Predictions For Eagles Following Bye-Week

After demolishing the New York Giants, the Eagles are once again on top in the NFC East. However, we've learned this division is anything but easy. How will Chip Kelly's birds fare through the rest of the season? Is the real McCoy back? Will the defensive line keep up the good work? Let's take a look and make some predictions for the Eagles season, post-bye week.

1. Brandon Graham/Vinny Curry Combine For More Sacks Than Connor Barwin/Trent Cole

The Eagles defensive line has been an absolute force this year. The starters aren't the only ones bringing heat, either. The line is full of talented players, from unheralded Cedric Thornton to 2014 draftee Beau Allen who have been vital to the units success. However two players who have gotten only limited playing time, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry have arguably been the most disruptive players on the field. It's understandable why they haven't been starting, as Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are playing like they're in their primes. It's really an amazing thing to witness as they've tallied 9.5 sacks between them in only six weeks. However it's worth mentioning that Graham/Curry have combined for six sacks in extremely limited playing time. As the season goes on, veterans will tire out. Just how it works out. Expect the young duo to see an increase in their workload over the next couple months, leading to a dozen-plus sacks between them.

2. Eagles Shutout At Least One More Team

The Eagles became just the second team in 2014 to shutdown their opponent. They played out of their minds in every phase of the game, and played all 60 minutes for that matter, too. This team must be feeling about as confident as any 5-1 team can heading into the bye-week. While the Eagles will see an increase in competition over the next dozen weeks, there's definitely a few opportunities for the Eagles to tally another shutout victory. Arizona, Tennessee, Washington and Houston? There's certainly opportunity for some one-way high scoring bouts between those teams.

3. LeSean McCoy Rushes For 1,000 Yards

No, i'm not saying McCoy will finish the year with 1,000 rushing yards. I'm saying, after the bye-week, the star back will rush for a thousand yards, meaning he'll finish the season with a respectable ~1400 yards on the ground. That probably sounds insane, and that's because it is. However, with Darren Sproles possibly missing some time, as well as the eventual return of the starting linemen, McCoy's production should only be expected to increase.

4. Malcolm Jenkins Tallies Four INT's

There's little questioning who has been the star of the secondary. Actually, there's only been one star on the secondary and it's Malcolm Jenkins. The Ex-Saint has been flying around every week making play after play. He hasn't had an interception for a few games, but his presence has certainly still been felt. This guy will be a star in Philly for years to come, expect him to finish off 2014 in that fashion.

5. Jeremy Maclin Scores Seven TD's

No.1 wideout Jeremy Maclin is on pace for a career high in every category, so it only makes sense that he would achieve that in TD's as well. At this rate, Maclin is on pace for about 12-13 touchdowns, but 11 is certainly a safe bet.

6. Nick Foles Becomes The First Eagles QB To Throw For over 4,000 Yards

With guys like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning religiously throwing for over 5,000 yards, 4,000 yards shouldn't seem like a huge stretch. But for the Eagles, it is. They've never had a passer eclipse 4,000 yards, although Donovan McNabb came close a few times. A big problem for the lack of 4K years, is that an Eagles QB rarely plays all 16 games. I think it'll happen this year. Nick Foles is here to stay.

7. Eagles Special Teams Unit Scores At Least Two More TDs

This isn't even that bold of a prediction. The Eagles special teams has blocked a FG/punt in five of six games this season, and have even scored three times. Whether it be on a punt block, or a punt return, the Eagles special teams will continue to dominate this season dropping at least another 14 points.

8. Casey Matthews Forces Two Fumbles

Casey Matthews has gone from the biggest surprise to ever make a 53-man roster, to a guy who's steadily making an impact for his defense. With the loss of Mychal Kendricks, the Eagles had to fill his massive void with the duo of Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho. However after three weeks of the less-than-stellar duo, the Eagles have reverted to mainly playing Matthews relief for Kendricks. Surprisingly, Matthews has been playing better than he ever has before. On SNF he started his night by stopping RB Andre Williams right in his tracks, who had just ran over Malcolm Jenkins a few plays before. He's been able to provide adamant pressure on the QB, and has really fit in well with Chip Kelly's defense better than anyone expected. That being said, he's still nothing compared to Mychal Kendricks, who should be making his return after the bye. However, I expect Chip to slowly bring Kendricks back to 100% by letting Matthews continue to get a good bulk of the snaps. Expect the former Oregon Duck to make the most of it as he forces two fumbles in limited playing time over the next three months. Could this dude seriously sign a contract extension in the offseason? Safe to say no one saw that coming.

9. Eagles Win 7 More Games

For those doing the math, that's 12 wins, surely enough to make the Playoffs, and win the NFC East for that matter. At the beginning of the season I saw a maximum of 12 wins the Eagles could have. They've actually already won a couple games we thought they might lose (IND,NYG) so it will certainly bode well for the team moving deeper into the season. Seven wins in three months certainly isn't much to brag about, but it will bring them to a 12-4 record, definitely worth bragging about. The only concern, is the Cowboys. Will they keep pace with the Eagles through the remainder of the season? Or will they fall behind? My guess, the ladder. Winter is coming folks, and history says Tony Romo won't be ready.

Follow P.J. on Twitter: @PJbleedsgreen


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