With the Philadelphia Eagles taking a break to recover during their bye week, let’s take a look ahead to the rest of the season. The Eagles are off to a great start at 8-1 but things are about to get tougher. Here's a rundown of the remaining matchups on the Eagles' 2017 schedule.
WEEK 11 AT DALLAS COWBOYS
Current Opponent Record: 5-3
Pick: Eagles win, advance to 9-1
The Cowboys are riding a three-game win streak. The Dallas offense has been able to put up points and the defense isn’t struggling as much as it did earlier in the year. Things could be about to change, however, due to the news of Ezekiel Elliott being suspended for at least the next four games. Zeke accounts for 66% of the Cowboys’ rushing yards, 11.5% of their receiving yards, 33% of their offensive touchdowns, and 31% of their first downs this season. In other words, being without him is a big loss.
Elliott’s absence figures to have a big impact on Dak Prescott and the Dallas defense. The Cowboys’ ability to run the ball helps them hide a defense that ranks 23rd in DVOA. A lot of Prescott’s success has come from play-action and not having to carry the team with his arm (third fewest pass attempts last season, 11th fewest this year).
Beating the Cowboys in Dallas should essentially wrap up the NFC East race. Given the way the Eagles’ No. 1 run defense has played, I like Philly’s chances of winning in this one. I don’t think Prescott will be able to completely carry his team to victory. I do think MVP favorite Carson Wentz can do just that if he needs to. He might not, though, since the Eagles are a complete team.
WEEK 12 VERSUS CHICAGO BEARS
Current Opponent Record: 3-5
Pick: Eagles win, advance to 10-1
“Trap game” was a phrase thrown around a lot earlier this season. It never turned out to be true for the Eagles, however.
The truth is I think the Eagles are too good to be in danger of losing a trap game. But if there was a game that had trap game conditions, it would be their matchup against Chicago.
Think about it: the Eagles return home from an emotional game against a division opponent to play a bad team before going off on a tough road trip. That’s a game that could get overlooked.
The Bears aren’t actually good, but they’ve shown some level of fight this year. I don’t think it’s enough to win in Philly. This is the Alshon Jeffery revenge game, after all.
WEEK 13 AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Current Opponent Record: 6-3
Pick: Eagles lose, drop to 10-2
It’s not easy for me to pick an Eagles win in this situation. I know the Seahawks haven’t looked like the vintage Seahawks this year. I know their offensive line is in shambles (Matt Tobin was playing at left tackle when Duane Brown got hurt last night!). I know they just lost Richard Sherman for the season.
But Seattle is such a tough place to play. The Seahawks are 42-7 in their last 49 home games. Only three of those seven losses have been against non-NFC West teams.
I think the Eagles can win this game. I just don’t think it’ll be easy. Russell Wilson’s mobility is scary because it can negate the pressure the Eagles are able to generate.
The feeling here is that Philly will win at least one of their two games out on the West Coast. So you already know where I’m going with my next pick.
WEEK 14 AT LOS ANGELES RAMS
Current Opponent Record: 6-2
Pick: Eagles win, advance to 11-2
The Eagles will not be returning home to the East Coast after their game against the Seahawks. Instead, they’ll be traveling down to California to prepare for the Rams.
The Rams are a legitimately good team. L.A. ranks first overall in point differential and first in DVOA. First-year head coach Sean McVay has done great things with that offense. Jared Goff is playing up to potential and Todd Gurley is an MVP candidate. Wade Phillips is overseeing a strong defense, which should surprise no one.
Goff vs. Carson Wentz will obviously be the big storyline heading into this one. McVay vs. Doug Pederson in the Coach of the Year race is also an interesting angle.
WEEK 15 AT THE NEW YORK GIANTS
Current Opponent Record: 1-7
Pick: Eagles win, 12-2
The Giants are a dumpster fire. The good news is that Ben McAdoo, who has had some players quit on him, is expected to last through the season. They’ll continue to be a mess.
You have to wonder if the Giants will even be starting Eli Manning by this point. It’s probably worth getting a look at Davis Webb. Philly should be able to take care of business here.
WEEK 16 VERSUS THE OAKLAND RAIDERS
Current Opponent Record: 4-5
Pick: Eagles win, 13-2
What kind of monster would pick the Eagles to lose on Christmas? Oakland can do some nice things offensively but their defense ranks dead last in DVOA. The Eagles will be able to put up points. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount running hard on a cold late December evening will not be fun for the Raiders’ defense to stop. The Eagles give Philly a great Christmas gift by clinching the No. 1 seed with a win in this game.
WEEK 17 VERSUS THE DALLAS COWBOYS
Current Opponent Record: 5-3
Pick: Eagles lose, drop to 13-3
This game will be like a reverse scenario of last year’s Eagles-Cowboys finale in Week 17.
With the No. 1 seed locked up, the Eagles will give their starters a drive or two before shutting them down for the rest of the game. Nick Foles and company will come in and lose by a touchdown against the Cowboys’ starters.
Playing at home, the Eagles will win their first playoff game since January 11, 2009. Then they’ll host the NFC Championship Game and win that. Then they’ll go to the Super Bowl and win that.
Listen. This year is our year. Carson Wentz, baby! He’s our baby. He’s it, baby.