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It’s clearly gameweek for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Anniversary 1 antagonism of the 2017 season, acceptation the connected months of overanalyzing offseason workouts and knee-jerk preseason takeaways will anon be replaced with real, allusive games.
Head drillmaster Doug Pederson’s aggregation looked clearly altered than it did some 12 months ago, as he active into his additional year at the captain with a revamped breach and a retooled defense. As such, abounding admirers are assured an uptick in wins from the afterwards 7-9 seasons the Eagles accept acquaint in the aftermost two campaigns.
The agenda in abode will crave a cardinal of players to footfall up and accept huge seasons if the aggregation is activity to argue bottomward the amplitude in a alarming NFC East. But there’s little agnosticism the franchise’s advancement trajectory, headed by quarterback Carson Wentz, promises a ablaze approaching that could activate to booty appearance in the anatomy of playoff berths as anon as this season.
Let’s dive in and booty one final ache at a win-loss anticipation for Philly’s season, activity d by game.
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The schedule-makers weren’t affectionate to the Eagles starting the 2017 season, pitting them adjoin the analysis battling that has accustomed them the best agitation in contempo seasons—on the road, no less.
Philly has absent its aftermost bristles amateur adjoin the Washington Redskins and acquaint a afflicted 1-7 almanac on the alley aftermost season. Obviously, this is a altered Eagles band than aftermost year’s, featuring a added activating breach in particular.
But Washington should be able to abate that, with a much-improved advanced seven that should be one of the toughest tests the Eagles’ abhorrent band will see all season.
To accomplish diplomacy worse, Wentz is acceptable activity to charge some time developing a affinity with new No. 1 wideout Alshon Jeffery, who draws a boxy Anniversary 1 antagonism with Redskins cornerback Josh Norman.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins has a lot to prove in Washington afterwards a adhesive offseason, and he’ll advance his new weapons adjoin a anemic Eagles secondary.
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As advanced stated, the Eagles were abominable on the alley aftermost year. And a brace of abroad matchups adjoin Washington and Kansas City to alpha the analysis is not the ideal adapt to rid their alley woes.
There are audible questions about the Chiefs breach activity into 2017, but they still accept bound end Travis Kelce and wideout Tyreek Hill at the top of their games. A by-committee hasty access with Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West abaft a able O-line will acquiesce Alex Smith to accretion his go-to pass-catchers for key conversions.
This should be a low-scoring activity with the arresting fronts on both abandon dictating play, but the bend goes to a home aggregation that has had affluence of success in such amateur over the aftermost few years.
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The Eagles’ dness will be activated with two boxy alley diplomacy to alpha the analysis slate, but a home opener adjoin one of their best absinthian rivals could be aloof what the doctor ordered to get them aback on track.
Philly and New York breach the analysis alternation aftermost year, and a abeyant 0-2 alpha to 2017 will accept the Eagles atrocious to accomplish up arena in the division.
After adverse two able pass-blocking abhorrent lines, the Birds’ confusing advanced led by Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan will be able to tee off adjoin a hapless Giants O-line that has struggled to assure Eli Manning over the aftermost several seasons.
The Giants accept revamped their accepting bulk aloof like the Eagles, but it won’t bulk aback Philly’s canyon blitz makes it absurd for Manning to accretion the brand of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall consistently. Apprehend amateur Derek Barnett to accept his aboriginal blemish achievement in the team’s aboriginal win.
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Wentz’s new-look breach should be developing a fair bulk of allure by the time they arch to the west bank for their third alley antagonism of the analysis in the Los Angeles Chargers’ new home.
For all the calamity Chargers arresting ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can appoint on defenses, the Eagles should be able to abate that with their aristocratic brace of bookend tackles. If they are kept beneath wraps, Jeffery and Torrey Smith will bout up able-bodied with L.A.’s subpar accessory and acquiesce the by-committee hasty advance to antithesis out the breach for a big day.
On the added side, there’s acumen to be anxious with Philip Rivers casting the brawl adjoin the Eagles’ cornerbacks. But the advanced seven should accumulate Melvin Gordon beneath wraps, authoritative the Chargers breach one dimensional and acceptance Wentz to cull abroad on the scoreboard.
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Teams boasting almighty and activating casual attacks are the ones likeliest to accord the Eagles aegis agitation this season. That makes the Arizona Cardinals one of the teams you don’t appetite to see appear to boondocks as a Philly fan.
Alas, abhorrent authority Bruce Arians and his Cardinals are advancing in Anniversary 5, and it’s acceptable to be a connected day for the Eagles’ secondary. With quarterback Carson Palmer overextension the brawl out to Larry Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown and John Brown, Arizona will accretion the anemic links in the Eagles’ cornerback crew.
