The NFL draft has finally come and gone. While we know a lot more about this Eagles team now than we did a week ago, there are still so many questions that need to be answered. Who will start at safety opposite of Malcolm Jenkins? What is happening at Middle Linebacker? How will Sam Bradford perform, and will he be healthy enough?
That being said, it’s time to have a little fun and make some predictions for the upcoming season. Let’s make the amazing assumption that Chip Kelly’s highly valued sports science works perfectly and there are no significant injuries. Let’s also assume Tim Tebow makes the roster. Like I said, purely for fun.
Week 1: 8:30 Monday @ Falcons
I see this game going much like the Monday night debut of Chip Kelly did a few years ago. The offense will explode on a Falcons defense that at this point simply doesn’t have the talent to compete with the up-tempo offense. Look for the Eagles’ front seven to get a few sacks on Matt Ryan, as we head out of week one 1-0.
Week 2: 4:15 Sunday vs. Cowboys
What more could you ask for in an early season match-up? This a chance for revenge against a rival that came in and ripped the hearts out of Philadelphia last December. Maybe this time it will be different? I think the Eagles really could pull this one out, but ultimately it’s too early for this young secondary to go against this offense, even with the addition of Byron Maxwell. It comes down to the wire, but the boys from Dallas pull it out. The image of Dez Bryant catching those three touchdown passes at the Linc over Bradley Fletcher still haunts me to this day.
Week 3: 1:00 Sunday @ Jets
This Jets team made significant strides in the off-season. Coming off a miserable 4-12 season, the Jets have themselves a new defensive-minded coach in Todd Bowles. Their defense certainty will be much improved with the additions of Revis, Cromartie, and Leonard Williams. The offense added weapons too with Brandon Marshall, Steven Ridley, Zach Stacey, and Devin Smith. But quarterback is a huge question mark, with Bryce Petty and Ryan Fitzpatrick set to compete for the position. It gets real ugly, but the birds win it at Met-life.
Week 4: 1:00 Sunday @ Redskins
I expect absolutely nothing out of the Redskins this year. Jay Gruden’s first year as head coach in the NFL could not have gone worse. There is nothing about RGII that makes me feel as if he can ever return to 2012 form. Besides the selection of Brandon Scherff in the draft, there is nothing that makes me feel as if their headed in the right direction. However, the Redskins always play the Eagles tough, and it won’t be a cakewalk in Landover on this particular Sunday.
Week 5: 1:00 Sunday vs. Saints
The Eagles return home to face a team that is on the decline. This under .500 Saints team is a lot less threatening without Jimmy Graham. However with Drew Brees playing quarterback anything’s possible. I still can’t see the Eagles dropping this one at home though.
Week 6: 8:30 Monday vs. Giants
When thinking about how the Giants matchup against the Eagles, it really makes me nervous. Odell Beckham Jr. is an absolute monster. Pair him up with Victor Cruz and that sounds like a rough day for Maxwell and company. Fortunately for the Eagles their front seven can overpower this Giants offensive line, forcing Eli to make some mistakes which makes the Eagles very lucky. Its close, but the Eagles take this one
Week 7: 8:20 Sunday @ Panthers
I think this is just going to be one of those disgusting games the Eagles play every year. By no means do the Panthers have more talent than the Eagles. No one on that team scares me aside from Kelvin Benjamin and Cam Newton. But this is one of those games were maybe the offensive line is having an off day and Demarco Murray can’t get free. Or maybe the defense gets toasted on a couple of Cam Newton runs. I don’t have high hopes for this one on a short week.
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: 8:20 Sunday @ Cowboys
Welcome back to Jerry World. Coming off a week of rest, I really expect the Eagles to be firing on all cylinders. The Cowboys will be coming off a tough game against Seattle, but still will definitely ready to play the birds. It’s a fight, but I think the Eagles pull this one out in a home field where the Cowboys really haven’t had much success recently. Count on Demarco Murray to get a revenge touchdown or two.
So there you have it. Going into the second half of the season the Eagles will sit at 6-2, much like they did last year. In part 2 we’ll see if this time around they can finish strong.