The NFL schedule is out in the open which means it’s time to once again make some all too early predictions for the Super Bowl champions. This article dives into the realm of trap games, danger zones and the games that should be seen as easy or must win’s for the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s dive straight into it.
Week 1: Vs Atlanta Falcons (Sept. 6, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) NFL Kickoff Game
The Eagles kick off their regular season campaign under the Thursday Night Lights in what promises to be an explosive NFC Divisional Round rematch. The key difference between this game and their heart-stopping thrill-ride in the postseason will be the potential return of Carson Wentz. Will the Eagles quarterback take to the field in week one, or will it be another quarterback, with the fate of Nick Foles still up in the air? The Falcons have a very deep roster, but with a stunning home record, a raucous Philadelphia faithful behind them and a carryover of Super Bowl winning talent, I think the Eagles come out on top.
Result: Win (1-0)
Week 2: Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 16, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Bucs always seem to be a team on the verge of a breakout but can never seem to tie it all together. 2018 may finally be the season that changes, but the turning of heads won’t start in the City of Brotherly Love. The Eagles have found a way to contain even the most prolific of receivers, thanks to Jim Schwartz and his love for off-coverage. The Eagles pass rush will have a field day on their first Sunday game of the season, leading the team to another win.
Result: Win (2-0)
Week 3: vs Indianapolis Colts (Sept. 23, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Two names in this matchup scare the life out of m; Frank Reich and Andrew Luck. Say what you want about the rest of the roster, it didn’t stop arguably the best quarterback talent of the last 8 years from putting that team on his back time and time again. With Reich carrying a lot of Philly-based schematic knowledge into this matchup, I think if Luck is healthy then this is going to be a nail biter. Unfortunately, I can just see this being the first trap game of the year and Captain Luck marching his troops into Philadelphia with poise and promise, before marching out with a win.
Result: Loss (2-1)
Week 4: @ Tennessee Titans (Sept. 30, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Marcus Mariota could see new life with Mike Mularkey out of the picture, but the Eagles quarterback that could’ve been will have some success here. Mariota is the league’s best red-zone quarterback and the Eagles defense is built to bend and not break. If that means allowing the Titans inside the 30 and then giving up a field goal, the Birds will settle for that all day long. I think this will become a shootout and the fate of it largely depends on whether or not Carson Wentz is playing in the matchup. If he is (and for the sake of not opening with a 2-2 record), the Eagles will eek out the win.
Result: Win (3-1)
Week 5: vs Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 7, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Do I really need to say anything else other than hint at the fact I may or may not be writing this with a smile on my face? The Eagles handed the Vikings the world’s biggest slap by blowing them out of the NFC Championship game and then winning it all on their turf. This is rapidly becoming a bitter fan rivalry and the Eagles will show up for this one. Philly 3-0 Minnesota.
Result: Win (4-1)
Week 6: @ New York Giants (Oct. 11, 8:20 PM ET, FOX) Thursday Night Football
A primetime matchup in the Meadowlands will always promise a closely fought battle and while the Giants could have a revamped offense, I don’t think they have a roster quite up to the standard of the Eagles just yet. Philly will take care of business here, keeping Eli Manning throwing underneath and marginalizing the offense.
Result: Win (5-1)
Week 7: vs Carolina Panthers (Oct 21, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Eagles met the Panthers last year in a TNF clash and have nine days to prepare for this matchup. Torrey Smith’s homecoming may be a little more bitter than hoped for because as the Eagles found out, rattling Cam Newton is the way to overthrow this Panthers team, just ask the Broncos defense. The Birds’ have the most dominant defense in the league and this one should be a fairly one sided contest.
