Sunday, September 25, 2016

Eagles Need a Big Effort on Defense to Remain Undefeated

Carson Wentz has been the big story in Philadelphia this season behind the Eagles' surprising 2-0 start. He is the first rookie quarterback since 1970 to win his first two NFL starts without throwing an interception. With the favored 2-0 Pittsburgh Steelers coming east on the PA Turnpike for a late Sunday afternoon in-state showdown at the Linc, Wentz will most likely need his best effort to date to keep the Eagles perfect on the year.

The main reason why the Eagles will either stun the Steelers with another win as underdogs or go down in defeat to their cross-state rivals will hinge on the play of Philadelphia's defense. This unit was one of the worst in the league last season in almost every major category; however with Jim Schwartz at the helm as the new coordinator, the Birds are currently sitting at a very lofty second in the NFL in points allowed and fourth in total yards allowed.

Granted, Cleveland and Chicago are hardly offensive juggernauts in this league, but Pittsburgh is. In victories over Washington and Cincinnati, the Steelers have racked up an average of 31 points and 405.5 yards a game. Ben Roethlisberger is healthy and playing at a high level and the combination of Antonio Brown and Sammy Coates have hauled in 16 receptions for 318 yards and two scores. The only plus is that running back Le'Veon Bell is still out of the lineup due to a league suspension.

If the Eagles can hold Pittsburgh to 24 points or less they have a real good chance to win this game. Unfortunately, I do not see things playing out quite like that in a 27-17 loss at home.

A Few Other Bold Predictions

Wentz throws his first NFL interception

Wendell Smallwood has a big return on special teams

Backup tight end Trey Burton has another productive day in place of an injured Zach Ertz

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