Now that the 2018 NFL schedule is out, everyone has made their way-too-early record predictions for the upcoming season. I personally have the Eagles finishing at 12-4. ESPN’s Tim McManus only has them one game worse at 11-5.
The rest of ESPN is more down on the Eagles. In the interest of seeing how non-Eagles writers view the defending Super Bowl champions, I went through the game-by-game predictions from the ESPN writer for each of the Eagles’ 2018 opponents. Here are the results.
Week 1 versus Atlanta Falcons - EAGLES WIN
The Eagles will be hyped as the city welcomes them back as champions. Quarterback Carson Wentz should be back in a starting role off an ACL injury. And the Eagles fortified their strong defense with the addition of Michael Bennett, a guy the Falcons had desired to add via a trade.” — Vaughn McClure
Week 2 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - EAGLES WIN
The Bucs have faced the reigning Super Bowl champion 21 times. They are 4-17 in those games, according to ESPN Stats & Info. This will actually be the third-straight season that the Bucs play the defending champs. They lost to the New England Patriots 19-14 at home in 2017 and they lost to the Denver Broncos 27-7 at home in 2016. The Eagles are 9-6 on the road in the month of September since 2010, second-best of any team in the league for that time period. Also, because the Eagles play on Thursday night the previous week, they’ll have three extra days to prepare. — Jenna Laine
Week 3 - versus Indianapolis Colts - EAGLES WIN
Reich returns to the city where he spent the previous two seasons as offensive coordinator, including playing an important part in helping the Eagles win the Super Bowl last season. It’s not going to be a great trip to Philadelphia for Reich and the Colts. — Mike Wells
Week 4 - at Tennessee Titans - EAGLES WIN
The champs coming to town is one of the highlights of the Titans schedule. Like Watson, it’s a positive that the Titans get Carson Wentz early in the schedule because he’s still recovering from a surgically repaired ACL. Wentz will be the best QB the Titans have faced so far and he might be too much in an early test for the Titans’ new-look secondary. — Cameron Wolfe
Week 5 - versus Minnesota Vikings - EAGLES LOSE
A couple of added days of rest and time to prepare for the team that knocked Minnesota out of Super Bowl contention is what the Vikings need after their second early road loss. New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo gets to scheme up the Vikings against the defense he faced every day in practice for two years. — Courtney Cronin
Week 6 - at New York Giants - EAGLES WIN
The defending Super Bowl champs make the trip north on a short week. The Eagles have the Giants’ number. They have won seven of the past eight games between these NFC East rivals. It continues here. Philadelphia’s pass-rush continues to give Eli Manning and the Giants’ offensive line fits. — Jordan Raanan
Week 7 - versus Carolina Panthers - EAGLES WIN
The Eagles may have won the Super Bowl last year, but they didn’t do it by making trades like they did with Carolina prior to free agency. The Panthers got wide receiver Torrey Smith, a dependable player with good leadership skills. The Eagles got cornerback Daryl Worley, who recently was released after being arrested when police found him passed out in a car. A gun also was found. That aside, the Eagles won the Super Bowl for a reason. — David Newton
Week 8 - at Jacksonville Jaguars (London) - EAGLES WIN
The Jaguars have won three in a row at Wembley Stadium, but the defending Super Bowl champs will be the toughest opponent they’ve faced overseas since they began playing there annually in 2013. It’ll be interesting to see how the loss of offensive coordinator Frank Reich affects quarterback Carson Wentz, but it’s hard to see Philly’s offense slowing down much. — Michael DiRocco
Week 9 - BYE - No game
The Eagles are 7-1 after the first half of the season. Not bad.
Week 10 - versus Dallas Cowboys - EAGLES WIN
The Cowboys have found Lincoln Financial Field to their liking in recent years, including that thrilling 6-0 defeat of the Eagles to close last season that guaranteed the Cowboys back-to-back winning records for the first time since 2007-09. Of course, that meant nothing and cost the Cowboys draft positioning. Oh, Carson Wentz will be healthy and the Eagles will be able to slow down the Cowboys. — Todd Archer
Week 11 - at New Orleans Saints - EAGLES LOSE
Rest assured, I don’t expect the Saints to lose against all of the other top NFC contenders this season -- so I’ll give them the win in this one against an Eagles team that is bound to be battling a bit of a Super Bowl hangover. The Eagles, however, proved to be one of the NFL’s most balanced teams last season and should have rising star quarterback Carson Wentz back healthy by this time. — Mike Triplett
Week 12 - versus New York Giants - EAGLES LOSE
The first real staple victory of the Shurmur regime. Something tells me this is the game where the Giants top 30 points for the first time in almost three years. The Eagles were one of the few teams Manning had success against last year. It happens again. — Jordan Raanan
Week 13 - versus Washington Redskins - EAGLES WIN
The Redskins couldn’t stop Carson Wentz last season, especially when he got on the move. His legs hurt them in both meetings, leading to touchdown passes and key third-down scrambles. — John Keim
Week 14 - at Dallas Cowboys - EAGLES LOSE
The Cowboys will have 10 days to get ready for Philadelphia, and that is a good thing. They’ll need it. Prescott gets his revenge on Wentz as the Cowboys get a must-win for their playoff hopes. — Todd Archer
Week 15 - at Los Angeles Rams - EAGLES WIN
Goff-Wentz, Part II. Carson Wentz injured his knee in last year’s game from the Coliseum, then Nick Foles -- the eventual Super Bowl MVP -- led his team to victory. Wentz will, hopefully, be fully healthy by the time these teams meet again. The Eagles are just as good, if not better. And they’ll prevail again in what should be another very close game. — Alden Gonzalez
Week 16 - versus Houston Texans - EAGLES WIN
This could be a shootout between two talented, young quarterbacks in Watson and Carson Wentz, but the Eagles’ defense will prevail and the defending Super Bowl champions will beat the Texans in what could be a thriller if Houston remains healthy. — Sarah Barshop
Week 17 - at Washington Redskins - EAGLES LOSE
The Redskins really could be fighting for a playoff spot in this game if young players develop and the draft provides a boost. All of that is hard to predict, but they will end the season on a strong note. — John Keim
EAGLES FINAL RECORD: 11-5
For historical context, ESPN writers for opponent teams had the Eagles going 5-11 in 2016 and 7-9 in 2017. The Eagles obviously outperformed both of those records, especially in the case of last year.
The biggest problem I have with these projections is that they have the Birds going 3-3 in NFC East games. I have Philadelphia going 6-0 in the division. Am I being overzealous? (
Of course not.) Perhaps, but I genuinely believe they’ll at least finish above .500 against the Giants, Cowboys, and Washington combined. Even if you change just one of their losses to a win, that puts the Eagles at 12-4. Which, again, is what I have them going this year.
How does this line up with your predictions?