Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick (Thursday Edition)

How about that Joel Embiid!

Oops, wrong sport.

But it's telling that on a day when the 4-1 Eagles are rolling into a prime-time matchup against another 4-1 team, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, Philly remains abuzz about Embiid's series debut last night against the Nets on on Long Island.

If he stays healthy, the Eagles just might have serious competition atop the Philly sports talk topics.

But on to the matter at hand.

I was on the money last week, thinking the Eagles would handle a struggling Cardinals team that had to fly across the country.

Now it's the Eagles turn to hit the orad, and on a short practice week to play on a Thursday night.

That does not bode well for them.

I don't like this short week and trip to Carolina even a little bit.

Making matters worse, the Eagles will find themselves without right guard Lane Johnson, who just might be the key to their offensive success.

Remember last year when the Birds sprinted out to a 3-0 record? Then they lost Johnson to a 10-game suspension and their season went off a cliff.

So far head coach Doug Pederson has pushed all the right buttons this season. He'll need another gem tonight, devising a way to control the ball on the ground, protecting QB Carson Wentz in front of that line that will be without its star right tackle, and maybe most importantly keeping Panthers QB Cam Newton on the sidelines.

On defense, it appears the Birds might get their All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox back, though it will technically be a game-time decision.

The Eagles have been on a run, with Pederson pushing all the right buttons. A win tonight on the national stage in front of a prime-time audience would put them among the elite of the NFL.

One other thing to note. This is an important game for Carson Wentz. The Eagles second-year QB is slowly starting to build a lot of buzz for his success in leading the Eagles. Tonight everyone will be tuning in to see a prime-time matchup of elite young QBs. Wentz vs. Newtown. It's a very important game for Carson.

I'll be rooting for a win, but my heart tells me Newton and the Panthers come out on top.

THE PICK: Make it Panthers 26, Eagles 17. Look for Carson Wentz and the Birds offense to sputter without key cog Lane Johnson. That means lots of time on the field for Cam Newton, and that will spell big problems for the Eagles defense.

LAST WEEK: Maybe the most impressive poerformance of the Doug Pederson Era. The Birds simply dominated the Cardinals in every facet of the game, racing out to a 21-0 bulge in the first quarter, with Wentz tossing TD passes on the team's first three possessions. The win lifted the Eagles to a 4-1 record, alone atop the NFC East. I had them winning as well, so I now sport an identicial 4-1 mark. This might be one of the tougher tasks of the season. A win could be a defining moment for Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz. A loss won't be the end of the world.

GAME BY GAME: Chiefs 27, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Chiefs 33, Eagles 17)

Eagles 30, Redskins 17. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Eagles 27, Giants 24. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Giants 17)

Eagles 26, Chargers 24. (My Pick: Chargers 27, Eagles 17)

Eagles 34, Cardinals 7. (My Pick: Eagles 29, Cardinals 24)

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