Even if corners Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills footfall up big time, active aback David Johnson will be the X-factor and accretion the gaps in the Philly aegis to advance the Cards advanced as Wentz struggles adjoin one of the league’s best secondaries.
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The Panthers are a bigger aggregation than the one that went 6-10 a analysis ago, but their weaknesses are in spots the Eagles will be able to booty abounding advantage of.
To say the Panthers’ canyon aegis didn’t affect in 2016 would be putting it lightly, as alone four teams accustomed added yards per d through the air, per TeamRankings.com. Unlike aftermost season, Wentz has a advanced arrangement of accepting weapons at his auctioning to cleft secondaries that aren’t able to lock things up.
Carolina did able-bodied to defended amateur rusher Christian McCaffrey in the draft, but the Eagles’ stout advanced seven will accomplish it difficult for him to accessible things up on the ground. Philly’s acceleration up advanced will abate the appulse of Cam Newton’s hasty and accomplish him booty affairs bottomward the field, but the Eagles’ accessory will be ready.
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There may not be a aggregation on the slate that the Eagles will be added motivated to exhausted than the Redskins, and that will alone be affronted by a abeyant Anniversary 1 defeat in Washington.
That accepted loss, of course, would accomplish it six losses in a row adjoin their analysis rivals and three beeline defeats for Wentz adjoin a club he’s activity to see alert a year for the blow of his Eagles career. Washington gave Wentz his aboriginal absolutely bad airing of his career in Anniversary 6 of 2016 afore a bigger achievement in Anniversary 14 of 314 yards additionally concluded in defeat.
Assuming the Eagles lose Anniversary 1 in Washington, they’ll accept affluence of band to glance at to bulk out what went wrong. Added importantly, Wentz will accept developed a acceptable bulk of allure with his receivers at this point to advance the Redskins secondary, application his quick absolution and eyes to abate their canyon rush.
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The Eagles don’t get the amusement of adverse one of the league’s cellar-dwelling teams in the aboriginal seven weeks of the season, but that all changes in Anniversary 8 for what should be a biased affair.
The San Francisco 49ers and starting quarterback Brian Hoyer—yes, you apprehend that right—will appear to the City of Brotherly Love, but arresting coordinator Jim Schwartz and his assemblage won’t accept abundant adulation to share. Instead, they’ll be advancing the backfield with regularity and arty their will in a accurate antagonism daydream for the Niners’ abhorrent front.
Teams afterwards a accurate abhorrent character will be no bout for the Eagles this season. It’s adamantine to see how the 49ers will alike blemish double-digit credibility in this one.
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The 2017 Denver Broncos are a far cry from the aggregation which won Super Bowl 50, but they’re still a aggregation that won’t cycle over and will appear into any amphitheater authoritative their adversary acquire aggregate they get.
Denver additionally still boasts one of the league’s best confusing canyon rushes anchored by Von Miller, who will be a altered analysis for the Eagles’ abhorrent line. Fellow arresting end Shane Ray is starting the analysis on afflicted reserve, but the aggregation hopes he’ll acknowledgment the anniversary afore this matchup, per the Broncos’ official site.
By this point in the season, the Eagles will accept a able character on offense, with Wentz accepting developed a affinity with his assembly of wideouts and the by-committee hasty advance award its stride. The aforementioned can’t be accepted of Denver, who starts the analysis with Trevor Siemian at quarterback and struggled to acreage a complete breach with him for the majority of aftermost season.
Expect a knockdown, drag-out activity that goes bottomward to the wire but ends with Wentz’s breach award a way to accomplish a acceptable drive late.
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The Eagles gave the Cowboys fits throughout Dallas’ 13-3 approved analysis in 2016. While that will accord Philly admirers aplomb branch into this season’s series, it additionally guarantees they will face a awful motivated Cowboys team.
There apparently isn’t a added complete football aggregation in the NFC than Dallas, while the Eagles are abiding to still accept some weaknesses in the accessory by midseason. Quarterback Dak Prescott is able of overextension the brawl about to advance that weakness, aptitude on a multi-faceted hasty advance to accumulate Philly on its heels.
It may advice that the Eagles appear into this one off a bye week. But that’s negated by the likelihood Ezekiel Elliott would not alone be aback from his six-game suspension, but any blight that comes from it would be connected gone.
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Considering the Eagles will be entering the dog canicule of their 2017 advance advancing off an active 10 games, they’ll be aggressive to booty it to every adversary that waltzes into Lincoln Financial Field—even if it’s one they baffled a analysis ago.
Philly bedeviled the Chicago Bears at Soldier Acreage on Monday Night Football last season, and the Bears are entering a rebuilding analysis in abounding respects this time around. The Bears aegis that Wentz had his way with in 2016 doesn’t attending too abundant different, and Chicago’s hasty backbone on breach won’t be able at all adjoin the Eagles’ able-bodied advanced four.
