This is the most predictable feature of the NFL: It is wholly unpredictable.
Good teams fade more quickly than you might think. Bad teams hit a stride, enjoy an easier schedule, play a better team with a key injury and are sitting at 5-2 before the leaves change.
How many years were the Cowboys going to the Super Bowl after two good games? (LOL, by the way.)
Then, there are those injuries. They derail a team more quickly than anything. The weather can be a factor. A rainy, windy fall day can shut down a passing team and play right into the hands of a running team.
With the opening of training camps not far away, it’s time to take a closer look at what we might see once September hits.
I’m going to make three Eagles predictions you probably won’t like and three you might like.
FIRST, THE EAGLES PREDICTIONS YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE
(THE PESSIMIST’S VIEW)
1. The Eagles will be 1-2 after three games.
OK, this looks impossible with the season opener at the hapless Detroit Lions, the home opener against the Minnesota Vikings and Week 3 at the Washington Commanders.
The Lions are an improving team. I lean toward the Eagles winning a close game but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Detroit pull out a tight, field-goal game.
Fiery coach Dan Campbell was 3-13-1 in his first year in Detroit. But Campbell will present the Eagles’ game as a season-maker for his Lions. Win this one, boys, and we’ll be off to a good start on the way to a good season.
The Eagles have lost their last two regular-season meetings to Minnesota. Not expecting the Birds to lose, but should very average Kirk Cousins have a hot hand, you never know. Cousins always gives the Eagles fits.
Week 3 is the Carson Wentz Show, Part I. Really, who knows how this game will turn out? Do the Eagles hold a grudge against their former quarterback? Is there bad blood there?
Will the Eagles feel as if they need this game if they’re 1-1? I don’t buy Wentz being a fire-and-brimstone speaker in the locker room but maybe early in the season he still has the ear of his teammates. You know Wentz wants to win this game more than any other.
2. The Eagles will lose at home to the Cowboys in Week 6 on Sunday night.
Nobody wants to hear this. The Eagles will be traveling back from a tough game in Arizona. The Cowboys will be at the LA Rams, so advantage to either team.
Dallas has beaten Philly three straight, including the 51-26 beatdown in the 2021 season finale that meant nothing. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott started that game and was throwing touchdown passes in the *fourth* quarter. The Eagles rested Jalen Hurts and other starters, preparing for the playoffs.
Recently, Dallas has controlled both lines of scrimmage against the Eagles and Prescott usually plays well against them.
3. The Eagles will lose one of the following games they should win:
- vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Oct. 30)
- at New York Giants (Dec. 11)
- at Chicago Bears (Dec. 18)
Every season, it seems, NFL teams lose one they should win and win one they should lose. The trick is to keep the stunning upset to only one per season — or avoid it altogether.
EAGLES PREDICTIONS YOU MIGHT LIKE
(THE OPTIMIST’S VIEW)
1. The Eagles will go 5-1 in the NFC East.
Not sure where the loss is — probably Dallas — but if the Eagles are going to take the next step from wild card team to division champion, they should start by dominating their division. Last year, they were 3-3 vs. the NFC East.
Let’s face it:
- The Giants shouldn’t be overly threatening this season.
- The Eagles have a stronger roster than Washington.
- That might be four wins right there for Philly.
- Split with the Cowboys, and you’re sitting at 5-1.
2. The Eagles will defeat Aaron Rodgers.
The Birds will beat the Green Bay Packers in Week 12, Thanksgiving weekend, at home, on Sunday night. Betting against the Packers generally isn’t a good business decision. But the importance of this game will be more for the Eagles than the Packers.
I’m thinking by Week 12, the Packers will be in control of the NFC North.
I’m thinking the Eagles will be rolling along at or near the top of the NFC East, maybe in a tight race with Dallas. This game will test their credibility. Can they challenge the top teams in the NFC? Can they make a serious playoff run? Beating the Packers is their chance to prove themselves.
3. The Eagles go 6-0 before their bye week.
Could they win all six? Yeah.
Really? It’s not likely, but not impossible.
The schedule isn’t outrageous:
- At Detroit
- At Washington
- At Arizona
Tough games at Arizona and home vs. Dallas. Tough, not impossible.
Can you imagine going into the bye week 6-0? The Eagles then play Pittsburgh, at Houston and the Wentz rematch at the Linc.
Do I think the Eagles are going 9-0 to start the season? Of course not. The Eagles will have a frustrating loss along the way and everyone will wonder if the defeat will haunt them the rest of the season. There are difficult games.
Other reasons they won’t start 9-0: Maybe the Eagles are another year or two away. Maybe the rebuild isn’t coming along as quickly as fans think. Maybe Jalen Hurts isn’t going to take a big step this season.
It’s fun for fans to think about the possibilities when their team is considered on the rise. But, we’ll have to wait and see to find if any of these Eagles’ predictions come true.