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Eagles' remaining opponents present all sorts of challenges after bye week

From Russell Wilson to Myles Garrett, there are plenty of landmines on the back end of the Eagles' schedule. We look at the good and the bad for the remaining eight foes.

The Eagles improved to 2-1 in the NFC East and 3-4-1 overall after sacking the Cowboys in Week 8. They have a bye this week before returning to play on Nov. 15 at the New York Giants.
The Eagles improved to 2-1 in the NFC East and 3-4-1 overall after sacking the Cowboys in Week 8. They have a bye this week before returning to play on Nov. 15 at the New York Giants.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

It’s not been an easy road to 3-4-1, and finishing the season will be even more treacherous for the Eagles. That five-game stretch starting in Week 11 looks particularly gnarly. Doug Pederson would be a genius again if he could get three wins there.

Here’s a look at the Eagles’ eight remaining games. For those who like to plan, only three are slated to begin at 1 o’clock (for now).

Week 10 - at N.Y. Giants

Sunday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m.

Season so far: 1-7, last in the NFC East.

What’s gone right: The Giants have played well in stretches, with the defense, especially the run defense, keeping them in most games.

What’s gone wrong: The offense has often looked stagnant, they lost star running back Saquon Barkley in Week 2 with a torn ACL, and they are on the verge of posting at least 10 losses for the fourth consecutive year, which would be a franchise first. Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones gets plenty of the blame because he has more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (seven), but his receiving weapons are scarce and his offensive line is mediocre.

Notable: Jones has lost 15 of his 17 starts.

Watch this guy: Tight end Evan Engram is third among all tight ends in targets, though he hasn’t done a whole lot with the volume. Has 54 targets and yet his only touchdown came on a running play. The Eagles have had their adventures with tight ends this season.

Week 11 - at Cleveland

Sunday, Nov. 22, 1 p.m.

Season so far: The Browns are an admirable 5-3 but coming off a disappointing 16-6 loss at home against the Raiders. Like the Eagles, the Browns also have a bye in Week 9.

What’s gone right: The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. in Week 7 to a torn ACL is mitigated by Cleveland’s having a solid running game that should have Nick Chubb back from an MCL injury by the time the Eagles visit. Chubb and Kareem Hunt form a lethal duo.

What’s gone wrong: Aside from having the top pass rusher in the AFC, Cleveland’s defense has often let the Browns down. They came into the league 27th in points allowed at 29.6 per game, and even though they held the Raiders to 16 points, they gave up 208 rushing yards in a game severely affected by blustery weather.

Notable: A week after playing Giants head coach Joe Judge (Lansdale Catholic), the Eagles face Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski (St. Joseph’s Prep). Stefanski’s first NFL “job” was as an operations intern under Andy Reid’s Eagles in 2005.

Watch this guy: Myles Garrett entered the week tied with Aaron Donald for the league lead with nine sacks, and had a streak of six games in a row snapped last week. As we know, nobody’s been sacked more this season than Carson Wentz.

Week 12 - vs. Seattle

Monday, Nov. 30, 8:15 p.m.

Season so far: The Seahawks are 6-1 and right now would be the NFC’s No. 1 seed. Four of their six wins have been at home. So much for needing the 12th man.

What’s gone right: Russell Wilson has 26 TD passes and a passer rating of 120.8 (which would be the third-highest all-time), and is the midseason favorite to be league MVP. Just a reminder that the five quarterbacks selected ahead of him in the 2012 draft were Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, and Brock Osweiler.

What’s gone wrong: The running game has again been hobbled by injuries, which feels like a dubious annual tradition in Seattle. And that defense is long removed from being the “Legion of Boom.”

Notable: Seattle has won the last six meetings against the Eagles, including the last two seasons at the Linc by the identical score of 17-9.

Watch this guy: DK Metcalf already has established himself as a star wide receiver in just his second season. Last time he was at the Linc, he wore out the Eagles secondary with seven catches for 160 yards and a score.

Week 13 - at Green Bay

Sunday, Dec. 6, 4:25 p.m.

Season so far: 6-2 with a very favorable schedule down the stretch.

What’s gone right: Aaron Rodgers has the offense cooking and Davante Adams has 30 catches and six touchdowns in his last six games. The Packers have scored on their first possession in all eight games -- four TDs, four field goals. Last team to do that was the 18-1 Patriots in 2007.

What’s gone wrong: The run defense has been suspect. Dalvin Cook carved them up for 163 yards in Week 8 and Ronald Jones ran for 113 two weeks earlier. They’ll get a visit from Derrick Henry and the Titans in an interesting matchup in Week 16.

