The Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) have the pleasure of traveling to Buffalo to take on the Bills (3-1), in what was thought at the beginning of the season to be an easy win. Things have since changed, and it seems like the Eagles and Bills have swapped places. Philadelphia is coming into the game losing three-straight, and Buffalo is coming fresh off their first loss of the season to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here are five bold predictions for the week five game:
5. Fred Jackson/CJ Spiller Will Rush For Over 150 Yards
The Eagles defense, during this three game losing streak, has been totally abysmal. When it seems that the rushing defense is finally put together, the pass defense falls apart and vice-versa. There has been no consistency from the defensive line and linebackers, and the secondary seems to always be a question mark.
Philadelphia lost Trent Cole last week for an unknown amount of time, and also Antonio Dixon for the rest of the season, making the Eagles thin on the defensive line. I can imagine the combo of Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller taking advantage of the Eagles poor rushing defense, and the injuries to the line, and exploding for over 150 yards.
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick Will Look Like a Pro-Bowler
The Bills took a tough loss last week to the Bengals, ending their undefeated season. Ryan Fitzpatrick had a rough game last week, and was unable to score a touchdown. He will be coming for blood next week, and will look to shred apart and Eagles secondary that has already proven they are flawed.
I always liked Fitzpatrick, but I had no idea he would develop this quickly into an efficient starting quarterback. The Eagles have struggled this season containing the pass, and I can see Fitzpatrick taking advantage of it.
3. Michael Vick Will Have a Big Day
Despite the Eagles losing their last game to the 49ers, Michael Vick looked really good. He threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns, but it ended up not being enough to close out the game. For the first time all season, Eagles fan saw the true Pro-Bowl Vick, and the same quarterback who carried the Eagles to the playoffs.
The Bills defense is nothing spectacular, and Vick should be able to find his receivers and running lanes with no issue. Vick seems to be the only player on the Eagles that is willing to admit that there is something seriously wrong, and he also seems to be the one putting in the most effort to fix it.
2. The Eagles Will Score/Hold in The Red Zone
For the first time in a long-time, the Eagles are in the category of worst for both red zone offense and defense. That could be partially attributed to play-calling, but some of it is also on poor decision making, (Ronnie Brown). Considering how much heat Andy Reid took last week by the media, he had to have made red zone offense and defense a priority in practice.
This also partially attributes to the fact that Buffalo is not stacked with Pro-Bowl players on either side of the ball, and the Eagles have the clear advantage in overall talent. The saying is, ‘real players turn it up when they’re in the zone.’ Or something like that anyway.
1. The Eagles Will Take The Crowd Out Early
Buffalo, despite being a bottom-dweller team, has been able to keep an amazing amount of fan support and their stadium is one of the toughest to play in the NFL. The Eagles have shown flaws in the past when playing on the road in front of a loud crowd, and it never mixes well with young starters.
Last seson the Eagles were great at starting off strong with solid defensive stops, and fast-attack offensive play-calling, and that generally eliminated the opposing team’s crowd from the game. The last thing I can see the Eagles doing is allowing the Buffalo crowd to get into the game and mess with their young offensive lineman, and young defensive starters.
Philadelphia’s season has started out the exact oppostite of what they imagined it would be. The scariest part is that these first five weeks were the easy part of their schedule, and to get back on track they need to win this game in Buffalo. It won’t be easy, but I think the Eagles have a lot to prove, and they will end up beating the Bills on the road. Eagles 27 – Bills 24