It’s gut-check time appear Anniversary 12 if the Eagles are activity to vie for a postseason berth, and they’ll accomplish a account here.
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There’s never a acceptable time for teams to biking to the Pacific Northwest and face the Seahawks in CenturyLink Field. The alpha of a team’s amplitude run to the playoffs is up there on the account of the worst times to visit.
Philly had its easily abounding aftermost analysis in a agnate late-season appointment to Seattle, ultimately accident 26-15. The Seahawks’ accelerated backs ripped afar the Eagles’ advanced in that game. Alike admitting Russell Wilson’s eight rushes alone went for 19 yards, he bent a touchdown canyon and threw for 272 yards.
This time around, the Eagles accept a bigger offense, but the Seahawks should apprehend to accept a convalescent aegis aided by the accretion of Sheldon Richardson in the trenches. Seattle’s concrete accessory is the absolute antagonism to agitate Wentz’s timing and accomplish for addition boxy outing.
These are the types of amateur that will announce whether the Eagles accept arrived. And afterwards this one, it’ll be safe to say they’re not absolutely there yet.
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The attending you see actuality on Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s face may be the one you see aback the Eagles’ bouncy canyon blitz is block him bottomward all day central Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
While some admirers may apprehend a altered Rams aggregation in 2017 beneath arch drillmaster Sean McVay, it’ll become credible that their issues up advanced on breach will authority them aback until they’re fixed.
L.A. did able-bodied to add Sammy Watkins on the alfresco and Todd Gurley is still a force with the rock, but the Rams will still angle no adventitious this analysis adjoin teams with ascendant arresting lines.
This is addition antagonism this analysis in which the Eagles’ arduous aptitude should see them through, alike if the breach finds a way to struggle.
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The Eagles’ alter analysis will ultimately backpack them to an all-important alley activity adjoin the Giants, a aggregation that they can apprehend to be angry in the playoffs standings throughout 2017.
When teams are allusive for postseason spots appear Anniversary 15, it’s added about award means to affectation your weaknesses rather than absolutely acclimation them. Teams can advance their opponents’ anemic spots, but addition out how to absolute their strengths is the aberration amid watching football in January and arena it.
As for the Eagles, their connected accessory woes will be well-documented at this point and the canyon blitz can alone do so abundant to abate it aback the adversary has Beckham Jr. and Marshall to t balls. The Giants may not be able to accumulate a apple-pie abridged for Manning, but he’s accomplished at this point in award means to win amateur in animosity of it.
Veteran players will appear through in this de facto playoff game, and the Giants accept a lot added of that beyond their breach and in the accessory to see it through.
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The Oakland Raiders were one of the NFL’s best absorbing teams throughout aftermost season, up until quarterback Derek Carr suffered a season-ending injury. As connected as he’s advantageous entering this Christmas prime-time matchup, the Eagles will be hard-pressed for victory.
Carr’s adeptness to fit the brawl into bound spaces for his accomplished receivers matches up altogether adjoin the Eagles’ cornerbacks, and bowling-ball aback Marshawn Lynch may be one of the alone rushers in the alliance able of beating through the Eagles’ advanced seven. Aloof as well, the Raiders apply a awful aegis that will accumulate Wentz’s breach one dimensional and accomplish him exhausted them through the air.
Late December is aback playoff teams hit their stride, and Eagles admirers may become more acquainted in this antagonism that there’s alone one of those on the field.
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The Eagles faced the battling Cowboys to aing out the approved analysis aftermost year, but that d became a bit of a ablution as Dallas adequate best of its starters accepting bound up home-field advantage in the NFC playoff race. Like it or not, this analysis may affection a agnate occurrence.
However, that may account the Eagles in a way it didn’t a year ago if they’re allusive for a wild-card playoff spot. A achievement actuality would apparently accord the Eagles a 9-7 record, which may be abundant to get them over the bulge and into the postseason.
Even if the Cowboys still accept article to comedy for and cycle out their starters, apprehend Philly to accept abstruse affluence from the beatdown it took some six weeks above-mentioned in Dallas.
Wentz has the ammunition now to advance the Cowboys’ perceived weakness in the secondary, and a aggregation angry for the playoffs will be absorbed on not authoritative the mistakes that bedevilled them in a midseason affray adjoin the Cowboys in 2016.
All of the antecedent predictions would accept the Philadelphia Eagles finishing with a 9-7 almanac for the 2017 season. That would be a admirable brace of accomplish advanced from aftermost season’s 7-9, while giving the advanced appointment and apprenticeship agents affluence of areas for advance activity into 2018.
And who knows; if the NFC playoff chase all-overs out in a favorable manner, 9-7 aloof ability be abundant to get the Eagles into the postseason.
Final 2017 record: 9-7
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