After winning nine straight games, the Eagles hit a bump in the road last week in Seattle. So did most of our predictions, except for Anthony. This week, the Birds are in Los Angeles for the second time this season to take on Jared Goff and the Rams.
To recap, here’s where the staff stands entering Week 14:
1: Bob (11-1)
2: Tyler (10-2)
T3: Chris, Coggin, Kevin K, Kyle (9-3)
T7: Phil, Tim (8-4)
9: Anthony (5-7) (5-4, according to Anthony)
Our predictions for this week are after the jump:
Phil: I am deeply disappointed but not especially surprised at how skeptical people have become about this Eagles team (in the media, via texts I get from friends, on social media, etc.) They won nine in a row and covered in either all nine or close to it depending on the spread movements. Then they lost one game, in Seattle, a game that when the schedule came out absolutely looked like a loss, and now if they lose to the Rams people will be bailing left and right on a 10-win team. It’s shameful. The primary reason the Eagles lost to the Seahawks was the inability to keep Russell Wilson contained. This game presents no such challenge. The Eagles defense will know right where Jared Goff is all day and they will get to him. Eagles 27, Rams 20.
Bob: As of Saturday morning, the line is shifting back in favor of the Eagles, which I like. What’s more, I think they’ll run the football, specifically, with Jay Ajayi. Carson Wentz rebounds a week after leaving several big plays on the table. I think this game plays out exactly as it did during the Eagles’ win over the Chargers. Eagles 27, Rams 24.
Coggin: Damnit, Eagles, you made an ASS out of me last week. How dare you make me look foolish in a prediction column millions upon millions of people read each week. DON’T YOU DO IT AGAIN. Eagles find a way to bottle up human dynamo Todd Gurley and hit Goff relentlessly throughout the afternoon. Eagles 24, Rams 17.
Tim: It was reasonable to expect the Eagles to lose a game during their two-week West Coast swing. I just thought the Seattle game presented a better opportunity to win. However, Russell Wilson worked his magic, the Eagles failed to take advantage of a battered Seahawks defense, and Carson Wentz struggled to find his game. So it goes.
The Birds will bounce back in LA. The environment won’t be nearly as hostile, and the big plays on which the Rams offense has thrived won’t be available to them. Wentz rediscovers his MVP form, the rushing attack helps the Eagles control the game, and the defense holds Jared Goff & company in check. Eagles 28, Rams 17.
Anthony: I was the lone “expert” (ha!) who picked Seattle to win last week. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. And, I also said the Eagles needed that loss to refocus and bounce back to win this week against the Rams. I wasn’t, however, prepared to have the Eagles attack the Rams without Zach Ertz.
That’s a big loss for the Eagles this week – even though the game plan should be to run the ball against a weak Rams run defense. But missing Ertz takes a lot away from the passing game. A lot. I’m not sure they can completely run their way to a win. They need Carson Wentz to do his thing, and without Ertz, I’m not sure he can do it as well as he usually does. He’ll still lead the Eagles to points, but it’s going to be a struggle.
Meanwhile, I think the Rams will score some on the Eagles. Only one defense has stopped the Rams this season – Minnesota, and although the Eagles defense is pretty darn good, it’s not the Vikings.
I hate changing my mind here, but as the week has gone on, I’ve liked the Rams more and more. Tough loss for the Birds. Rams 23, Eagles 20.
Chris: They got a loss, which I think they needed to get last week. It sucked, but if it makes them better, great. No Zach Ertz might not help, but he was nonexistent against Seattle for the first half last week. I would not take the Rams lightly, and I think they make this a game out of the Birds’ defense. But in the end, the Birds will make Goff a one dimensional QB, like they’ve previously done before Russell Wilson. Eagles 27, Rams 24.
Tyler: Despite help from the Falcons last night, Sunday is as close to a “must win” as it comes without truly being a “win-and-in game.” The birds cannot get on a cross-country flight losing both games out west. Once this was a team poised for the top seed in the NFC and now could be looking at playing Wild Card Weekend if it falls to LA on Sunday. Staying out west will help this team re-focus and stop smelling themselves with the slap in the face from the Seahawks last week on national television. The NFC is stacked and nothing is guaranteed come the playoffs. The Eagles need to play at the Linc as much as possible in the postseason and to help make that happen, they need to win at the coliseum on Sunday. I think they step up and do just that, clinching the NFC East crown. Eagles 24, Rams 23.
Kevin K: ???
Kyle: I hate the line movement in this game, from -1 Rams to -2 Rams. The big money has been all over the Rams, which is an even worse sign. That said, I think the Eagles are better. They can stop the run game, have a better defense, and are basically playing a home game. Eagles 25, Rams 22.
Give us your predictions below.