Result: Win (6-1)
Week 8: @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Oct. 28, 9:30 AM ET, NFL Network) International Series
Pay VERY close attention to this. The Jaguars are ruthless in London for a reason. They play in the UK every season, they’re accustomed to the travel and how to prepare. They don’t go sightseeing, they leave a day earlier in order to adjust to the time difference and they have it all figured out. EVERY team they have faced in London over the last few years have been completely dismantled because they do the inverse. This is a big test for the Eagles and if they even become mildly complacent, the Jags defense will tear into a tired Eagles team like rabid wolverines. I’d like to think the Birds can come out swinging, but history dictates that this is Jags territory.
Result: loss (6-2)
Week 9: BYE (Nov. 4)
A much needed bye after the International Series game sits in the heart of the NFL season. Some tight matches lay ahead, but the Eagles are sitting pretty.
Week 10: vs Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 11, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) Sunday Night Football
A primetime game at home against a depleted Cowboys wide receiving corps, Dak Prescott and an inconsistent defense. The Eagles look primed to control this rivalry in 2018, expect a high-scoring slobber knocker in which the Eagles make up for lost time after a tough international series loss.
Result: Win (7-2)
Week 11: @ New Orleans Saints (Nov. 18, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
This could be the trickiest matchup of the entire season, but I can’t wait for it. Can Carson Wentz (or whoever the starting QB is depending on rehab) handle a shootout against one of the best to ever do it? This game is a coin flip and with Brees able to lean on Alvin Kamara as a receiving option as well, the pass-rush will have a tough time inside a noisy Superdome. The Saints pick up a narrow, last drive win….this time.
Result: Loss (7-3)
Week 12: vs New York Giants (Nov. 25, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Did someone say sweep? I did! I can’t see the Giants really finding enough steam to overthrow the Eagles, especially if by this point they’re left bitterly scrapping.
Result: Win (8-3)
Week 13: vs Washington Redskins (Dec. 3, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football
Do you remember the last time these two teams met under the ESPN spotlight? It was magical. The Redskins are now in a strange new spot with Alex Smith at the helm, who of course dealt the Eagles a week 2 loss last year. However, at home, I think the Eagles defense will rule the day against a mediocre outfit.
Result: Win (9-3)
Week 14: @ Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 9, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Eek. A week 14 clash against the Cowboys, IN JERRY WORLD. This could be a key game if the Cowboys do rise to a playoff push, this could be one of the best matchups of the year. The Eagles are going to leave it all out on the field and overcome the pressures applied by Jones and the Cowboys, adding their second NFC East of the year.
Result: Win (10-3)
Week 15: @ Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 16, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) Sunday Night Football
Flashbacks of week 14 last year are still ripe for Eagles fans and after a demanding game against Dallas, I think another NFC giant to be will pull out the win here. The Rams are a ridiculously dangerous team and followed in the footsteps of Howie Roseman when it came to free agency. The star power may be a little much to handle if the Eagles are going to finish strong.
Result: Loss (10-4)
Week 16: vs Houston Texans (Dec. 23, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)
The Birds return home for one last regular season game against Deshaun Watson and the Texans and it could at this point be a must-win. Containing D-Hop will be a mission, as will bringing down Deshaun Watson, but on the day before Christmas Eve, Philly will be like a snow dome once again. Could a QB who has played in Clemson and Texas ‘REALLY‘ be ready to handle the rigors of a slippy and slidey Lincoln Financial Field? The Eagles win.
Result: Win (11-4)
Week 17: @ Washington Redskins (Dec. 30, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Eagles sweep the NFC East in a fairytale ending because why not? The Redskins won’t have anything to play for at this point and the Birds could be eyeing up a home field advantage in the playoffs. Expect Super Nate Sudfeld to fly the flag and overcome the Washington backups.
Result: Win (12-4)
FINAL PREDICTION 12-4
Now, I know what you’re all thinking. But last year I had the Eagles going 13-3 and well….look how that panned out while everyone else was swimming in 9-7 land. This is a Super Bowl caliber team. That does not change overnight and it will only get better with a strong draft. The big challenge in my eyes is handling the London trip. Something of course, I would be more than happy to help with…*cough, cough*
What are your predictions? Let me know in the comments!