2016 regular season schedule: Predicting the Eagles game-by-game record

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The Eagles regular season schedule has been announced and it’s a lot tougher than many predicted. Doug Pederson’s first season in Philadelphia is definitely going to test his character, his coaching and his system..but will it end in a winning season? Here are my game-by-game predictions for the Eagles 2016 regular season schedule.

Week one: Cleveland Browns  
The season opener is also a home opener for the Eagles as they host the Cleveland Browns in what must be a dream scenario for Doug Pederson. The Browns are a team who desperately need a new direction and under Hue Jackson, they’ll be hoping this is a year of change. However there is also a new era in Philadelphia. A new Offense, a new Head Coach and a new opportunity. This is a chance for Pederson to go out in front of the home fans on his coaching debut and make a statement. Sure, it might only be the Browns..but a week one win is not only probable, but a huge confidence booster for fans and players as their Head Coach starts the season in the right way.

(1-0) W

 

Week two: @ Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler is a wildly inconsistent Quarterback and with the Bears less than stellar Defense, the Eagles should be able to take control on both sides of the ball. If it somehow came down to a shootout between Cutler and Bradford? In theory there should only be one winner..

(2-0) W

 

Week three: Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s fair to say that the Eagles have history on their side as they go into a week three matchup against a bitter rival. With The Steelers possessing such a stacked Offense (providing there’s no injuries) and having to bail out a leaky Defense (giving up the 12th most amount of yards per game in the league), the Eagles should be able to maintain their unbeaten streak by bringing a far more balanced team to the table. However, can the Eagles Secondary really contain Antonio Brown? Can the linebackers stop an elusive run game? Will the 4-3 be able to bring down Big Ben or pressure him to make enough bad throws to swing the game? It will be close, but I think the Steelers will edge this and break the trend.

(2-1) L

Week four:  BYE
WHY?!

 

Week five: @ Detroit Lions
There will be some bad blood after last season’s embarrassing thanksgiving defeat as the two teams continue to re-ignite a storied rivalry. Coming off of a bye-week so early will have its consequences later on, but a fresh Eagles Defense lining up against a Lions Offense without Megatron not only favor’s Philadelphia..but will carry extra incentive for Jim Schwartz to get one over on his former team.

(3-1) W

 

Week six: Washington Redskins  
Unfortunately, this is where I see the first real stumble and second loss. The reigning NFC East champions have a tendency of making life difficult for the Eagles, especially when it comes to defending their own territory. The Redskins are beginning to look dangerous once again and could trip up an Eagles team who are also looking to climb the same ladder. At this stage, the Redskins may just be a few rungs too high.

(3-2) L

 

Week seven: Minnesota Vikings 
In the harsh cold of Minnesota, this would be a one sided affair as the Vikings continue to impress. But in Philadelphia, this could be a different story. Teddy Bridgewater has caused a lot of discussion in his short time in the NFL, but with a disappointing 0-Line and a lack of weapons last season, he spent most of the year escaping trouble out of fear rather than emphasising ability to extend plays.

He can launch a deep ball and is decisive with his throws..but with such a weak line coming up against a 4-3 that promises to force the Quarterback into high pressure scenarios and a revamped Eagles Secondary to contain the Vikings receivers, the Eagles should have the edge here.

(4-2) W

 

Week eight: @ Dallas Cowboys   
If the Cowboys start rolling early on, this grudge match could be more intense than it’s already primed to be. The worst part? This is where the Bye week becomes so important. The Cowboys will be fresh playing a home game and having a week off whilst the Eagles will have likely been in three very competitive matchups. It’s difficult to see the Eagles pulling out a win here.

(4-3) L

 

Week nine: @ New York Giants 
The Eagles aren’t the only team to have a transitional Off-season. With a new Head Coach and upgrades to almost every position of weakness, the Giants are either going to surprise a lot of people or continue their run of mediocrity. The Eagles Secondary will be tested and Bradford will likely have to fight his way out of a lot of tough situations. Can they get the job done? Almost, I think the Giants take this in Overtime.

(4-4) L

 

Week ten: Atlanta Falcons
The last time these two teams met, it sparked an angry few weeks for Eagles fans. This time, it should do the opposite. The Falcons have a tough schedule and depending on how the dominoes start to fall, this could really benefit the Eagles. Matt Ryan showed two different sides to his form last year as his team began to lose all the momentum gained early on. The Eagles should just edge this one.

(5-4) W

 

Week eleven: @ Seattle Seahawks
Now things begin to get difficult. Playing the Seahawks is a tough task in itself, but playing them at CenturyLink Field is another task altogether. It’s crucial that the Eagles come into this with everything they have as a playoff charge likely either begins or ends here. I think the Seahawks would simply be too much for an Eagles team that’s still in its first year of a new era.

(5-5) L

 

Week twelve:  Green Bay Packers
I’m going to go against the curve here. The Packers tend to have quite a high attrition rate in terms of mid-season injuries. They could well be without some key pieces as they head into the latter stages of the season and after a loss to the Seahawks, Pederson would rally his team to a win against one of the most dominant teams in the NFC in front of the home fans..re-asserting their role in the playoff race.

(6-5) W

 

Week thirteen: @ Cincinnati Bengals 
Unfortunately, all that hard work will likely be undone as the team travel to Cincinnati a week later. The end of a tricky set of fixtures is the start of a run in which the Eagles face their three divisional opponents in the space of four weeks. The Bengals are an impressive team on both sides of the ball and  I can see them outclassing the Eagles as their own playoff charge hangs in the balance.

(6-6) L

 

Week fourteen: Washington Redskins 
The Eagles playoff fate will likely be heavily dependant on the final four games. Kick starting the run with a home game against a divisional rival is either going to lift the teams confidence or knock it. I can see the Eagles avenging their week six loss to the Redskins here in front of the home fans in what may well be a must win situation.

(7-6) W

 

Week fifteen: @ Baltimore Ravens 
The Ravens were inundated with injuries last season and with so many of their veteran players seeking futures away from Baltimore or Football together, the team are in a very fragile state. Can they bounce back to enjoy a successful season? Potentially, but I can see the Eagles being too much for a depleted Defense and inconsistent Offense in Baltimore.

(8-6) W

 

Week sixteen: New York Giants
A hot run of form should give the Eagles enough confidence to avenge a mid-season loss to the Giants. The Eagles would be very aware that going into the final two games, they simply have to win. But by this point last season, the Giants clicked so well that they were moments away from a shocking win over the Panthers. If they can stop losing fourth quarter leads, the Giants have enough to potential to surprise a lot of people. I can see this being a fourth quarter lead they come dangerously close to losing, but cling on to for dear life.

(8-7) L

 

Week seventeen: Dallas Cowboys
A new years day matchup at home against the Cowboys? That’s every Eagles fans dream scenario. With a potential playoff berth on the line, this may well be the best game of the season. The Linc would erupt if the Eagles won on New Years Day..especially if it was against the Cowboys AND it sent the birds to the post-season. It’s hard to look at this without romanticising the possibility of a big win, but this is the difference between a .500 season and a winning one. Doug Pederson makes a statement and sends the Eagles to a winning season to start 2017.

(9-7) W

Final record: 9-7

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