Philadelphia Eagles Schedule 2014: Win-Loss Predictions for Every Game
We've known the 13 opponents Philadelphia will face in 2014 since the end of the 2013 regular season, but it doesn't feel real until the full schedule is put into place.
Now that the 2014 regular-season schedule has been announced by the NFL, we have a chance go through and project wins and losses, just as many of us have done since we were in grade school.
Here's a look at Philly's full 17-week schedule, along with analysis and predictions.
Week 1: Eagles vs. Jaguars
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
While the Jaguars were quietly solid on the road last season, posting a 3-5 record outside of Jacksonville, this might not be a good matchup for them. Getting Nick Foles flustered is the key to interrupting the rhythm of Chip Kelly's offense, but the Jags had just 31 sacks last year and lack elite rushers.
And on the other side of the ball, the Jaguars lack the firepower to take advantage of Philadelphia's vulnerable secondary. Nothing's a "gimme" in this league, but the Eagles have no excuse for a loss here.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Jaguars 16
Bonus opponent to open the season. No way the Eagles blow this thing.
Week 2: Eagles at Colts
Kickoff time and network: Monday, Sept. 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Can Philly's vulnerable pass defense slow down Andrew Luck and his stellar group of receivers in what could very well be Luck's breakout season? It won't be easy, but the key is to dial up some pressure against Luck, who completed just 44.1 percent of his passes under duress last season, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). That ranked 22nd among 27 qualifying quarterbacks.
Of course, the problem is that Philly had a sack percentage of just 5.2 last year, ranking last in the NFL. Trent Cole is aging, and the Eagles didn't do much in free agency to improve the pass rush. Maybe the draft will bear fruit in that area, but right now it makes for a poor matchup on that side of the ball.
The good news is that Indy's defense still has its exploitable areas, particularly on the ground. And Kelly's high-octane offense, which led the NFL in rushing last season, could have a chance to do some serious damage, especially on the ground.
On the road, this'll be a tough one, but the running game should keep the Eagles in it.
Prediction: Colts 30, Eagles 23
Tough break with Indy's home opener on prime time.
Week 3: Eagles vs. Redskins
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX
The Eagles swept the season series against Washington last season, badly outplaying Robert Griffin III and the Redskins at the Linc in November. Maybe the 'Skins have improved a bit since then, and maybe they've poached DeSean Jackson from Philly's roster, but the Eagles should still be given an edge in what will inevitably be a close game.
And at home, Philly gets a break because it's so early and the 'Skins could still be adapting to a new offense and coaching staff.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Redskins 24
It only makes sense after Washington feasts on the Jags in Week 2. Jackson could change everything, though.
Week 4: Eagles at 49ers
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Sept. 28 at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX
The only "elite" defense the Eagles had to face on their 2013 playoff run was Arizona. They fared relatively well in that one, with Foles tossing three touchdown passes in a 24-21 victory, but the 49ers were even better than Arizona defensively last season, and Philly has to travel across three time zones for this one.
Philly put up 49 points the one time they had to travel to the west coast with Foles leading the way in 2013, but that was against the Raiders. The point being that there's no real precedent for what they're going to have to deal with against Colin Kaepernick and Co.
The 49ers lost just one home game after Week 3 last year, and that came in a defensive battle against a very strong Panthers team. I won't count Philly out here, but the odds are well out of their favor against such a stout D and a very capable offense.
Prediction: 49ers 24, Eagles 21
Traveling across the country is never easy. The Eagles continue to alternate wins and losses. San Francisco will be coming back home from a toughie in Arizona, though, so we'll keep it close.
Week 5: Eagles vs. Rams
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX
The Rams are sneaky-good on both sides of the ball, especially defense. That's why the Eagles will have trouble pulling away here despite the fact that St. Louis has won just five road games in the last two seasons.
Without DeSean Jackson, it won't be easy to exploit that secondary. Plus, Foles could have trouble with one of only three defenses that recorded 50 sacks last season. And the Rams defense is also stellar against the run, so Kelly might not be able to resort to the ground game all day.
