Our Eagles vs. Colts predictions for Week 11 of the NFL season

Our Eagles vs. Colts predictions for Week 11 of the NFL season originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles (8-1) travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts (4-5-1) on Sunday afternoon.

To the predictions:

Reuben Frank (7-2)

I had pretty much made up my mind to pick the Colts. They seem rejuvenated after the coaching and quarterback changes, they’re home, that dome gets loud, it’s a short week for the Eagles, the injuries are mounting, the matchup between Jonathan Taylor and the Eagles’ run defense is scary and the Colts have a top-5 defense. Then on Thursday, driving from Rivers Casino back to the NovaCare Complex with Dave Zangaro after our podcast, I heard The Ringer’s Sheil Kapadia on WIP talking about how he expects an Eagles blowout. Sheil is one of the most astute football minds in the media, so who am I to go against him? I’m picking the Eagles to get back on the winning track, and if they lose, I can just blame Sheil!

Eagles 24, Colts 19

Dave Zangaro (8-1)

The Eagles lost their first game of the season last week but haven’t panicked even a little bit. In fact, I was most impressed in the locker room last week with the sense of calm within the team. They made mistakes, obvious mistakes, and they need to get them cleaned up. They seemed to be confident they would and so am I. We should see a nice response game from the Eagles on Sunday.

Of course, it is a little tough to get a read on these Colts. They have an interim head coach and a veteran quarterback who has been up and down, but they also have some talent. On offense, if that line does its job, Jonathan Taylor is a monster and he’s healthy now. And even though Shaquille Leonard is done for the season, this is a good defense that ranks fourth in yards allowed. That defense has the ability to muck up some games and it has done that this year even in losses. But the Eagles should bounce back and handle business in Indy.

Eagles 26, Colts 19

Barrett Brooks (7-2)

Because the Birds are coming off an awful loss to an inferior team (Commanders), I expect they will get back to basics this week against the Colts. My expectations are that Jalen Hurts will return to a more balanced plan of attacking defenses. Yes, Hurts can play inside the pocket, but I think this takes away from the threat given to defenses. When Hurts is playing in his dual-threat mode, it forces the defense to defend all 11 players on offense. The threat of the run brings an extra defender in the box and weakens the coverage of the secondary. Running the ball also controls the clock and keeps the ball out of the opposing offense’s hands.

The Birds’ defense has finally realized the importance of run stoppers. With Jordan Davis still out, Howie Roseman went out and acquired two really good defensive linemen. Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh are just what the doctor ordered to play situational football. First and second down is all they need to play — 10 to 12 snaps each is all that is required of these seasoned players. Offensive first down production was a problem for Jonathan Gannon’s defense stemming from last year. These new additions should help solve this problem.

Eagles 28, Colts 10

Mike Mulhern (8-1)

Had the Eagles not addressed their issues stopping the run by adding 700 pounds of mass to the trenches, I might be a bit worried about Jonathan Taylor and the Colts on Sunday. However, what really killed the Birds on Monday night was an inability to stick with Terry McLaurin and the other Commanders receivers on crucial third downs. The Colts simply don’t have weapons like that and Matt Ryan is a sitting duck in the pocket. Jonathan Gannon once again has all the tools he needs to run a successful operation. They should be able to put the Colts into more obvious passing situations and tee off on the quarterback.

The Eagles final four drives on Monday night went fumble, punt, fumble, fumble. The last one was a desperation turnover, but even so, they had the game on the line and didn’t execute when it mattered most. Surely both the Dallas Goedert and Quez Watkins fumbles had some flukiness to them but avoiding those kinds of mistakes has been one of the biggest reasons for this team’s success. They even spent time this week practicing the scenario that led to Watkins’ fumble. That attention to detail is part of the reason I have no doubt they bounce back. Losing Goedert is a huge blow, but expect even more targets to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.

Eagles 27, Colts 13

Adam Hermann (8-1)

The Colts sure are weird. A television analyst head coach, a cooked-maybe-not-cooked QB, some legitimate talent, and five losses in 10 games.

The heck is going on over there?

I think the Eagles will win this week because they’re the better team. Their astronomic turnover differential was bound to regress to the mean, but last week’s turnover explosion was surprising and out of character for such a well-coached team and a turnover-averse QB. The Colts have the second-most turnovers in the league and the seventh-fewest takeaways, not exactly a winning formula. As long as the Eagles’ luck isn’t sour for a second straight week they will win the turnover battle, and from there the talent will win out.

I am of course very interested to see how Jonathan Gannon responds to the defense’s awful Week 10 showing, and while most people will rightly be watching the run stoppers vs. Jonathan Taylor I’m also intrigued to see what Darius Slay looks like. Matt Ryan seems basically expired but he’s still a former MVP and he has intriguing-to-good weapons in Michael Pittman and Paris Campbell, and Slay had his worst game of the season last week.

This should be an ideal get-right week for the Eagles. A good team wins; a great team makes a statement.

Eagles 30, Colts 10

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