IT’S GAME DAY
The 2016 Eagles season kicks off this afternoon as the Birds host the Cleveland Browns. No more preseason. No more guessing. Carson Wentz makes his debut under center, Doug Pederson makes his head coaching debut, and there’s the new look is actually the old look but better defense under Jim Schwartz. There’s been a lot change in Philadelphia. It’s an exciting time for Eagles fans. And not just because finally the Eagles will not be wearing all white to start the season.
It’s a similar story with the Browns. They too have a new coach in Hue Jackson, a new quarterback in RGIII, and their new front office has turned over a lot of the roster. On paper, the Browns look like they’ll be really bad. They’re really young, and that’s promising for the long term but for today it’ll probably be a big disadvantage. The second most experienced WR they have is Terrelle Pryor. Yes, you read that right. Their pass rushers are rookies and their safeties have started a combined 5 games.
Still, there are a few things to be careful of. Hue Jackson is one of the best play callers in the league, in Oakland and in Cincinnati he consistently got his teams to punch above their weight. I think over the course of the season they’ll do better than their extremely low expectations. And Ray Horton is an experienced defensive coordinator from the Dick LeBeau tree. He’s had some good defenses and not so good defenses during his times in Arizona, Tennessee and Cleveland, but he should have a couple of tricks up his sleeve to test a rookie with.
The Eagles should win and are favored to. Their defense is significantly better than the Browns offense. Their special teams should have a good game against a Browns special teams unit that will play a lot of rookies. And their defense shouldn’t give the Eagles offense too many problems.
Score prediction: 24-13 Eagles
Bold prediction: Carson Wentz has a rushing TD but no passing TDs.
Leave your own predictions in the comments. Suggested format: