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November 03, 2017

Week 9 NFL predictions: Rounding up the experts' picks for Eagles-Broncos

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The Eagles open the second half of their season with a home game against the 3-4 Broncos, followed by their bye week and then a divisional matchup against the Cowboys in their first meeting of the season. 

They also stand alone with the best record in the NFL.

Facing a Broncos team that's averaged just 12.2 points in its last five games, the Eagles will need to be careful to avoid a letdown in a game in which they're favored by eight points. That's because as bad as the offense has been out in Denver, the defense has been just the opposite – they're currently first in the NFL in yards allowed. 

That being said, it's hard to bet against the Birds in this one. And most people aren't, although there are a few picking them to lose on Sunday. We'll have our full staff predictions posted later today, but in the meantime, here's a look at how the rest of the local and national media sees this one playing out:

•  Jimmy Kempski, PhillyVoice: Eagles cover.

The Broncos have a good defense, and so do the Eagles. The Broncos have an awful offense, but the Eagles have a good offense. And thus concludes my extraordinarily remedial analysis of this matchup.

•  ESPN Staff: Nine of their 10 panelists have the Eagles beating the Broncos.

•  Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: Eagles 27, Broncos 13

Philadelphia moves to 8-1, but not without a struggle. Don't misread the final up there, as the Eagles will tack on a score late when the Broncos start pressing. At some point, Brock Osweiler will have to force throws, even if team brass wants him to keep everything tucked in offensively. Speaking of the passing game, or stopping it, I'm surprised Philly team brass opted for Jay Ajayi instead of going after a defensive back. Just a thought.

•  Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News: Eagles 20, Broncos 17

This game is going to be close. It’s still going to be anybody’s game deep in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles will win. Maybe on the leg of Jake Elliott. Maybe even with no time left on the clock.

•  Les Bowen, Philadelphia Daily NewsEagles 20, Broncos 10

I figure at this point, you have to just go with the flow, even though the longer streaks last, the closer they are to ending. Even though the Broncos’ defense is quite capable of bringing the Eagles down to earth.

•  Jeff McLane, Philadelphia InquirerEagles 20, Broncos 17

Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense will have their hands full. They may need new running back Jay Ajayi to step in immediately and make an impact against a stout run defense – the Broncos are allowing just three yards a carry.

•  Zach Berman, Philadelphia InquirerEagles 23, Broncos 21

This is a tough matchup for the Eagles, even if the Broncos are on a three-game losing streak and made a quarterback change. Denver’s defense can play with anyone and keep them in any game.

•  CBSSports.com Staff: All eight of their NFL experts believe the Eagles will win on Sunday. Nine, if you count their gambling robot…

•  The Machines, CBSSports.com: Eagles 26, Broncos 16

The Eagles are running over everyone in their path, and they got even better on Tuesday when they picked up running back Jay Ajayi. SportsLine is calling for a comfortable 26-16 victory for Philadelphia in this matchup of teams heading in completely opposite directions.

•  FiveThirtyEight: Speaking of computers, FiveThirtyEight gives the Birds a 75 percent chance of winning.

•  OddsShark: Another computer, another win for the Eagles. And this one may be the most optimistic of the bunch, predicting a final of 32-9.

•  Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 30, Broncos 17

Brock Osweiler gets the start for the Broncos. Enough said.

•  Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 28, Broncos 10

The Broncos are cratering and the Eagles are surging. Philadelphia should get a big win and maintain the league’s best record.

•  Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: Eagles 20, Broncos 16

The difference in this game will be Philadelphia's dominant defensive front. Osweiler has a tendency to hold on to the ball, and that's a death sentence against Fletcher Cox and Co. The Broncos won't be able to help him out by running on that defensive front. It's going to be tough for both offenses, but the Eagles are in a better position to move the ball.

•  ForTheWin Staff: All three guys are not only picking the Eagles, but also picking them cover … easily. And one the writers, Luke Kerr-Dineen, said he was “surprised this spread is so small, to be honest. Only 16 percent of bets on this game are for the Broncos — and for good reason.”

•  SBNation Staff: All eight are picking the Eagles to win.

•  Bleeding Green Nation Staff: All seven of their writers are picking the Eagles – and I think you can guess who the BGN readers pick.

•  Pete Baron, Mile High Report: Eagles 20, Broncos 19

If the Broncos can keep from turning the ball over, be competent, and allow their Defense to win the game, they can win in Philly. If not, then this is a laugher against the team with the NFL’s best record.

•  NJ.com: Just four of their seven experts think the Birds will cover. [NOTE: This pick was against the spread]

•  David Steele, Sporting News: Eagles 30, Broncos 9

The Eagles would have to fall apart completely to blow this one. Prediction: Eagles 30, Broncos 9.

•  Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Eagles 30, Broncos 17

Carson Wentz to Zach Ertz will be the best way to go after Denver’s daunting defense, and it will open things in time against a tired unit. Expect a strong rushing debut for Jay Ajayi.

•  Benjamin Hofmann, NY Times: Eagles won't cover. [NOTE: This pick was against the spread.]

While they may keep up their winning and scoring streaks for another week, a desperate opponent cannot be overlooked. The Broncos (3-4) certainly qualify as a team that can play better than it has in recent weeks, which might make the matchup competitive. Pick: Broncos.


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