Prediction: Rams 20, Eagles 17
Sam Bradford isn't necessarily going to have his way with the Philly defense, but he might be able to do just enough while the Rams thwart the Eagles on the other side of the ball.
Week 6: Eagles vs. Giants
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Oct. 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC
The Eagles won't get swept by the Giants. They're too mentally tough, and they'll find a way to use their running game to exploit a vulnerable front seven. Plus, while Foles will be facing a much better secondary, he might have more room to breathe, considering New York's inability to bring heat the last couple years.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 23
I don't think the Eagles drop back-to-back home games. This is a mentally tough squad.
The Eagles lost six straight games following their bye in 2012, but they won four of the next five in the same situation in 2013. Dating all the way back to 1999, they've gone 14-1 in the week immediately following a bye.
Week 8: Eagles at Cardinals
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Oct. 26 at 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX
Philly edged the Cardinals last December, but that was at the Linc and the Eagles were coming off their bye week. This is a road game against a team that went 6-2 at home last season and has the firepower on offense, as well as the discipline on defense, to control the Eagles on both sides of the ball.
Yet, once again, the Eagles are coming off their bye week.
More good news is that they really didn't need much from DeSean Jackson (three catches, 36 yards) to beat Arizona in an important game last season. Obviously, they won't have Jackson at all here, so it'll still be real tough to win this one. The Eagles make their money running, but the Arizona defense ranked second in the league, allowing only 3.7 yards per carry last season.
Prediction: Eagles 23, Cardinals 20
This is truly a toss-up, but we'll give Chip Kelly the benefit of the doubt with two weeks to prepare for a familiar foe.
Week 9: Eagles at Texans
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Obviously, the Texans are still a bit of a mystery at this point. We don't know who'll be running things under center, but that beatable Philadelphia secondary could be in trouble if somebody half-capable is throwing passes to Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins in this matchup.
Plus, don't forget that Foles is vulnerable in the pocket and the Texans have a superb front seven, led by the game's best defensive player in J.J. Watt.
Maybe Houston will have another down year, in which case the Eagles should be the favorite here. But even if the Texans don't immediately regain their magic from 2012, this is a road game in which Kelly's squad will have to be sharp.
Prediction: Texans 24, Eagles 23
Back-to-back road games is never an easy feat, especially with long plane rides. Plus, the Texans might be more settled with whoever their new quarterback is at this point.
Week 10: Eagles vs. Panthers
Kickoff time and network: Monday, Nov. 10 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
The Panthers are scary on paper after a lights-out 2013 season on defense, and Cam Newton is always going to be a challenge. But Newton doesn't exactly have a lot of weapons right now, that D lost Mike Mitchell and Captain Munnerlyn in the offseason and they still lost a pair of big divisional games on the road in December.
This is a young team that didn't have a good offseason, so the Eagles have to find a way to get the victory at the Linc. The good news is they should match up well defensively, as that front seven has the ability to limit Newton underneath and the Panthers don't have elite receivers to hit the secondary with. And on offense, they should be able to get the ball moving against a run defense that was slaughtered by the Saints and Jets last December.
Prediction: Eagles 27, Panthers 16
The Eagles cruise to get back on track at home.
Week 11: Eagles at Packers
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX
Throw out that 2013 victory over Green Bay because the Packers didn't have Aaron Rodgers. This secondary still has a long way to go, and there's a realistic chance they get lit up this time around by a healthy Rodgers.
Last year was a mess because of the Rodgers injury, but between 2010 and 2012, Green Bay was 22-2 in regular-season home games. So Philly could be in big trouble here, especially if Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers can dial it up for plenty of pressure on Foles.
Prediction: Packers 38, Eagles 24
This is an expected loss on the road on a short week.
Week 12: Eagles vs. Titans
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Led by Jurrell Casey and Akeem Ayers, the Titans were quietly solid in run defense last year, which could give them a fighting chance on the road in Philadelphia. Sure, they lost Alterraun Verner in the defensive backfield, but at least Philly is still a run-first team that is lacking top 2013 weapon DeSean Jackson.
I don't expect the Tennessee offense to light up the scoreboard or take advantage of Philly's so-so secondary, but if Jake Locker happens to be on his game, he could do just enough to keep the Titans in this thing.
