Predicting the Eagles Schedule — Part 2
Here I am, back ready to predict the second half of the Philadelphia Eagles 2018 football schedule. In Part 1, I had the Eagles going 7-1 before entering the bye week. The one loss? The New York Giants. Oddly enough, I believe that is the only game the birds drop in the first half of the schedule. I think it is likely the only lose one to two games in the first half.
With that said, the schedule gets much tougher in the second half of the season. I believe the Eagles start off hot and kind of burn out in the second half of the season. Without further ado, let’s dive into the last half of the schedule.
vs Dallas Cowboys
Last season, the Eagles went 1-1 versus the Cowboys, but the last game was a joke, with the Eagles resting starters. It is safe to say, the Eagles had much bigger things to worry about. Ezekial Elliot was back for that game, and against the backups, the Cowboys pulled through with a marginal victory, 6-0.
With that said, the starters will be in full strength in this game, and I don’t expect the game to be very close. When you look at the Dallas Cowboys, I think they have an offense like the Jacksonville Jaguars and a defense like the Carolina Panthers. Bottom line is, Elliot will be the force that drives the offense, just like Leonard Fournette is for the Jags. Stack the box, and you can still shut down a very average passing attack.
On the defensive side of the football, the Cowboys have some bright spots here and there, but they are led by veteran Sean Lee, who is also injury prone, like Luke Keuchly. I expect this game to go a lot like the Panthers game in the first half of the schedule. Eagles win.
at New Orleans Saints
This game is as tough as it gets for the Eagles. The Saints might possess the League’s best offense this year, with a veteran leader like Drew Brees and the playmakers he has around him, it will be very dangerous. This will be a tough loss for the Eagles.
I am very high on the Saints this year, I expect them to meet the birds in the NFC Championship game. Which could be a good sign that they drop one here, it is very hard to beat an NFL team the caliber of the Eagles twice in the same season. On the road, I don’t like the Eagles chances here.
vs New York Giants
As you know, I had the Eagles losing the first matchup between this NFC East foe. However, I don’t expect the Giants to do it twice. I really like the way their offense is shaping up this year, and the defense is talented across the board. But I just don’t expect them to win in Philadelphia.
I am chalking up a win for the birds this time around.
vs Washington Redskins
Not much has changed in Washington, just a new face of the franchise. Instead of Kirk Cousins, it’s Alex Smith, which isn’t a huge difference between the two. Honestly, I believe Cousins is the better quarterback, he has done more with less in his career thus far. Smith is about to go from one of the most offensively talented teams in the league to one of the least. I do not expect Smith to make a difference in Washington.
The Redskins defense will improve this season, I believe. With that said, the Eagles just handled them in both matchups last season. I do not expect this one to be any different.
at Dallas Cowboys
You saw what I mentioned about the first matchup of the season between these two… I don’t expect much to change. I will say this; I think this game is closer it being in “Jerry World”, and the Cowboys could win this one, but I just believe that there is just too great of a talent and coaching gap right now.
at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have definitely made the biggest splash in the League this offseason. With the additions of Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Ndamukong Suh, and Brandin Cooks, everyone seems to be riding the wave. I am not riding that wave, too hard anyways. Look, I believe the Rams are going to be a really good football team this year, but I expect them to maybe win one game in the playoffs and that’s it.
Compared to last season, I see the Rams improving maybe by one game. In order to get to a Super Bowl and/or win it, you cannot have the egos Suh, Peters, and Talib carry. There will be some locker room issues. I think the Rams start off really hot, a lot of people ride the wave until they lose and then the wheels start to fall off a little bit. Then, I expect them to settle down and put a temporary band-aid over their problems.
I do like the Rams chances in this game, however. I believe it will be hard for the Eagles to travel to LA and leave with a win back-to-back years. At the same time, I do not expect the Rams to get past the second-round of the playoffs.
vs Houston Texans
This game should be pretty interesting. I think the Deshaun Watson versus Carson Wentz will be a fun headline. These are two of the best young quarterbacks in the game going head-to-head. The Texans have a great defense that could cause some trouble IF they come into this game at full health, and that is a big if.
All in all, I think this game will be fun, but the Eagles have the home-field advantage. So, I will give them the edge.
at Washington Redskins
I was pretty hard on the Redskins and how I think they will perform this season, but I do think they win this game. Although it is not because of talent or anything other than the fact that the Eagles will be resting starters, which will bring the birds to a 12-4 season in 2018.
I think the Eagles drop one more game than the did a season ago, which isn’t a big difference. I just think the schedule is a lot tougher from last season, but it’s nothing the Eagles can’t handle. I do believe they win their conference and land a top two spot in the NFC side of the playoffs.
There are two teams I would not want the Eagles to see in the playoffs this year: the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. I believe those two teams have the best shot at taking down the Eagles. With that said, I do expect the Eagles to make it to the NFC Championship game, which I believe will be a tougher game than the actual Super Bowl. Looking at the talent, the coaching staff, the buzz around the team, I am saying right now the Eagles will make the Super Bowl this year.
I am standing behind my belief that the NFC Championship game will be a tougher game than any team the AFC can put in the Super Bowl. So, there you have it, I believe the Philadelphia Eagles will repeat and win the first back-to-back Super Bowls since the New England Patriots in 2004-2005.
Photo Credit: Tim Tai