It never makes sense to predict a season’s outcome as soon as the schedule emerges. Really, it only makes sense after the rosters are set at the end of a training camp.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun — especially when you consider the story lines associated with this year’s 17 Eagles games.
Week 1, at Detroit Lions: W
Nick Sirianni returns to the field where he became an actual football coach. It was in Detroit where Sirianni saved his job, and that of quarterback Jalen Hurts, by abandoning a passing game that Hurts couldn’t handle and leaning on the running game for which the Eagles were built.
Hurts averaged 34 passing attempts in his first 11 starts. He threw it 14 times at Ford Field. The Eagles ran the ball 46 times for 236 yards and four touchdowns against the fifth-worst run defense in the league. It’s hard to say whether the Lions will be any better, but you can bet that the Eagles won’t follow the same and obvious game plan. Sirianni will scheme for Hurts to use weapons A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, Hurts will struggle, center Jason Kelce will go berserk in the locker room at halftime, the Eagles will revert to the run in the second half, and they’ll win by a TD when rookie Jordan Davis strip-sacks Jared Goff and cornerback James Bradberry scoops it and scores as time expires.
Pennsylvania election law is changed, allowing Howie Roseman to become a candidate for governor in November.
Week 2, vs. Minnesota Vikings: W
The Vikings visit on a Monday night, fresh off losing an emotional home opener against the rival Packers in coach Kevin O’Connell’s debut. Darius Slay picks off Kirk Cousins twice in a blowout that leaves Eagles fans delirious.
Week 3, at Washington Commanders: L
The Carson Wentz Revenge tour continues, to the dismay of fans of the Eagles, good karma, and justice. Wentz starts the season by beating Doug Pederson and Jacksonville. He continues with a Week 2 win over Jared Goff, who was picked ahead of him in 2016, has gone to twice as many Pro Bowls, and made it to the Super Bowl — as a player, not a spectator. By Week 3, Wentz is mounting an MVP campaign that continues as Ron Rivera, an excellent defensive mind, eats Sirianni’s lunch.
The Eagles won this matchup twice last season, but the first time the game had to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the Football Team and the second saw Washington ravaged by injury. The Eagles nearly lost Hurts to injury after the game at FedEx Field when a railing collapsed and fans spilled onto the ground at his feet.
The railing has been repaired.
Week 4, vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: W
Doug Pederson returns to Lincoln Financial Field, takes a picture at the statue depicting him, Nick Foles, and the Philly Special, then sees his new, awful ballclub get waxed by an Eagles team still stinging from losing to Wentz the week before.
Pederson leaves Philly having now lost to Wentz in Week 1, former assistant Frank Reich and Foles (now a Colts backup) in Week 2, is still jet-lagged from a loss to the Chargers in Week 3, and he’s wondering why he ever left his fishing boat in Jupiter, Fla.
Week 5, at Arizona Cardinals: W
Without suspended receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Cards start 1-3. Kyler Murray gets Kliff Kingsbury fired after Week 4. The Eagles fly home happy ... until the rumors surface about Kingsbury being Mike McCarthy’s inevitable replacement in Dallas after the season.
Week 6, vs. Dallas Cowboys: W
Week 7, BYE
Week 8, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: W
Coming off a bye and facing the NFL’s worst run defense in 2021 — one that counted on 29-year-old lineman Stephon Tuitt returning from injury, not retiring — the Birds crush what likely will be a 2-5 team and a Hall of Fame coach, Mike Tomlin, conducting an exit tour.
Week 9, at Houston Texans: W
The Texans are counting on defensive back Steven Nelson to help rescue them from 4-13 obscurity. The only thing keeping this from being a three-touchdown laugher is that the Eagles are traveling on a short week.
Week 10, vs. Washington Commanders: W
Wentz’s MVP campaign ends Nov. 14 in Philadelphia. With Fletcher Cox and the fans mocking everything he believes in, from his faith to his firearms, Wentz melts down on the sideline in the second quarter and fails to emerge from the locker room for the second half. He considers retirement on the train ride home.
Week 11, at Indianapolis Colts: L
The pupil (Sirianni) faces the master (Reich) who, with the Chosen One (Foles), proceeds to throw a wrench in the Eagles’ plans to secure the No. 1 seed. By this time, starter Matt Ryan has collapsed, Foles has taken over by Game 6, won against Wentz and Washington and Bill Belichick in New England, and the Hoosiers are chiseling him a new statue.
Week 12, vs. Green Bay Packers: L
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers enter cornered and hungry, a 6-5 team desperate to survive. And they will.
Week 13, vs. Tennessee Titans: L
The Titans traded Brown to the Eagles, then drafted his doppelganger, Treylon Burks, who, 13 weeks into the NFL season, is finally in game shape. He catches nine balls for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Brown gets shut out.
Week 14, at New York Giants: L
New head man Brian Daboll, who will be the coach of the year, has turned Daniel Jones into a Pro Bowl player. After an 8-1 start, the Eagles started smelling themselves, but 30-somethings Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham have started to show their age.
Week 15, at Chicago Bears: W
Between Justin Fields’ issues, a bad offensive line, and a mistake at head coach — they hired Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus — the Bears might go winless.
Week 16, at Dallas Cowboys: W
By this time, the Cowboys have five wins, Jerry Jones has fired McCarthy, promoted offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and is watching games from the Jerry Bus.
Week 17, vs. New Orleans Saints: L
Week 18, vs. New York Giants: W
This game could be for the NFC East, but probably not, because the East will stink again, and 10 wins probably takes it, but an 11th, and good momentum entering the playoffs, is a worthy prize.