Photo: Jeramey Jannene, used via CC BY 2.0
Because literally nothing makes sense about this Eagles team, the Birds have a winning record on the road while being winless at home. Good thing, then, that they’re headed to Denver for this week’s matchup with the Broncos.
Despite their best efforts, the Eagles are on the fringe of the the Wild Card standings, and a win on Sunday would keep them afloat in that race for a little while longer. Will they get it? Read on.
Last week was a draw; Joe retains the honor.
Joe (3-2-4): Fun fact: Denver is farther south than Philadelphia. It’s true!
It’s also literally a mile above sea level, and that tends to have an effect on things on the field. I’m concerned that the head coach doesn’t have enough oxygen flowing to his brain in a normal week, so Denver presents a whole host of issues there.
The Broncos are in last place in the AFC West. They’re also a half-game out of first place as well; all four teams in the division are over .500. Midway through the season, Denver’s defense ranks sixth in yards allowed per game and its rushing defense allows fewer than 100 yards per outing.
I think this means Nick Sirianni will decide to go away from the run after a brief fling with it, which means that I think John will be screaming at his television by 5:30 Eastern. The Broncos have some talented pass catchers, while the offense is run by Teddy Bridgewater, who, now that I think about it, seems to be Jalen Hurts’ ceiling. There are worse guys you can be compared to, for sure, but at this point in his career, nobody is losing sleep over what Teddy Two Gloves is going to unleash on them.
Denver is dealing with some injuries on the offensive line, so the Eagles should be able to get some pressure on Bridgewater. For some reason, this feels like a lower-scoring affair than expected, and it feels like a game the Eagles lose and afterward you think, “God, that was dumb.” I don’t know in what specific way, but some way, some how, it will be dumb. Broncos 21, Eagles 15.
Offensive Standout: Noah Fant
Defensive Standout: Derek Barnett
John (2-3-4): After weeks of picking against the Eagles because they played a superior opponent, we’re at the portion of the 2021 NFL schedule where each game is a coin flip between two mediocre teams. The Eagles have looked like their head is between their tails the last few weeks and remain unlikely to emerge victorious in Denver.
There are times when it looks like the Eagles beating anyone is a Mile-High accomplishment. This week is no different. If the Eagles can’t beat a mediocre Chargers team at home, I can’t see them winning in the thin air of Denver. The absence of a pass rush and the lack of a deep threat make it hard to win every week. As we progress through the season, it’s looking like Jalen Hurts might not be the guy you can plan your franchise around.
This is one of those weeks where he can turn us into believers or Gardner Minshew stans. He should still get a month to prove himself, but at some point the proof needs to be in the putting of points on the board. The Eagles will lose another close game this week unless Denver completely folds, which is something they didn’t do against Dallas last week. Broncos 24, Eagles 19.
Offensive Standout: Melvin Gordon
Defensive Standout: Alexander Johnson