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ESPN writers from Eagles’ opponent teams predict Philadelphia’s 2019 season record

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Outsider perspective.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Now that the 2019 NFL schedule is out, everyone has made their way-too-early record predictions for the upcoming season. I personally have the Eagles finishing at 11-5. ESPN’s Tim McManus also has them at 11-5.

In the interest of seeing how non-Eagles writers view Philadelphia’s football team, I went through the game-by-game predictions from the ESPN writer for each of the Eagles’ 2019 opponents. Here are the results.


Week 1 versus Washington Redskins - EAGLES WIN

The Redskins play three division games in the first four weeks, which will provide a great clue for how their season will play out. They also close the season with three straight division games. They need to start well against their division for a simple reason: In the past seven seasons, the Redskins have made the playoffs twice. Both times they finished above .500 in the division. In the other five years, they were a combined 8-22 in the NFC East. — John Keim

Week 2 at Atlanta Falcons - EAGLES LOSE

The Falcons started last season with a Thursday night matchup on the road against the Eagles, a game that ended on a failed final play in the end zone to Julio Jones and an Eagles victory. The Falcons’ first prime-time game of 2019 once again is against the Eagles, but this time at home. How the Falcons’ trio of running back Devonta Freeman (groin), strong safety Keanu Neal (ACL), and free safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles) looks in their first home game since suffering season-ending injuries last year bears watching. It also will be interesting to see if Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is at full strength coming off a back injury. The Falcons faced Nick Foles last season, and Foles is now in Jacksonville (Dec. 22). — Vaughn McClure

Week 3 versus Detroit Lions - EAGLES WIN

It’s going to be another tough start for the Lions, with two of the league’s most explosive offenses last year coming to Ford Field in the first month of the season bracketed by a game at Philadelphia. — Michael Rothstein

Week 4 at Green Bay Packers - EAGLES WIN

There are two ways to look at an early stretch that’s laden with home games: It offers first-year coach Matt LaFleur the chance to get off to a good start, or, given that many new coaches start out slowly, it’s going to be tough to recover and finish strong with all those road games at the end. Either way, it’s the first time since the strike year of 1987 that the Packers have as many as five home games among their first seven. That year, it was actually six of their first eight in the state of Wisconsin followed by a brutal stretch of five of the final seven on the road (they won just two of those final seven). Despite two consecutive non-playoff seasons, the league still considers the Packers a draw with five prime-time games, including two Thursday night games (at the Bears and home against the Eagles), two Monday Night Football appearances (home against the Lions and at the Vikings) and a Sunday night game (at the Chiefs). — Rob Demovsky

Week 5 versus New York Jets - EAGLES WIN

New Jets coach Adam Gase couldn’t have asked for a more favorable start to the season -- back-to-back home games for the first time since 2011. What’s more, they will face a pair of second-year quarterbacks and a rookie coach. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has to be excited about this, knowing he can unleash his exotic blitz packages against the Bills’ Josh Allen and the Browns’ Baker Mayfield. Williams should have plenty of intel on Mayfield, considering he was the Browns’ interim coach last season. The Browns will be improved, but they still will be sorting things out under new coach Freddie Kitchens. This is a good time to catch them. Another early season plus for the Jets: They have only one plane trip in the season’s first seven weeks -- a quick flight to New England. They will travel to Philadelphia via bus or train. — Rich Cimini

Week 6 at Minnesota Vikings - EAGLES LOSE

After missing the playoffs in 2018, the Vikings’ path to the postseason includes a manageable slate of home games, despite only two-back-to-back games at U.S. Bank Stadium at the end of the season. There’s a brutal stretch on the road, including all four of their away games in the second half of the season against teams that made the playoffs in 2018. The Vikings play three NFC North games on the road in the first seven weeks. Then things get really difficult with a handful of stretches that could decide the season for Minnesota. One to keep an eye on is back-to-back road games at Kansas City and Dallas in Weeks 9 and 10. For a dome team, the second half of Minnesota’s schedule is ideal. The Vikings play two outdoor games after Nov. 3, in Seattle and Los Angeles, but both are slated for Monday and Sunday night, respectively. — Courtney Cronin

Week 7 at Dallas Cowboys - EAGLES WIN

Entering the season on the final year of his contract, coach Jason Garrett faces a mandate to win in 2019 or else. Nobody knows exactly how much he has to win in order to secure a new deal from owner and general manager Jerry Jones, but he will have to do something he has not done as the Cowboys coach: make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. To get there, the Cowboys face a daunting schedule, playing six games against playoff teams from a year ago, including the reigning Super Bowl champ New England Patriots, NFC champ Los Angeles Rams (which will also be a playoff rematch from last January) and NFC runner-up New Orleans Saints. The toughest stretch comes in Weeks 10 through 16 when the Cowboys play the Minnesota Vikings, Patriots, Chicago Bears and Rams mixed around games against Detroit and Buffalo (on Thanksgiving). Prior to the Week 8 bye, Dallas plays just two games against 2018 playoff teams, so a fast start almost seems like a must if the Cowboys want to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2006-07. — Todd Archer

