Smell that? No, not that. It’s the smell of NFL football. After so much uncertainty on whether or not there will be a season, it’s finally here. The Eagles are set to defend their NFC East crown and try to become the first NFC East team since the 2002-2004 Eagles to repeat as division champs.
This year’s schedule is quite a difficult one. Despite the collective records resulting in a .486 winning percentage, the Eagles will have their hands full all year.
I went 8-8 in my predictions last year, after going 9-7 in 2018. Let’s see if I can break my Cowboys streak and do a little better on my record in 2020.
- Week 1: Sunday 9/13 1:00 PM @ Washington
- Week 2: Sunday 9/20 1:00 PM vs Los Angeles Rams
- Week 3: Sunday 9/27 1:00 PM vs Cincinnati
- Week 4: Sunday 10/4 8:20 PM at San Francisco
- Week 5: Sunday 10/11 1:00 PM at Pittsburgh
- Week 6: Sunday 10/18 1:00 PM vs Baltimore
- Week 7: Thursday 10/22 8:20 PM vs New York Giants
- Week 8: Sunday 11/1 8:20 PM vs Dallas
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10: Sunday 11/15 1:00 PM at New York Giants
- Week 11: Sunday 11/22 1:00 PM at Cleveland
- Week 12: Monday 11/30 8:15 PM vs Seattle
- Week 13: Sunday 12/6 4:25 PM at Green Bay
- Week 14: Sunday 12/13 4:25 PM vs New Orleans
- Week 15: Sunday 12/20 4:05 PM at Arizona
- Week 16: Sunday 12/27 4:25 PM at Dallas
- Week 17: Sunday 1/3 1:00 PM vs Washington
I break down the schedule into quarters, since there are 16 games. If a team goes 3-1 every quarter, then they are left with a nice 12-4 record. Mix in a couple of 2-2’s and you have a 10-6 record.
After three quarters last season, the Eagles were staring at a 5-7 record. A 4-0 run in the final quarter sent them to the playoffs.
The Eagles will need to start off strong to avoid being in panic mode when they creep closer to that gauntlet of games you just saw late in the season.
Week 1 – Washington Football Team
I can’t help but laugh every time I read that name.
- Yards per game: 274.7 (31st)
- Points per game: 16.6 (32nd)
- Passing yards per game: 175.8 (32nd)
- Rushing yards per game: 98.9 (22nd)
- Yards allowed per game: 385.1 (27th)
- Points allowed per game: 27.2 (27th)
- Passing yards allowed per game: 238.9 (18th)
- Rushing yards allowed per game: 146.2 (31st)
- Turnover differential: +1 (14th)
EDGE Chase Young (draft), RB/WR Antonio Gibson (draft), CB Kendall Fuller (free agency), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (free agency), CB Ronald Darby (free agency) [lol], LB Thomas Davis (free agency), head coach Ron Rivera
TE Jordan Reed (released), CB Quinton Dunbar (trade), RB Adrian Peterson (released), LT Trent Williams (trade), LB Reuben Foster (IR), RB Chris Thompson (free agency), TE Vernon Davis (retirement), G Ereck Flowers (free agency), QB Case Keenum (free agency), QB Colt McCoy (free agency), CB Josh Norman (released), WR Paul Richardson (released)
This won’t be as easy as some people think. Jason Peters vs Chase Young will be something to behold, but the real match up lies in the WFT backfield. If the Eagles linebackers cannot contain Antonio Gibson, then it’s going to be a long day. The Eagles have notoriously been bad against dual-threat running backs. However, despite that threat, I expect the Eagles to win a hard-fought battle 24-17.
Week 2 – Los Angeles Rams
The Eagles finally stay home rather than travel West Coast for this clash between the “boy genius” and the coach who owns him.
- Yards per game: 374.9 (7th)
- Passing yards per game: 281.2 (4th)
- Rushing yards per game: 93.7 (26th)
- Points per game: 24.6 (11th)
- Yards allowed per game: 339.6 (13th)
- Passing yards allowed per game: 226.6 (12th)
- Rushing yards allowed per game: 113.1 (19th)
- Points allowed per game: 22.8 (17th)
- Turnover differential: 0 (T-15th)
LB Leonard Floyd (free agency), DT A’Shawn Robinson (free agency), OC Kevin O’Connell (Washington), RB Cam Akers (draft)
RB Todd Gurley (released), LB Clay Matthews (released), LB Dante Fowler Jr. (free agency), CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (free agency), WR Brandin Cooks (trade), LB Cory Littleton (free agency)
Jalen Ramsey got paaaiiiiiiiiid. Coming off his worst PFF graded year didn’t stop the Rams from locking down Ramsey for the long haul. Five years $105 million. Whew.
