Football season is finally here! After losing their preseason finale to the New York Jets 6-0 on Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles spent the next three days finalizing their 53-man roster and practice squad. A revamped roster, aided with the return of a fully healthy franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles are set up to be a Super Bowl contender yet again this season. We know Super Bowls aren’t won on paper, just ask Vince Young and the “Dream Team”. The teams schedule and health play important roles in a teams’ quest for the Lombardi.
When it comes to the NFL you don’t get to choose who you play, or when you play them. Every year when you look at the schedule you try to find easy wins, stretches of weak opponents, trap games (a weaker opponent sandwiched around two contending teams, and the daunting stretch of games you hope your team can manage well. With week one set to kick off on Sunday, let us take a look through the Eagles schedule and see who the Eagles face.
Week 1: Home vs Washington Redskins
For the second time in three seasons, the Eagles will kick off the year versus their division rival the Washington Redskins. This will be Carson Wentz’s first game action since being placed on the IR late last season with a back injury and because the Eagles held him out of any preseason action. After drafting Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins 15th overall in April, the Redskins will not be starting the rookie in week one. Instead they will start veteran Case Keenum. Keenum spent last season in Denver with the Broncos but was acquired during the off-season by Washington. With Fletcher Cox and Nigel Bradham expected to play, the return on Rodney McLeod, defensive additions of Malik Jackson and Vinny Curry, the Eagles defense should take care of business. Despite it being Wentz’s first action in about 9 months, Wentz should dominate the Redskins secondary with his array of weapons. Even though divisional games in the NFL can go either way I feel pretty comfortable in the Eagles ability to get the job done. The Eagles are 3-0 in season openers in the Doug Pederson era and I expect that record to be 4-0 after Sunday. (win)
Eagles 31 Redskins 17.
Week 2: @ Atlanta Falcons 8:20 pm.
The should be 1-0 Eagles are heading down south to visit Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons come into this game what I expect to be 0-1, after losing to the Minnesota Vikings. With that being sad, they should come into this game, being their home opener and on Sunday Night Football, pumped up and ready to go. The Falcons expect to contend this year and going 0-2 would make it tough, so look for a tough game. The past two times the Eagles played the Falcons, the games were played in Philadelphia. Last year these two teams opened their respective seasons against each other where the Eagles won a close sloppy 18-12 game. I expect this game to be completely different. Both teams come in with explosive offensive weapons and aggressive defenses. The Falcons are much tougher defensively than the Washington Redskins and will make it harder on the Eagles. Although I expect this game to become a high-powered shootout with both teams scoring well into the 30’s, with the Falcons coming off a loss, I believe they beat the Eagles. (Loss)
Eagles 34 Falcons 37
Week 3: Home vs Detroit Lions
Next up for the birds is a match-up with Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions at the Linc. I see the Lions coming into the game 0-2 after losing at the Arizona Cardinals and at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. The 1-1 Eagles should have the perfect situation in front of them to bounce back after a tough loss and get a win. While many see the Lions stuck in mediocrity, thinking they aren’t ready to compete with the likes of the Eagles, the Lions are still a really tough opponent. They have two big bodied receivers in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr, and a young second year running back in Kerryon Johnson. Much like the Falcons a week ago, the Eagles don’t want to lose two games in a row and fall into a 1-2 hole early in the season, expect a big bounce back win here for the birds. (win)
Eagles 35 Lions 20
Week 4: @ Green Bay
The Eagles fresh off a win vs Detroit, have a quick turnaround for a Thursday night game against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers will be coming off a rough 3 game stretch to open the season, including two divisional games against the Bears and Vikings and a home game against the Broncos. I see the Packers coming into week 4 with a record of 1-2 with their win being against Denver. This is an ideal time to face both Rodgers and the Packers, as its their first season with new head coach Matt LaFleur. An early season match-up is ideal due to the QB and HC still figuring each other out and getting on the same page. Historically, the road team on a short week Thursday night game, will have a tough time. I expect this game to be tough in the first half as the Eagles get their legs under them, but ultimately I see them holding off Rodgers and the Packers to move to 3-1 on the season. (win)