Notable: This is just the second time these teams are playing at Lambeau Field in consecutive seasons. The Eagles won in Green Bay last year, when they were 3.5-point underdogs. Figure this year’s line to be at least double that.

Watch this guy: Dynamic running back Aaron Jones missed last three-plus games with a calf injury before returning against San Francisco on Thursday night. He was averaging 5.8 yards per carry in the first month.

Week 14 - vs. New Orleans

Sunday, Dec. 13, 4:25 p.m.

Season so far: The Saints are a deceptive 5-2 after winning their last four games by a total of 15 points. Drew Brees calls his team “battle-tested." Better word is vulnerable.

What’s gone right: Alvin Kamara has laid claim to best overall running back in the league with 1,031 all-purpose yards. He has 55 catches in seven games and 25 of his 87 rushes have resulted in first downs (28.7%).

What’s gone wrong: Last year, Michael Thomas set an NFL record 149 catches. This season, he’s been invisible since Week 1 with ankle, hamstring, and disciplinary problems. He’s expected back soon (maybe this week), so the Eagles will probably have to deal with him in Week 14.

Notable: Safety and old friend Malcolm Jenkins had his streak of 2,651 consecutive snaps played ended in Week 5, when he was on the sidelines as the Chargers converted a 3rd-and-1. Why’d he miss the play? "You’d have to ask [defensive coordinator] Dennis Allen about that,” he told the Associated Press. “It was a package that I just wasn’t in.”

Watch this guy: Rookie Cesar Ruiz, a Camden native who played his first two seasons at Camden High, has taken over at right guard.

Week 15 - at Arizona

Sunday, Dec 20, 4:05 p.m.

Season so far: The Cardinals seem to have righted the ship with three consecutive wins after curious back-to-back losses to Detroit and Carolina. They are coming off their bye with three challenges the next three weeks -- Miami, Buffalo, and at Seattle.

What’s gone right: Quarterback Kyler Murray, who is on pace to throw for 4,200 yards, also leads all quarterbacks with 437 rushing yards. The Eagles defense is 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks after the Ravens' Lamar Jackson smoked them for 108 and the Giants’ Daniel Jones got 80 on that one (hilarious) play.

What’s gone wrong: They lost linebacker Chandler Jones to a torn biceps in Week 5. Jones was second in the league last season with 19 sacks.

Notable: Linebacker Haason Reddick (Temple) is back at outside linebacker. He leads the Cards with five sacks and had 11 tackles in Arizona’s shootout win over Seattle just before its bye.

Watch this guy: Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins leads all wide receivers in receptions (73) and yards (704). “He says it to me all the time, ‘You want to be good or do you want to be great?’” Murray said recently. “That’s basically what it comes down to. We both want to be great.”

Week 16 - at Dallas

Sunday, Dec. 27, 4:25 p.m.

Season so far: 2-6 and fading fast. They’ve scored one touchdown in three games.

What’s gone right: Well, they did recover an insane onside kick in Week 2. But not much has gone right since.

What’s gone wrong: The defense stinks, the starting quarterback broke his ankle, the backup quarterback has COVID and the owner just said the third-string quarterback was in way over his head. So they’re starting their fourth quarterback in nine games on Sunday against the undefeated Steelers. This being 2020, maybe they really are America’s Team.

» READ MORE: Eagles beat Cowboys, everybody else lost

Notable: The Cowboys haven’t been swept by the Eagles in a season series since 2011.

Watch this guy: Mike McCarthy. Is it possible the Cowboys would fire him after one season?

Week 17 - vs. Washington

Sunday, Jan. 3, 1 p.m.

Season so far: The Washington Football Team is 2-5 with losses to the Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, and Rams. Their schedule is easier in the second half (aside from Pittsburgh and Seattle), so don’t sleep on Ron Rivera’s club just yet.

What’s gone right: Two things. One, they look like they’ve found themselves a future star in defensive end Chase Young. Two, Rivera, the veteran coach in his first season in D.C., recently completed cancer treatments and then took a second to lobby for something that would seem to be fundamental. “For us not to have affordable quality health care and be the richest nation in the world,” he said, "it’s kind of disappointing.”

What’s gone wrong: Any notion that Dwayne Haskins was the quarterback of the future has gone south. The No. 15 overall pick last year, Haskins reportedly booked a hotel room for a family friend during the trip to New York last month and was inactive for the last three games.

Notable: The Eagles have won three in a row at home against Washington. Last time they won four straight was 25 years ago.

Watch this guy: Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, Washington’s all-time sacks leader who had two against the Eagles in Week 1, had his trade request declined. Let’s see if that affects his play.