Week 8 at Buffalo Bills - EAGLES WIN

The Bills will open the 2019 season with two games in the same stadium -- just not their own. Before playing a regular-season down in New Era Field, Buffalo will travel twice to MetLife Stadium for games against the Jets and Giants. Their ensuing stretch could be the key to their playoff hopes. Between Weeks 3 through 9, the Bills will travel only once, making a trip to Tennessee in Week 5. Otherwise, they will play five times at home and also have a bye in Week 6. They will pay for it on the back end of their schedule, with a stretch of five road trips over seven weeks in November and December. — Mike Rodak

Week 9 versus Chicago Bears - EAGLES WIN

The Bears are now the hunted. Following a surprise playoff berth (12-4) last season, the Bears face a much tougher schedule in head coach Matt Nagy’s second season. Chicago’s schedule really picks up steam in Week 7 with three consecutive games against the Saints, Chargers and Eagles -- all playoff teams in 2018. Throw in a tough road game against the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams in Week 11, plus a final four-game stretch that features home contests against the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs and divisional road games at the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, and the Bears certainly have their hands full. The last time the Bears repeated as NFC North champions was in 2005-06. — Jeff Dickerson

Week 10 - BYE

ESPN writers have the Eagles entering the bye with a 7-2 record. Not bad.

Week 11 versus New England Patriots - EAGLES WIN

This marks the fourth consecutive season in which the bye week is in a great spot for the Patriots. Getting a break after the ninth game almost splits the season into two even halves, which gives players and coaches a nice midseason break. Last season, the bye came after 10 games. In 2016 and 2017, it was after eight games. In 2015, it was in the fourth week of the season, which wasn’t ideal. Another nice wrinkle to the 2019 schedule: This marks the third straight season that the Patriots’ final two games are at home, which is a holiday and New Year’s gift of sorts. But those who enjoy 1 p.m. ET starts at home will note the team has just one early in the season -- in Week 3. Finally, home fans get a nice break from colder prime-time games, as the team’s two home night games are on Sept. 8 (Steelers) and Oct. 10 (Giants). The other three prime-time games are on the road. Of course, there’s always the possibility of one more home game being flexed to prime time. The Patriots will face the Browns in Week 8, Ravens in Week 9 and Eagles in Week 11 when those teams are coming off their bye. New England is coming off its own bye as well against Philadelphia, but Brian Burke, of ESPN’s Sports Analytics department, notes that the Patriots have the worst net rest-day differential of any team in 2019 at minus-13. — Mike Reiss

Week 12 versus Seattle Seahawks - EAGLES LOSE

The Seahawks no longer have the same star power following last year’s purge of some of the most well-known players in franchise history. But they still have a megastar quarterback in Russell Wilson. That explains why their schedule includes five prime-time games, which is the max. It’s the same number the team had on its 2018 schedule before one game was flexed. The Seahawks will play four consecutive prime-time games in the second half of the season, with a bye in Week 11 in between. Being the home team on Thursday night is always a major advantage. The Seahawks will take it when they host the Rams in a Week 5 game that will have early implications for the NFC West standings. Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are a whopping 26-5-1 in prime-time games. Week 11 is the latest the Seahawks have had their bye since 2013. — Brady Henderson

Week 13 at Miami Dolphins - EAGLES WIN

The Dolphins will get a chance to maximize one of the NFL’s best home-field advantages -- the Miami heat at Hard Rock Stadium -- with three September home games before an early Week 5 bye. This would typically be a great advantage, but the teams in those first four weeks were all playoff squads in 2018. New Dolphins coach Brian Flores will need to have his team ready to play big-boy football playing against the physical Ravens in the season opener. It will be a challenge for Miami to start off 2-2. However, October looks like a potential get-right month, as they face no 2018 playoff teams, but both the Bills and Steelers will be coming off of bye weeks before playing the Dolphins. The most cumbersome part of the season will be in December, when Miami plays three of its last four games in the blustery Northeast against the Jets and Giants, in back-to-back weeks, and then against the Patriots to close out the regular season. — Cameron Wolfe

Week 14 versus New York Giants - EAGLES WIN

Last fall, the first half of the Giants’ season was billed as a gauntlet, and they opened 1-7. This year the early part of their schedule is much more favorable. Only one of their first five opponents (Dallas) made the playoffs last season. Only three teams on their entire schedule (New England, Dallas and Philadelphia) won a playoff game last season. The Giants have an opportunity to hang around this season if they can muster a faster start. It’s possible with this early schedule. — Jordan Raanan

Week 15 at Washington - EAGLES LOSE

John Keim

Week 16 versus Dallas Cowboys - EAGLES LOSE

Todd Archer

Week 17 at New York Giants - EAGLES LOSE

Jordan Raanan


Here’s how ESPN writers have had the Eagles finishing in previous years:

2016 — 5-11
2017 — 7-9
2018 — 11-5

Compare those to the team’s actual records:

2016 — 7-9
2017 — 13-3
2018 — 9-7

So, this isn’t always the most predictive activity. Still, I think it’s interesting to see how people not wearing midnight green glasses view the Eagles.

One of my biggest gripes with these predictions is the fact the Eagles go 3-3 in the NFC East. I can’t see that happening. I think Philly goes 4-2 in division games at worst. I personally have them going 5-1. I can’t see how the Eagles would be good enough to win 10 games yet only go 3-3 in the NFCE.

I was interested to see both Packers and Patriots writers pick those teams to lose to the Eagles. That’s some respect.