The 2018 Eagles Schedule
Falcons at Eagles
Thursday, Sept. 6, 8:20 p.m.
WinThere was a lot of speculation about the opponent for the season kickoff game. I didn't hear anyone mention the Falcons, the team that came closest to beating the Eagles in the playoffs. Welcome back to Lincoln Financial Field, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. Tough opponent, but a big night for Philadelphia, and I still like the Eagles in this matchup.
LossFor the third time in the last 14 seasons, the Eagles open against the Falcons. This meeting has a different flavor than the previous two – both losses. No. 1, the Eagles are the hosts. And No. 2, they're the defending Super Bowl champions. The big question is whether Carson Wentz will be ready by Week 1. Even if he isn't, Atlanta may have payback on its mind after narrowly losing in January's divisional playoff.
WinThe home crowd will be electric celebrating the defending Super Bowl champions, which should give an advantage to a team that is 15-3 at home under Doug Pederson. I'm guessing Carson Wentz returns, although he might not be the same Wentz to open the season.
WinAnother Philadelphia homecoming spoiled for Matt Ryan. Jim Schwartz's defense has held the Falcons to 25 points in back-to-back Eagles wins, including 10 in January's divisional round playoff game.
Eagles at Buccaneers
Sunday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m.
WinGetting 10 days to prepare for the Bucs is a nice bonus for playing in the Thursday night league opener. Tampa Bay was better than its record last year, but this far out, I have to take the Eagles.
WinVinny Curry and Beau Allen don't have to wait too long to get their Super Bowl rings. The former Eagles were signed in the offseason and join Jason Pierre-Paul on Tampa's new-look defensive line. Will their inside knowledge help against an offensive line that was among the NFL's best last season?
WinThe Bucs were a disappointment in 2017. They should be better in 2018, but the Eagles will have extra time to prepare for this one – and Wentz should benefit from game experience in Week 1 after he sits out the preseason.
WinDeSean Jackson is 31 going on 32 and averaged a career-low 13.4 yards per catch last season. Maybe he has a big game against his old team. I doubt it.
Colts at Eagles
Sunday, Sept. 23, 1 p.m.
WinIs Andrew Luck going to be throwing normal-sized footballs by Sept. 23? It'll be interesting to see how Frank Reich's familiarity with the Eagles' offense and personnel plays out.
WinThe Colts descended into the NFL's basement without Andrew Luck last season as GM Chris Ballard started his post-Ryan Grigson makeover of the roster. New coach Frank Reich's institutional knowledge of the Eagles could aid Indy's cause.
WinA healthy Andrew Luck would make the Colts a tough opponent, although their roster is lacking on both sides of the ball. Plus, the Eagles are home.
WinJosh McDaniels turned down the Colts job, which opened the door for Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Even with Andrew Luck finally healthy, I’m not sure McDaniels did Reich any favors.
Eagles at Titans
Sunday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m.
LossThey have to lose sometime, and in fact, the Eagles have lost on both of their previous trips to Tennessee and haven't beaten this team on its home field since it was the Houston Oilers.
LossAre the Titans a team on the rise or was last season's playoff appearance a product of the weak AFC? Either way, winning in Nashville, where Tennessee has won 11 of its last 16 games, is difficult. Over the next five weeks, the Eagles face four playoff teams from last year.
LossThe Titans have talent and a new coaching staff that will try to unleash Marcus Mariota. Remember him? Unlike the Super Bowl, Malcolm Butler will actually play in this game.
LossThe Titans made the playoffs for the first time in nine years last season. And fired their coach. New coach Mike Vrabel will have them ready for the Super Bowl champs.
Vikings at Eagles
Sunday, Oct. 7, 4:25 p.m.
WinKirk Cousins fared reasonably well against the Eagles when he was with Washington, but Mike Zimmer's defense had no answers for the Birds in the NFC title game and I'm gonna say that trend continues.
WinMany wanted the Eagles to kick off the season with the Vikings, but the NFL schedule makers set up an early October tilt between last season's top two teams in the NFC. Former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFillippo takes over the Minnesota offense with former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins at the controls.
WinThis won't be the same blowout that it was in the NFC championship game. Kirk Cousins is an upgrade in Minnesota, but the Eagles will win this game with their pass rush.
