See here for last week's thread, where I didn't do too badly in my final prediction (34-20, also predicting a DJax punt return TD). Of course, if I had been totally off, there's little chance I would be linking to it, would there?
Anyway, with a little help from DVOA, here's what I see:
What the Eagles do well - wrapped up from last week, we do almost everything well on offense, trying to take what is given and strike for big plays. On defense, despite a weak performance last week we have been a top unit all season long. If our D has any weak spot, it's in covering RB's in the passing game, and we're only ok in covering TEs.
What about the 49-ers?
Overall, a below average team, with a poor offense and a good defense. Since Smith took over, their offense has improved, though they are still not a great unit.
On offense, they have a TE with a lot of TDs, though his catch rate (catches/thrown to) is only 61%, not at an elite level (Gates is at 73%, Clark at 77%). Their RB is good, and will catch the ball out of the backfield. Their OL gives up a lot of sacks (8.6% of pass plays result in sacks, "good" for 27th in the NFL).
On defense, they are good both against the run and the pass. The good news is they have 2 glaring weaknesses, defending #1 WRs, and defending passes to RBs. Hmmmmm, do you know any team with a really good #1 WR, and a coach who loves to throw the ball to his RBs?
Predictions: Trent has a mad-on after being mugged with impunity last week in New York. He'll have at least 2 sacks. DJax will run free against their secondary, and McCoy will likely have a big game at least in the receiving area this week. Our D has been very good against the running game all year, and this weekend will likely be no exception. Expect a big game from Gore and TE Davis in catching passes, though. In the end, I see Smith throwing a couple of INTs, and just falling short.