Week 3 Quick Picks: Eagles vs. Bengals

Credit: Groupe Canam; used via CC BY-SA 3.0

Each Friday, the guys will take a shot at predicting what we’ll see in that week’s Eagles game. This Sunday, the 0-2 Birds host the 0-2 Bengals; only one of those two records was expected before the season began, and it wasn’t the guys in green.

It’s an important game for the Eagles; how is it going to go? Our two-time reigning winner goes first.

Joe (2-0): Everybody likes being right, but in this case, having beaten John in each of the first two weeks by taking a more pessimistic approach makes me a little sad. That said, at some point, winning the weekly Quick Picks will become more important than the result of the actual game.

We aren’t there quite yet, but that shouldn’t stop me from making an effort to get it right. However, I’ve done very little research for these picks thus far, and it’s worked to this point, so why change now?

This is absolutely a must-win game for the Eagles. Their upcoming schedule is just brutal – at San Francisco, at Pittsburgh, vs. Baltimore – and a loss would leave them staring at a possible 0-6 start to the season.

The Bengals had the number one pick in this year’s draft, and while Joe Burrow might be a capital-g Guy in the future, he’ll be playing in his third professional game on Sunday. The Eagles defense needs to make him look like it.

I’m envisioning the kind of game that gives fans some confidence – it may be false confidence, but confidence nonetheless – and that means a dominant defensive performance and some gaudy offensive numbers. In the case of the former, they don’t have enough good players to truly dominate, but I can see them racking up four or five sacks and forcing a couple turnovers; as for the latter, a 300-yard, three-touchdown day from the quarterback would likely mollify some of the critics heading into Week 4. I won’t be one of them, but I would probably be inclined to take a week off from the Wentz-bashing. Eagles 31, Bengals 13.

Offensive Standout: Carson Wentz

Defensive Standout: Darius Slay

John (0-2): The Philadelphia Eagles have not experienced a winless month under Doug Pederson…yet. They have to win one of these games, right? Eventuality is the only thing the Eagles have going for them against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Through two games, the offense ranks 28th in yards and 27th in points. The defense is not much better. Jim Schwartz’s unit is 26th in points allowed. They have yet to tally an interception and have managed a paltry four sacks. Yes, the offense has put them in bad spots. Defenses should be able to stumble into more than the 0.5 turnovers per game they are averaging. Two game tapes of rookie QB Joe Burrow should give Schwartz an idea of how to defend against the young signal caller. 

The Eagles should bounce back in Week 3. This is not a 2-14 team on paper (although they might be if they lose on Sunday). At some point, the team’s most explosive weapons have to demand the ball. Look for Carson Wentz to air out a long touchdown to DeSean Jackson and ride Miles Sanders on a bumpy road to victory. Eagles 24, Bengals 20.

Offensive Standout: DeSean Jackson

Defensive Standout: Avonte Maddox

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