ANALYSIS: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns Preview

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Photo credit/ Courtesy Philadelphia Eagles Official Facebook Page

Staff Writer Nick Ferraro says today’s Browns game is critical for the Eagles.

Nick Ferraro, Staff Writer

This afternoon, the 3-5-1 Eagles begin the difficult stretch of their 2020 season, matching up against the 6-3 Browns. As of right now the forecast for the game is calling for an overcast with mild temperatures. With the weather not being an issue, the game will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each team.

Coming off an undisciplined performance in a loss against the division rival Giants, Philadelphia looks to maintain their lead in the NFC East. With the Giant having their bye week, Washington plays a ‘toilet-bowl’ game against the Bengals. The Cowboys face the Vikings coming off their bye week which will most likely result in a loss. Long story short, this Cleveland game is crucial for the Eagles.

Focusing first on the injuries for the Eagles, fans like myself, are hoping for the returns of tight end Zach Ertz and left guard Isaac Seumalo. Specifically Seumalo after what a poor showing last week from the offensive line. Alshon Jeffery, who returned last week, should also be seeing more time on the field and perhaps becoming a factor in the passing game.

Aside from the injuries, one can only hope that the Eagles defense finally explodes into their potential. Play calling has been dreadful throughout the season from coach Doug Peterson and after a stagnant offensive performance last week, a fan can only hope they will switch things up. Running the ball will most likely be difficult against Cleveland’s eighth best rush defense. With that factor playing into the offensive strategy, the Eagles may have to turn to Carson Wentz, which has certainly not proved successful.

The passing game for the Birds has been a sore subject for them. Philadelphia is ranked 26th overall in yard per game in the air. With Wentz’s arm talent and Peterson;s play calling in past seasons, fans around the league could not have anticipated this. The crumbling line, Wentz’s hero ball mentality, and the inconsistent play calls have all contributed to this passing attack crumbling. However, it may need to shine on Sunday for the top place in the NFC East to remain in Philadelphia’s favor.

On the other side of the ball, the defense will have to attempt and stop running backs Nick Chubb and Alvin Kamara as they will no doubt run this team into the ground. However, if they stifle the run and force Cleveland’s inconsistent quarterback Baker Mayfield to throw the ball, the chances of winning the game increase astronomically.

Scoring only single-digits in three games this year, Cleveland’s offense is struggling nearly as much and Philadelphia’s. Just last week they beat the abysmal Texans by a score of 10-7 in a weather stricken game. But their run game proves to be strong. Hopefully, the game plan leans heavily into controlling the trenches of the line of scrimmage throughout the game.

These crucial weeks of the season are also the Eagles toughest. The Browns are making some noise by beating average teams. After Cleveland, Philadelphia faces nearly all of the NFC’s top talents. This win is crucial as they may not get anymore the rest of the season.

Philadelphia needs to take calculated risks on Sunday. They need to be poised and disciplined, while also showing no fear. This game truly is make-or-break for Philadelphia’s season and because of that fact, I believe they will win this football game.

The game will not be easy and it may be very ugly. Turnovers will hopefully be a non-factor for Philadelphia. The defense needs to remain strong while the offense needs to light a spark instead of hurting their own team each time they’re on the field. They have the ability to win, and I think they pull this out.

My final prediction:
PHI 23 – CLE 16

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