmage yards, behind only Josh Jacobs of the Raiders, who has 1,067 (and 97 more touches).

—> Sanders’ 688 yards are most ever by an Eagles rookie running back after 10 games (35 more than Lee Bouggess in 1970) and second-most by any rookie, behind only DeSean Jackson (732). Sanders needs to average 52 yards from scrimmage the rest of the season for 1,000. The only Eagles rookie to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards was Jackson (1,008 in 2008). The most by a running back was LeSean McCoy’s 945 in 2009.

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