When the Philadelphia Eagles schedule was released on Wednesday night, I only had one thought in my head: 19-0. But that's pretty much my initial reaction every year. Now that I've had the chance to sit down and study the schedule more closely, I've adjusted my (way too early and basically meaningless) prediction. I'll be sure to revisit and modify these predictions later as the season gets closer, but here's what I'm thinking right now.
Week 1 - Jacksonville Jaguars (Sept. 7, 1 PM, CBS)
Win: The Gus Bus comes to town. The Eagles are already favored by 11 points, which is both silly and fun. Some people think this is already a trap game, but I don't know how a team can overlook their own home opener. It's a win.
Week 2 - @ Indianapolis Colts (Sept. 15, 8:30 PM, ESPN) *Monday Night Football*
Win: The Colts are coming off a tough match-up in Denver the week before. Nick Foles outduels Andrew Luck in a barn-burner. Who thought something like that would be said back in 2012? This is going to be one of the best games all year, and I have the Eagles winning it.
Week 3 - Washington Redskins (Sept. 21, 1PM, Fox)
Win: Oh boy, the DeSean Jackson returns to Philadelphia game. As James Seltzer already pointed out, Washington plays Houston and Jacksonville to open the season. That could mean a 2-0 start for them. The Eagles will be 3-0 but Washington will not.
Week 4 - @ San Francisco 49ers (Sept. 28, 4:25 PM, Fox)
Loss: This has the potential to be an intriguing match-up but I just don't feel good about this one. Kind of like how everyone felt when they saw the Broncos on the Eagles' schedule last year. It's a loss. While it has the potential to be good I also think it could get ugly.
Week 5 - St. Louis Rams (Oct. 5, 1 PM, Fox)
Win: The Rams are coming off their bye week, so they will have extra rest. They also have a strong defensive line which could make for a rough day. But it's a home game and I don't believe in Sam Bradford. Give it to the Birds.
Week 6 - New York Giants (Oct. 12, 8:45 PM, NBC) *Sunday Night Football*
Win: The Eagles-Giants rivalry just didn't feel the same last year because the Giants were terrible and the Eagles were without a legitimate quarterback option for the second meeting. I expect the bitter rivalry to reignite with some good games in prime-time this season. Eagles win in a close one.
Week 7 - BYE (Oct. 19)
Only one loss at the bye week? This is looking pretty optimistic, huh?
Week 8 - @ Arizona Cardinals (Oct. 26, 4:05 PM, Fox)
Win: The Eagles are well-rested coming off their bye week. I feel like this game is a revenge game even though the Eagles won last year. On the podcast I compared it to a boxing match where the winner feels he needs to beat his opponent a second time just to prove he's really the better fighter. The Cardinals will be tough but I see the Eagles coming out on top here. Bruce Arians ultimately won't be able to best Chip Kelly's "college offense".
Week 9 - @ Houston Texans (Nov. 2, 1:00 PM, Fox)
Win: The Texans were lucky to win 2 games last year. They still don't have a quarterback, but that could change in the 2014 NFL draft. I like Bill O'Brien but I see the Eagles winning at home here.
Week 10 - Carolina Panthers (Nov. 10, 8:30 PM, ESPN) *Monday Night Football*
Win: Carolina's defense was legitimate last season. But about a month ago or so I looked at the Panthers depth chart and Marvin McNutt was listed as a starting wide receiver. They've since added some more bodies, including former Eagles WR Jason Avant, but I just don't know about that offense. Carolina seems like one of those playoff teams that suddenly falls off the next year. It's a win for the Eagles.
Week 11 - @ Green Bay Packers (Nov. 16., 1 PM, Fox)
Loss: It's as simple as having to beat Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. The problem is that's not so simple. It's a loss.
Week 12 - Tennessee Titans (Nov. 23, 1 PM, CBS)
Loss: This is the most random game on the schedule. I have no feel for this one at all, so I'll just say it's a loss for now.
Week 13 - @ Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 27, 4:30 PM, Fox) *Thanksgiving Day Game*
Win: Come on, it's the biggest game of the year! The Cowboys usually play well on Thanksgiving and that may continue, but I just know the Eagles won't disappoint here.
Week 14 - Seattle Seahawks (Dec. 7, 4:25 PM, Fox)
Loss: The Super Bowl champions are going to be tough to beat. I can see the Eagles making this one respectable but Seattle's defense will be just too much. L.
Week 15 - Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 14, 8:30 PM, NBC) *Sunday Night Football*
Win: Ladies and gentleman, please get your brooms out because this is a season sweep. The crowd at Lincoln Financial Field will be going nuts for this one.
Week 16 - @ Washington Redskins (Dec. 20, 4:30 PM, NFL Network)
Loss: I just have a weird feeling about this one. I'm operating under the assumption here that the Redskins won't be competing for the playoffs at this point in the season but they will be looking to play spoiler to the Eagles. And that's just what happens.
Week 17 - @ New York Giants (Dec. 28, 1 PM, Fox)
Win: Eli Manning starts to lead a potential game-winning drive down the field. The Giants need a touchdown to win. Eli throws it in the end-zone and it's... picked off! Brandon Boykin catches it and runs it all the way to the other end of the field for a touchdown. The Eagles clinch the NFC East and they're going to the playoffs. Walter Thurmond declines to talk to the media after the game.
Final Record: 11-5
Once again, this is all just for fun at this point. You might say that I'm a little too optimistic here but I hardly think an 11-5 record is out of the realm of possibility. Chip Kelly was really darn impressive in his first season in Philadelphia and I'm not eager to bet against him until given reason otherwise.