Eagles 28 Packers 20
Week 5: Home vs New York Jets
With 10 days rest following a big Thursday night victory, the Eagles play host to the new look NY Jets. Most times 10 days rest in an advantage but in this case, the Jets are coming off their bye week so both teams will be well rested. In my opinion, I see the Jets coming into Philly with a 1-2 record. NY opens up with three tough games against the Bills, Browns, and the Patriots; and 2 of those teams expect to be playing in January. Even though they are coming off their bye, the Jets are still in a tough stretch of opponents on their schedule and I don’t see the Eagles providing any sort of relief. Sophomore Quarterback Sam Darnold and newly acquired Le’Veon Bell are going to require stout attention but other than Bell, I don’t see any other Jets making it difficult for the birds to gather their third straight win. (win)
Eagles 27 Jets 14
Week 6: @ Minnesota Vikings
This game could have huge playoff implications for both the Eagles and Vikings so expect a hard fought defensive battle. I see the Vikings being 4-1 entering this game, but a 3-2 start to the season would not surprise me. The week before the rematch of the 2017 NFC Championship game, the Vikings face the Giants in what could be a trap game. I could see them looking ahead to the birds and taking the Giants for granted. For the now lets’ say the Eagles and Vikings are 4-1. With both teams expected to be in the hunt for a playoff berth, head to head is the first playoff tie breaker. Whether both teams are 4-1 or not, the winner of this game could have huge leverage come December and playoff seeding time. Both teams have excellent wide receiver cores and excellent running backs. They also both have solid defensive lines and stellar safety play which could lead to some turnovers and lots of punting. I expect a hard defensive battle, but Carson Wentz should outplay Cousins and lead the Eagles to their fourth straight win. (win)
Week 7: At Dallas Cowboys
Philly vs Dallas on Sunday Night Football. We still don’t know if Ezekiel Elliot will end his hold out and play this season. I expect Zeke to play all 16 this year and with that being said, the Cowboys very well should be 4-2 heading into this SNF battle. The Eagles coming off a win vs Minnesota and the Cowboys a win against the NY Jets, both teams are going to want this huge divisional game. The Eagles were swept last season by the Cowboys and will have revenge on their minds. Zeke Elliot however has always played well against the Eagles and while I expect this season to be no different, the Eagles will have the momentum and the better all-around offense to lead them to victory, a 6-1 record, and a 2 game lead in the division. (win)
Eagles 35 Dallas 24
Week 8: @ Buffalo Bills
Remember what I said about trap games in the middle of the schedule, well this has the potential to be one. I have the Eagles coming into this week 8 match-up in Buffalo riding a 5 game winning streak, coming off a huge Sunday Night victory in Dallas, TX. Buffalo isn’t great but they don’t have Nathan Peterman as their QB anymore, so they’ll be better than last year. Also, this is the birds third straight road game and I very well could see this game as being a sloppy, let down game for the birds who may be a little too confident and tired but as well as a big bounce back game for the Bills who would be coming off a rough 2-4 start to the season. (Loss)
Eagles 17 Bills 20
Week 9: home vs Chicago Bears.
In a tough week 9 match-up, the Eagles are return home to the Linc for the first time in about a month to host the Bears. The Bears have the benefit of what appears to be an easy first half of their schedule. I have the Bears at 6-1 through the first 8 weeks, and they have a strong chance to be 7-0. The 6-2 Eagles will have their work cut out for them this week against Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson and a strong Bears defense. After what I see as a let down game the week before against the Bills, I don’t see the Eagles losing two in a row going into the bye week. Going into the year, the Eagles are expected to run 12 personnel more this year with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and this is the week I could see them run it the most. This will be the first time newly acquired RB Jordan Howard will be facing his original team and players always have a chip on their shoulder when playing their former team. A big home game before the bye and a great opportunity to end the first half with a big win, lets expect the birds to dominate early and often. (win)
Eagles 37 Bears 17
Week 10: Bye
A great time for a bye week is week 10. I have the Eagles at 7-2. Of course we can’t predict injuries but with the new IR rules that allows two players to return 8 weeks into the season, this is a great time to fully re-integrate these players into the scheme in time for a stretch run.