WinThe Vikings will have running back Dalvin Cook back. They have a new and better quarterback. The game will be closer than that 38-7 playoff blowout. But the outcome will be the same.
Eagles at Giants
Thursday, Oct. 11, 8:20 p.m.
WinFinally, an NFC East game, against none other than Pat Shurmur, the Giants coach who has spent much of his career at NovaCare. The Giants played the Eagles tough last year. The Eagles might have even cinched Eli Manning's return to the starting job, but at this point, I'm not picking them in a prime-time matchup against the champs.
WinPat Shurmur's lone game as the Eagles' head coach came at MetLife Stadium – a 35-30 win over the Giants. The former Vikings offensive coordinator is now in charge in North Jersey. The Eagles shut down Shurmur's offense in the NFC title game, but Minnesota had no one nearly as talented as Odell Beckham, Jr. – provided he's still with the Giants.
WinA short week after an emotional victory makes this a more difficult game. If the Giants add Saquon Barkley next week, that will be a challenging offense to defend.
LossYeah, I know. The Giants were 3-13 last year. But the Eagles’ two wins over them were by a total of eight points. And it’s a short-week game on the heels of what probably is going to be a knockdown-drag out game against the Vikings.
Panthers at Eagles
Sunday, Oct. 21, 1 p.m.
WinAgain, 10 days to prepare for a team that right now doesn't stack up with the Eagles.
WinThe Eagles became legitimate Super Bowl contenders, in many eyes, after they toppled the Panthers on the road last October. They get Cam Newton and company at home this time around, and the result here could signal whether Doug Pederson's group is poised to repeat.
WinThe Eagles beat the Panthers on the road during a short week last season. This season, they're at home with extra rest.
WinI’m going to use the Sam Bradford ACL timetable here with Carson Wentz. It was just about Week 7 or 8 in 2015 that he finally regained full confidence in his knee. This will be the game when you say, “he’s back.’’
Eagles at Jaguars
Sunday, Oct. 28, 9:30 a.m.
LossThe London game is uncharted territory for the Eagles, not at all for the Jags, who have to cross the ocean to find fans. The Jags are good, too.
LossThe Jaguars were a few Doug Marrone blunders from meeting the Eagles in the Super Bowl. Blake Bortles is still at quarterback, and Marrone defended his passive play-calling in the AFC championship game, but Jacksonville is stacked on defense and it has won three straight in London.
LossThese London games are often ugly. The Jaguars have more experience handling them – they've won their last three games overseas.
LossThe Eagles’ pass rush probably will make Blake Bortles do some Bortles-like things. But the Jags have this London thing down to an art. They’ve won three in a row on the other side of the pond.
Cowboys at Eagles
Sunday, Nov. 11, 8:20 p.m.
WinHome game against the 'Boys with an extra week to prepare? I'll take the Eagles.
WinThe Eagles were clearly on another level than the Cowboys last season. The reverse was the case the year before. Could Dallas possibly flip the script back to 2016? The recent history of the NFC East suggests it's more than possible. But Dak Prescott's struggles looked like more than a sophmore slump.
WinLast November, the Eagles returned from their bye week to win a Sunday night game against Dallas. Same thing happens this season.
WinThe Eagles will be well-rested and any aches, pains and hamstring strains will be healed. Jerry Jones will spend the night cursing and yelling at his sons a lot.
Eagles at Saints
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m.
LossDrew Brees might be the biggest test Jim Schwartz's defense faces in the regular season. The Superdome is a tough venue.
WinIf it weren't for the Miracle in Minneapolis, the Eagles would have had the Saints to contend with in the NFC championship. Some thought New Orleans would have been a tougher test. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are a formidable 1-2 running back punch, particularly on the Superdome's fast track.
LossThe Saints would have been a tough matchup in the playoffs last season. That will be evident when the two teams meet in New Orleans.
LossThis could be an NFC championship game preview. The Saints were the team you didn’t want the Eagles to face in the playoffs last season. Bet the over on this one.
Giants at Eagles
Sunday, Nov. 25, 1 p.m.
WinThe Eagles don't lose much at home in the Doug Pederson era. I'm not gonna pick an L here.
