Well, last week was the week of Dave Uram. We all knew playing in Seattle was a tough task, but thought the Eagles were so much better this year that it didn’t matter in the bigger picture.
So much so, that we all picked the Eagles to win the game last week… except Mr. Uram. Kudos, David.
But now it’s time to turn the page. The Eagles have stayed out on the west coast all week and are ready to face the 9-3 Los Angeles Rams in L.A. Will the week away from Philly be a good thing? We’ll find out Sunday at 4:25 P.M. on FOX with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call.
To the predictions:
Candis McLean (11-1, @CandisRMcLean):
I don’t know what Superman felt like the first time he saw himself bleed, but it was probably close to my borderline emotion watching the game last week. After weeks of being on top of the league, the Eagles finally lost. This week we take on another rough opponent in the Los Angeles Rams. They’re a team with a dynamic runner, a young talent at QB, and a lights out defense of their own. I’m going to pick the Eagles this week for the same reason I picked them last week; they’re the overall better team. I think the team comes out refocused and ready to split their west coast trip this season.
Dave Uram (11-1, @MrUram):
Last week was a mirage. The Eagles’ leadership is too good to practice below their standard. Carson Wentz is a winner who won’t lose two in a row easily. The L.A. Coliseum will sound like South Philadelphia. These teams may be very evenly matched, but the Rams are catching the Birds at the wrong time, right after being brought down to Earth on Sunday Night Football. Eagles win big and put themselves in great position for a bye week.
Caleb Weiler (0-1, @TheBitter_Caleb):
After their second loss of the season, the Eagles will look to bounce back against the Rams. The defense was not able to hit home much because of Russell Wilson’s elusiveness but that is something that second-year quarterback Jared Goff does not have. Pair the defensive line’s frustration with a Carson Wentz who wants to prove he should’ve been drafted first and that’s the recipe for an Eagles win. Low-scoring affair, but the Eagles pull it out.
Anthony Mazziotti (6-1, @AntMazziotti):
Sunday’s game against the Rams has all the storylines you need. Two Coach of the Year candidates, the one and two picks from the 2016 draft, the best offenses in football, and pretty good defenses. Who comes out the victor?
Call it a homer’s intuition but I think the Birds, fueled by a pretty embarrassing loss on national television on Sunday night, walk away with the NFC East crown and prove to be the better team.
This isn’t to take anything away from the Rams, but I feel like the Eagles are the better team. Carson Wentz is better than Jared Goff, our offense can provide more mismatches, and our defense should be able to stop Todd Gurley and the rest of the Rams’ running game (look what they did to Jordan Howard). The Eagles’ secondary vs. the Rams’ receivers could be a fun matchup to watch (or super frustrating). Give me the Birds in a pretty high scoring affair.
Tony Cutillo (9-3, @TCutillo23):
We took an L on the chest in Seattle, but like Big Sean says it’s time to “Bounce Back.” I know most don’t agree, but Doug Pederson came up small when we needed him most. This was his first taste of big-time football in a hostile environment as the main play caller and he was noticeably shook. This time it wasn’t the Patriots, but at least his post-game explanations made more sense. One thing we haven’t seen yet is the resilience that this team may possess because of the success they’ve had up to this point.
I am going against the grain here (nothing unusual) and calling this a must-win. The ultimate goal has changed throughout the course of the season and now the road to Minnesota is the end game. No pit stops or bathroom breaks. It’s all or nothing in my opinion, and it needs to start in L.A.
Adrian Fedkiw (11-1, @AdrianFedkiw):
We’re about to find out about the character of the Eagles Sunday. It’s a pivotal game in regards to the NFC standings. If the Birds can beat the Rams and the Panthers defeat the Vikings in Carolina, Philadelphia would not only hold a one-game advantage over the Vikes for the No. 1 seed again, but overtake them in the tiebreaker due to a perfect record against common opponents. The Rams are tough to throw on and have the third most sacks in the NFL, so I expect Pederson to get the ground game going against the 30th ranked run defense of Los Angeles. It is susceptible along the edges of its defense and the Eagles run the outside zone and sweeps very well. I also believe Jay Ajayi will see another increase in carries. The Rams have a solid left tackle in Andrew Whitworth, but Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham can certainly have their way against the right side of the Rams’ line to force pressure on Goff. If the Eagles can establish the run and get the heat on Goff, they will win.
Sean Brace (10-1, @Sean_Brace):
Ouch, this one is going to hurt. I’m very tempted to go against my gut here but I’ve been on record for the last three weeks in saying the Rams are the Eagles’ toughest challenge. Talent out of the backfield, a solid offensive line, a quarterback that found his game, and I love their front seven on defense. I expect the Birds to bounce back with a good showing, but the Rams win it in the 4th.
Nick Piccone (11-1, @nickpiccone):
To this point, we’ve seen an Eagles team that hasn’t allowed themselves to get too ahead of themselves. And now because they lost a mistake-filled game in Seattle, the assumption is they were too cocky going in. Maybe LeGarrette Blount saying Seattle’s defense not being special gave the wrong impression, but it’s pretty clear to me that nobody on this team, at least publicly, has the mentality of being too cocky.
We’ve been down this road before as Eagles fans. It’s important to note that this current group of players hasn’t. They haven’t all been down this road together. It’s something that I think will go far in having them prepare accordingly each week moving forward. I think the Rams are a terrific team, but the Eagles got better quicker, and they’ll have the edge on Sunday.
You can follow Nick Piccone on Twitter (@nickpiccone) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Subscribe to his podcast on iTunes here and listen live on WildfireRadio.com every Friday at 2pm. Click here to read his pro wrestling articles on PhillyVoice. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.