The 2017 NFL schedule is out and everyone has made their way-too-early record predictions for the upcoming season. I personally have the Eagles finishing at 9-7. In evidence that great minds think alike, ESPN Eagles writer Tim McManus is predicting the same result.
The rest of ESPN is more down on the Eagles. I went through the game-by-game predictions from the ESPN writer for each of the Eagles' 2017 opponents. Here are the results.
Week 1 at Washington Redskins - EAGLES LOSE
“The Redskins have won five straight against the Eagles, and quarterback Kirk Cousins has led four of those victories. In five starts against the Eagles, Cousins has thrown 12 touchdowns to three interceptions and owns a 4-1 record. This could be the start of his final season in Washington.” - John Keim
Week 2 at Kansas City Chiefs - EAGLES LOSE
“The rematch between Andy Reid’s new and old teams comes early. The Chiefs beat the Eagles 26-16 in Philadelphia in 2013, and they’ll notch another win in their home opener.” - Adam Teicher
Week 3 versus New York Giants - EAGLES WIN
“Back on the road for a division game. Home is where the Eagles (and young quarterbacks) want to be. Carson Wentz was 6-2 at Lincoln Financial Field as a rookie. It spells for an 0-2 start in the NFC East for the Giants.” - Jordan Raanan
Week 4 at Los Angeles Chargers - EAGLES LOSE
“The Chargers get their first look at second-year Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz. Running back Ryan Mathews, meanwhile, plays against his former team for the first time since moving on to the Eagles in free agency two years ago.” - Eric D. Williams
[BLG note: About that Ryan Mathews thing ...]
Week 5 versus Arizona Cardinals - EAGLES WIN
“The Cardinals' first cross-country road trip comes in Week 5. It'll be their first chance to see if they have gotten over the East Coast woes that plagued them in 2016. Couple the three-hour time difference with a talented young quarterback and the Cardinals will go down.” - John Weinfuss
Week 6 at Carolina Panthers - EAGLES LOSE
“Maybe this game will bring back good memories for Carolina. The last time these teams met in Charlotte the Panthers won 27-16 in a prime-time game during a magical 15-1 2015 season. The whole stadium was dabbing then.” - David Newton
Week 7 versus Washington Redskins - EAGLES WIN
“It’s hard to keep beating a divisional opponent, unless their nickname is the Browns. So the Redskins' six-game winning streak will come to an end in another night game. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has legitimate weapons this season.” - John Keim
Week 8 versus San Francisco 49ers - EAGLES WIN
“This should be a game the 49ers can keep close, but they haven't shown the ability to travel cross-country and play well in recent years. They allow the Eagles to steal this one late.” - Nick Wagoner
Week 9 versus Denver Broncos - EAGLES LOSE
“This is another trip the Broncos haven’t made since 2009, so nobody on the roster was with the team that season. It will be the first look the Broncos’ defense, which has finished No. 1 in pass defense in each of the past two years, has at Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.” - Jeff Legwold
Week 10 - BYE
The Eagles are 4-5 at the bye in this projection.
Week 11 at Dallas Cowboys - EAGLES LOSE
“Prescott struggled in his one full game against the Eagles last year but figured it out in the fourth quarter and overtime to deliver the win. He won’t struggle this time, but former Eagle Nolan Carroll will make the clinching play.” - Todd Archer
[BLG note: LOL]
Week 12 versus Chicago Bears - EAGLES WIN
“It is safe to assume Alshon Jeffery has this one circled on the calendar. The Eagles clobbered the Bears at Soldier Field last year, and quarterback Carson Wentz is only expected to get better in season two. Jeffery (if healthy) will be looking for payback after Chicago made almost no effort to re-sign him in free agency.” - Jeff Dickerson
Week 13 at Seattle Seahawks - EAGLES LOSE
“Carson Wentz comes to Seattle for the second consecutive season and fares better than he did as a rookie, but it's not enough for an Eagles victory.” - Sheil Kapadia
Week 14 at Los Angeles Rams - EAGLES LOSE
“This will be the most highly anticipated game of the season. Goff, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick, goes up against Carson Wentz, the 2016 No. 2 overall pick. Wentz entered the NFL with more experienced coaching than Goff, and now he has something Goff still lacks: a true No. 1 receiver in Alshon Jeffery. But maybe I just have a gut feeling about this one.” - Alden Gonzalez
Week 15 at New York Giants - EAGLES LOSE
“Wentz and the Eagles got the better of the Giants in Philadelphia, but they won't in East Rutherford. Safety Darian Thompson nabs the key interception for the touchdown. Call it a hunch.” - Jordan Raanan
Week 16 versus Oakland Raiders - EAGLES WIN
“A (green and) white Christmas for the Raiders, and on national television? Such a high-profile intra-conference game gives credence to the notion that the Raiders are again a national brand and a team expected to make noise late in the regular season and into the postseason. Maybe Carr and Mack finally settle their foot-speed beef and race up the Rocky steps? Perhaps the elements get the win here, rather than Carr or Carson Wentz.” - Paul Gutierrez
Week 17 versus Dallas Cowboys - EAGLES WIN
“Could the division title be on the line? The Cowboys have won six of their last seven games at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles added big-play receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to help Carson Wentz. At some point, Philly has to regain home-field advantage on Dallas.” - Todd Archer
EAGLES FINAL RECORD: 7-9
If the schedule plays out this way, the Eagles would be 7-9 for the third consecutive season. Such a mediocre finish would be a drag.
But hey, what does ESPN necessarily know? Opposing writers had the Eagles going 5-11 last season and they ended up two wins better than that mark. We’ll see if the Birds outperform their projections again in 2017. Barring something catastrophic, I think Philly will at least be 8-8 this season.