Week 11: home vs New England Patriots
A Super Bowl 52 rematch! As we said earlier, coming off your bye week usually gives you a much-needed advantage, however the Patriots are also coming off their bye. This will give both teams two weeks to prepare for each other which should lead to a great game. This will be Bill Belichick’s first game against Carson Wentz so it will be interesting to see how he game plans against the signal caller. The Patriots don’t have Rob Gronkowski anymore, but Tom Brady is still playing and is still dangerous. The Eagles defense is going to need to step up big this week to get a win and I think they do it. (win)
Eagles 27 Patriots 21
Week 12: home vs Seattle Seahawks
After a tough week 11 match-up against Brady and the Pats, it doesn’t get any easier when the birds play host to the Seattle Seahawks the following week. The Seahawks will be coming into Philly on 10 days rest after playing on Thursday night the week prior. The Eagles do catch a break by playing this game in Philadelphia instead of Seattle, where it’s always tough on road opponents. If the Eagles want to make a deep January run and improve their chances of playing in Miami in February this is the type of game they must win. Seattle doesn’t have the same defense that once led them to dominate the NFC for years, but they still have LB Bobby Wagner leading their defense, and All-Pro QB Russell Wilson. With this game coming after a tough Patriots game, and the Seahawks with extra rest, I don’t see the Eagles winning both of these games, thus falling to the Seahawks. (Loss)
Eagles 24 Seahawks 30
Week 13: @ Miami Dolphins
Much like in week 3 against the Lions, this week 13 match-up against the Miami Dolphins is a perfect bounce back game for the Eagles. The Dolphins are in full rebuild mode and have little to no talent surrounding young QB Josh Rosen or veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. There isn’t much else to say about the tanking Dolphins. I only expect the Dolphins to win 3 games all year, but this week is not one. The Eagles dominate this game so much, I expect to see backup QB Josh McCown get some second half work. (win)
Eagles 35 Dolphins 10
Week 14: home against NY Giants
To end the season the Eagles will play 4 straight divisional games. The first of those games is this Monday night dance with the New York Giants. The Eagles have dominated the Giants the past few seasons and unless rookie Daniel Jones becomes the starter and takes the league by storm, I don’t see the Giants being any type of threat in this game. While the Eagles, and everyone else in the NFL, will have trouble stopping Saquon Barkley, their offense should have their way with the Giants defense. The Eagles at this point in their season could be sitting at 9-3, this win would clinch the division and now will turn their focus to securing home-field advantage and a first-round bye in the playoffs. (win)
Eagles 35 Giants 14
Week 15: @ Washington Redskins
A lot has changed since these two teams met in the first week of the season. The Redskins are well out of the playoff race sitting at 4-9, I will take a guess and say Dwayne Haskins is now the starting QB and Jay Gruden could very well either be fired already or on the hot seat. In another beat down, the Eagles yet again sweep the season series from the Redskins and win their 4th out 5 games. Once again the Eagles will be focused on playoff seeding and a chance at the first-round bye. (win)
Eagles 30 Redskins 14
Week 16: home against Dallas Cowboys
Three days before Christmas and Santa’s gift to Philly is a 4:25pm battle with the Dallas Cowboys. At this point in the season I have the Cowboys at 8-6, right on the cusp of a playoff berth. This will be a huge game for them and their playoff chances as 10 wins is most likely needed to make the playoffs. A cowboys loss would not only clinch the Eagles a top 2 seed, but almost end the Boys’ chances at a playoff berth. This will be the last test for the birds before the playoffs and it will be a tough, down to the wire game. The Eagles move to 12-3 and secure the #1 seed in the NFC and home field throughout the playoffs. (win)
Eagles 28 Cowboys 27
Week 17: @ NY Giants
To finish up the season, the Eagles will travel up to New York to face the Giants. I expect the Eagles to have a first-round bye and home field throughout the playoffs locked up at this point so I wouldn’t expect the Eagles to play many, if any of their main starters. Expect to see a lot of Nate Sudfield or Josh McCown, Corey Clement, and the backups in this game as the Eagles prepare for their divisional round playoff game in a couple weeks. (loss)
Eagles 14 Giants 20
With this schedule and the level of talent on their roster, the Eagles are in a great situation to go 12-4 and I have them playing Cleveland in Miami for the Super Bowl.