Ramsey will look to lock down DeSean Jackson while the rest of the Rams defense looks to slow down the slew of Eagles weapons. Despite the Rams having an elite passing attack last year, the Eagles should be able to keep them contained. Darius Slay has never intercepted Goff in the two matchups they’ve had against one another, look for that to change here.
Aaron Donald has never sacked an Eagles quarterback, with Jason Kelce being his Kryptonite in all three games they’ve faced each other.
This won’t be an easy one. But the Eagles keep the strong start going.
Week 3 – Cincinnati Bengals
Liam Je… I mean Joe Burrow (if you don’t get it then you need to look at pictures of Liam and Burrow) looks to bring the Bengals back to.. glory? Burrow has all the talent in the world and the Bengals made an incredible choice taking him. It won’t be long until they are challenging for AFC North supremacy.
- Yards per game: 323.1 (26th)
- Passing yards per game: 228.3 (19th)
- Rushing yards per game: 94.8 (25th)
- Points per game: 17.4 (30th)
- Yards allowed per game: 393.7 (29th)
- Passing yards allowed per game: 244.8 (21st)
- Rushing yards allowed per game: 148.9 (32nd)
- Points allowed per game: 26.3 (25th)
QB Joe Burrow (draft), CB Trea Waynes (free agency), CB Mackensie Alexander (free agency), S Vonn Bell (free agency), DT D.J. Reader (free agency), LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (draft [I had to write his name because he was a guest of Flippin’ The Birds in March]), WR Tee Higgins (draft)
QB Andy Dalton (released), TE Tyler Eifert (free agency), LB Nick Vigil (free agency), OT Cordy Glenn (free agency), CB Darqueze Dennard (free agency), CB Dre Kirkpatrick (released)
It hasn’t been that long since the Bengals had a winning season. Back in 2015 they went 12-4 and won their division, this was actually their fifth winning season in a row. Now entering the 2020 season where they’ve had losing records four years in a row, don’t expect them to return to glory just yet.
Joe Burrow is going to be a star. If this was later in the year, I’d call this a trap game. However, I do not believe facing a defense like the Eagles in week three is a recipe for success for the rookie. Burrow will probably win Rookie of the Year, but he won’t help his case in this game.
Eagles soar to 3-0.
Week 4 – San Francisco 49ers
Well, that “finally stay home rather than travel West Coast” was short-lived.
- Yards per game: 381.1 (4th)
- Passing yards per game: 237.0 (13th)
- Rushing yards per game: 144.1 (2nd)
- Points per game: 29.9 (2nd)
- Yards allowed per game: 281.8 (2nd)
- Passing yards allowed per game: 169.2 (1st)
- Rushing yards allowed per game: 112.6 (17th)
- Points allowed per game: 19.4 (8th)
- Turnover differential: +4 (T-10th)
LT Trent Williams (trade), WR Brandon Aiyuk (draft), DT Javon Kinlaw (draft)
LT Joe Staley (retirement), WR Emmanuel Sanders (free agency), DT DeForest Buckner (trade)
As you can see above: what the 49ers lost, they gained right back. Losing a HOF LT could cripple a lot of franchises, but replacing him with a perennial Pro Bowler makes things a liiiiitle less devastating. Losing a 32-year-old wide receiver with a 22-year-old highly touted rookie whose birthday is elite (we share the date) is ideal. Losing Buckner may hurt in the first few weeks of the season, but Kinlaw is an elite prospect on the defensive line and should quickly make fans forget about Buckner.
This is a rough game for the Eagles. This may hinge on whether or not Deebo Samuel is healthy for the 49ers, but the 49ers defense will give the Eagles fits. The 49ers may be the only team with a defensive line better than the Eagles and, with some instability in the Eagles offensive line, that will be the deciding factor in this. Jimmy G and co send the Eagles back to the East coast with their first loss.
“First Quarter” record: 3-1
Overall record: 3-1
Continued on the page below.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire