5 Bold Predictions for Philadelphia Eagles' Week 7 Matchup
The Eagles are riding a two-game winning streak. Backup Nick Foles is now the starter following Mike Vick's hamstring injury. Foles played well enough last week against a solid Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense to earn NFC Player of the Week honors.
For the Cowboys, the challenge will be overcoming the loss of running back DeMarco Murray and defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who will be a game-time decision but figures to be mostly a non-factor even if he does play.
The following slides will make five bold predictions for the game.
1. Nick Foles Plays Efficient, Turnover-Free Football
It's been one-and-a-half starts for Foles this season, and he hasn't tossed an interception yet. He's played mistake-free football. And he hasn't been a game manager either. He's been dominant, throwing for six touchdowns and adding a score on the ground.
Expect his dominance to continue in Week 7. Dallas is weak in the secondary, and the Eagles move the ball better than anybody in the league.
I'm thinking 22-of-32 for 316 yards and two touchdowns. That should be enough to guarantee Foles at least one more start, probably several more starts.
2. Bryce Brown Finally Has a Breakout Game
Bryce Brown has been a major disappointment this season. He displayed breakaway potential late in the 2012 season, as more than 50 percent of his rushing yards occurred on runs of 15 yards or longer (subscription required). But in 2013, he hasn't had a single run of more than nine yards.
That's not going to continue.
Against Dallas, Brown should receive his usual seven or eight carries. I'm predicting him to run for 83 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown. That should raise his yards-per-carry average from 2.88 to 4.24.
3. Jason Peters' Best Game of the Season
Just having Jason Peters back on the field is a huge positive for the Eagles, but the mammoth left tackle hasn't played at his usual elite level so far in 2013. The biggest reason is a dislocated finger that's left him at less than 100 percent.
Expect his best game of the season against Dallas. The Cowboys are decimated with injuries on the defensive line, and even if Ware does play, he's not going to be much better than 60 or 70 percent strength. This is a perfect game to get Peters' confidence back.
4. Surprise Onside Kick to Start Second Half
Eagles fans vividly remember Andy Reid's surprise onside kick to start the season against Dallas in 2000. That jump-started a team that qualified for the postseason in eight of the next 10 seasons.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Kelly call for a similar play midway through the game on Sunday. Surprise onside kicks are successful 60 percent of the time. That's the kind of play that can completely change the course of a game, especially if executed at the right time.
5. Alex Henery Delivers His First Walk-Off Field Goal
My game prediction is Eagles 26, Cowboys 25, and I have that happening in the most dramatic form possible. That would be a walk-off field goal from Alex Henery, something the third-year kicker has never done before.
Henery missed a field goal in three straight games earlier this season, so a 34-yarder to win the game will do wonders for his confidence.