The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-1 at the bye week with plenty to be excited (and concerned) about. With the Eagles taking a break to recover and reflect, the team's fans are clearly looking ahead. Bleeding Green Nation's editors are also in the mood to look into the future, so we've decided to do a quick rundown of the remaining match-ups on the Eagles schedule.
@ Arizona Cardinals
Current Opponent Record: 4-1
Brandon's Pick: Eagles win (6-1)
The Eagles should be well-rested after the bye. Philadelphia will potentially be getting a big boost on defense with the supposed return of starting inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. On the flip side, the Birds might be without Darren Sproles. This should be a tough one. It will be an interesting rematch of sorts from last week when Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians tried to cheapen Philadelphia's victory.
Mike's Pick: Eagles lose (5-2)
The bye will give the Eagles plenty of time to prepare but the East-West trip and the Cardinals defense under Todd Bowles has me thinking this will be a loss. The Eagles haven't done well in Arizona over the last several years and I do think the cross-country trip plays into that. On top of all of that, I am not sure Nick Foles is going to be able to get away with some of the mistakes he's been making as of late.
@ Houston Texans
Current Opponent Record: 3-3
Brandon's Pick: Eagles lose (6-2)
Tough road spot for the Birds here. They have to fly out to Arizona, fly back home, and then make another trip out west to play the Texans in Houston. This is certainly a winnable game for the Eagles but I just don't have a good feeling about this one. J.J. Watt is just one player but he's scary as heck right now. The good news for the Eagles is that an AFC loss is the least damaging kind of loss.
Mike's Pick: Eagles win (6-2)
The Texans are allowing plenty of rushing yards (125.7 yards per game) and have given up the seventh-most passing yards per game so far this season (280.5). This will be a good match-up to exploit for the Eagles, who have been inconsistent in the air. This could be a big game for Foles, especially if he comes up lame against Arizona out of the bye.
vs. Carolina Panthers
Current Opponent Record: 3-2-1
Brandon's Pick: Eagles win (7-2)
This Panthers team is a little weird. As of now they are the only team in the NFL with a winning record but a negative point differential. I don't think they're bad at all but I'm not sure that they're actually good. I can't see the Eagles dropping this prime-time home game. Starting offensive linemen Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis should both be returning by this game, so that will be a big boost for Philadelphia.
Mike's Pick: Eagles win (7-2)
While the Panthers defense is very solid, it's hard to imagine Carolina being able to stay even with the Eagles on the scoreboard. Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin have been solid this season but the Panthers have literally no running game or other receiving options. This will be a good test for the Eagles defense, who I think will come out firing with the run game and secure a tight win at home.
@ Green Bay Packers
Current Opponent Record: 4-2
Brandon's Pick: Eagles lose (7-3)
I like what I wrote about this game in my Eagles schedule prediction column back in late April: "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."
Mike's Pick: Eagles lose (7-3)
For the second year in a row, the Packers will host the Eagles, only this time they are likely to have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Both of these teams can score, but I just think Rodgers is going to carve up the secondary so bad that Eddie Lacy will benefit in the second half. I think it'll be a shoot out, but I give the edge to the Packers.
vs. Tennessee Titans
Current Opponent Record: 2-4
Brandon's Pick: Eagles win (8-3)
This is the weirdest game on the Eagles schedule. Look how it's sandwiched in right between two big NFC road games (away at Green Bay, away at Dallas). I would say this has the makings of a trap game, but the Titans are just really bad. I have to take the Birds here.
Mike's Pick: Eagles win (8-3)
Mike's Rationale: What once seemed like a likely "trap" game is now a must-win for the Eagles after losing to the Packers and a Thanksgiving showdown with the Cowboys on the horizon. I think the Eagles should win this game in a big way no matter who is playing quarterback for Tennessee. The Eagles are better in all areas of the game. It should be a blowout but we've learned that these Eagles like to make things interesting.
@ Dallas Cowboys
Current Opponent Record: 5-1
Brandon's Pick: Eagles lose (8-4)
This is the Eagles' biggest game of the season, and I see them losing it in a close one. Thanksgiving will be ruined for many Philadelphia fans.
Mike's Pick: Eagles lose (8-4)
This definitely has the feel of a major letdown. The Thanksgiving game is awesome on paper but the Eagles may get too hyped in Dallas and really I am concerned that the Cowboys will run all over the defense. This one just seems like a game that the Eagles should be lose in a shoot out and it will be close. Dallas has impressed me a lot this season.
vs. Seattle Seahawks
Current Opponent Record: 3-2
Brandon's Pick: Eagles win (9-4)
So far, Seattle looks a lot more vulnerable than they were expected to be. Make no mistake, they're still a very talented team. But I think they're far from unbeatable, especially on the road. The Eagles were the one team the Seahawks didn't want to play in the playoffs last season.
Mike's Pick: Eagles lose (8-5)
Seattle's performance in Week 6 was interesting on a lot of levels and proves they aren't invincible. Still, I just think this is a game that Foles could have a few terrible throws and possibly cost the Eagles the game. I am not sure this is a definite loss, but it does seem like a tough task, even at home.
vs. Dallas Cowboys
Current Opponent Record: 5-1
Brandon's Pick: Eagles win (10-4)
A win over Seattle followed up by a win over Dallas will have Philadelphia so fired up. The Eagles actually match up well against the Cowboys and should be able to earn the win thanks to home field advantage.
Mike's Pick: Eagles win (9-5)
The Eagles end a two-game skid and get revenge for Thanksgiving. The Eagles are very good at home these days and have a better overall team than Dallas, now that Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis are back and settled into things. I think this game will be big for Foles and the Eagles as they look to wrap up the division.
@ Washington Redskins
Current Opponent Record: 1-5
Brandon's Pick: Eagles lose (10-5)
Washington will be playing the role of spoiler at this point of the season. Division games can be weird, so I'll say Philadelphia loses in a close one.
Mike's Pick: Eagles win (10-5)
The Redskins will likely be dead in the water at this point and clearly just playing for pride. The Eagles need to continue their momentum heading into the playoffs and try to lock up the division and potentially home-field advantage in the conference.
@ New York Giants
Current Opponent Record: 3-3
Brandon's Pick: Eagles win (11-5)
Get out your brooms because I have the Eagles sweeping the Giants on the season. I'm not sure if the G-men will be alive in the playoff hunt at this point, but the Eagles should be. Philadelphia would finish 4-2 in the division and 11-5 overall at this rate.
Mike's Pick: Eagles win (11-5)
Mike's Rationale: The Eagles seem to have the Giants figured out and this one will be big for playoff positioning. The Eagles would finish 5-1 in the division with this win and end the season at 11-5.