WinSome mock drafts have Penn State's Saquon Barkley heading to the Giants at No. 2. The Eagles won't focus on one player, but they would surely rather not have to contend with the freakishly-gifted tailback for the next decade.
WinThe Giants haven't won in Philadelphia since 2013. After the draft, there will be a better sense of their 2018 roster. Could this be Eli Manning's final game at Lincoln Financial Field?
WinLast year, 23 percent of Eli Manning’s passing yards and 31 percent of his touchdown passes came against the Eagles. The pressure will be on the defense and it will come up big.
Redskins at Eagles
Monday, Dec. 3, 8:15 p.m.
WinSee above. Alex Smith played really well for the Chiefs last season in beating the Eagles, but he's not in Kansas (City) anymore, Toto.
WinThe Eagles' only Monday night game doesn't come until Week 13. It'll be their first look at Alex Smith – barring injury – in a Redskins uniform.
WinRemember what Wentz did to Washington on Monday Night Football in Philadelphia last season? By December, he should be looking like 2017 Wentz again.
WinThe Eagles scored 30-plus points in both wins over the Redskins last season and Carson Wentz averaged 9.0 yards per attempt. Look for more of the same.
Eagles at Cowboys
Sunday, Dec. 9, 4:25 p.m.
WinEagles play pretty well at the Jerrydome. Still don't like the Dallas secondary that much.
WinThis matchup ends a five-game stretch against four divisional opponents. It also starts a four-game finish with three on the road. The Eagles have had success at Jerry World winning six of their last eight.
Loss The Cowboys are a different team with Ezekiel Elliott on the field. Plus, the Eagles are traveling on a short week and playing their third consecutive NFC East game.
LossTheir third division game in a row. A road battle with the Rams looming the following week. This one just smells like a loss.
Eagles at Rams
Sunday, Dec. 16, 8:20 p.m.
LossCarson Wentz returns to the L.A. Coliseum, where his 2017 season ended, and eerily, just one week later in the season than that game. Wentz ought to be 100 percent and have all his mobility back. But the Rams really loaded up in the offseason. In their building with Eagles flying across the continent, I think I might give the Rams the edge.
LossIf there's a candidate for most likely loss for the Eagles, it's the Rams. Sean McVay's squad turtled up in the postseason, but there's plenty of returning talent and several key positions were upgraded in the postseason. Of course, Wentz will have extra motivation returning to the scene of his knee injury.
WinIn a matchup of two Super Bowl contenders, the Eagles need to overcome a high-powered offense and a potent interior pass rush. Can Wentz have a big game at the site of his 2017 injury?
WinCarson Wentz returns to the scene of his season-ending ACL injury. He’ll be facing an imposing defense that has added Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aquib Talib. And he’ll throw a game-winning touchdown in the final minute.
Texans at Eagles
Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m.
WinThe Texans aren't a cold-weather team. Very interested to see Deshaun Watson. Is he enough to make me pick Houston? Nah.
WinTrap games are overrated, and the Texans could be a solid team if Watson continues to develop. And who's to say the Eagles haven't clinched a playoff spot by Week 16?
Win Similar to Wentz, Texans quarterback Watson is returning from a torn ACL. Watson doesn't have Wentz's offensive line, though. That will be evident in an Eagles victory.
Win Watson was on a 43-touchdown pace when he tore his ACL last October. He’s probably the most dangerous of the mobile quarterbacks on the Eagles’ 2018 slate. The good news is the game is at the Linc.
Eagles at Redskins
Sunday, Dec. 30, 1 p.m.
WinTricky in that you never know how meaningful the final game will be for either team. But I've already picked enough losses for an Eagles team I think is very solid.
WinThe Eagles opened 2017 in Landover. They close in the worst NFL stadium a year later. Who knows what will be at stake in the finale, but one thing is likely for certain: If Wentz has played in the majority of games and if he is healthy by season's end, the Eagles should be in position for another title run.
WinIf the Eagles play their starters, they close their season with a win and a 12-4 finish.
WinA Week 17 trip down I-95 to FedEx Field always is dangerous. But this game will mean a lot to the Eagles who still will be battling for playoff seeding and a first-round bye. And it will mean nothing to the Redskins, who will be sitting out the playoffs for the 21st time in the last 26 years.