Prediction: Eagles 26, Titans 23
Nick Foles won't be pressured by a mediocre pass rush. That's the difference in a closer-than-expected game.
Week 13: Eagles at Cowboys
Kickoff time and network: Thursday, Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX
The Eagles were extremely fortunate to sneak past a limping Dallas team on the road in the 2013 regular-season finale, winning by only two points. Assuming the Cowboys have their franchise quarterback healthy for this one, they should have an edge in an attempt to split the season series.
These teams aren't far apart, and it makes it easier on the Cowboys that they won't have to deal with DeSean Jackson, even though Jackson failed to do much in those two 2013 meetings.
Only four of the last six meetings between these teams have been one-score games, but this certainly feels as though it'll come down to the final possession in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Cowboys 28, Eagles 21
Dallas always rises to the occasions on Thanksgiving. Tough road matchup on a very short week.
Week 14: Eagles vs. Seahawks
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Dec. 7 at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX
At least the Eagles draw the defending Super Bowl champions in Philadelphia, as opposed to on the road. Seattle is virtually unbeatable in the Pacific Northwest, and that scary defense will already be making life difficult for the still-fresh Nick Foles and a receiving corps that is less dangerous without DeSean Jackson.
But this could be a winnable game for Philadelphia because that defense has the ability to contain Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch underneath and the secondary, while vulnerable, might not be overwhelmed by a receiving corps that isn't exactly elite.
Prediction: Eagles 20, Seahawks 17
Seattle might be exhausted crossing the country after a road game with the tough 49ers. We're rolling the dice on an upset.
Week 15: Eagles vs. Cowboys
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Dec. 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC
The Eagles had a lot of trouble with Dallas at home last year, falling 17-3 in Nick Foles' worst start as a pro. Foles got better from that point forward, though, and that performance might have been an anomaly from a Cowboys defense that did little to improve while losing DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher in the offseason.
The Eagles picked up momentum at home during the second half of the 2013 campaign, so they should still have an edge here despite not having DeSean Jackson.
Prediction: Cowboys 30, Eagles 27
Still, we're going with Dallas. Mainly because this is the wacky NFC East. But also because we can see Philly coming back to earth after the Seattle upset, and the Cowboys will also have extra time to prepare coming out of a Thursday night game in Chicago.
Week 16: Eagles at Redskins
Kickoff time and network: Saturday, Dec. 20 at 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS
The 'Skins only won three games last year, while the Eagles won 10 and the division. But this is the NFC East, and so nobody is expecting Philly to run away with a road matchup in D.C. Robert Griffin III is expected to be healthier, Jay Gruden's offense should be invigorated and DeSean Jackson can be used as a weapon against his former team.
In Washington two years ago, the 'Skins crushed the Eagles 31-6. This Philly team is a lot better than that one, but this 'Skins team might be a lot better than the one that nearly beat the Eagles at home in last year's opener.
Prediction: Redskins 27, Eagles 23
I could see a fired up D-Jax thriving off the home crowd here in what is essentially a prime-time matchup. They'll split the season series.
Week 17: Eagles at Giants
Kickoff time and network: Sunday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX
It's extremely hard to draw from what happened when these teams split last year's season series because Nick Foles didn't start either game for the Eagles. Foles led Philly to victory in relief of Michael Vick at MetLife Stadium in October, but he wasn't dressed when Matt Barkley struggled badly in a New York victory at Lincoln Financial Field later that month.
Plus, the Eagles no longer have DeSean Jackson, who had 15 catches and 195 yards against the Giants last season. New York's improved secondary shouldn't have too much trouble with that receiving corps, and Eli Manning could have more room to work thanks to a bolstered offensive line.
In other words, who knows? In that case, it's safe to go with the Giants at home in what should be a split season series.
Prediction: Giants 30, Eagles 23
The Eagles have won six of their last seven games against the Giants in New York, but that strong secondary could make things tough on a receiving corps that lacks Jackson.
Final record: 7-9
That's a prediction based on game-by-game analysis, which could differ from something broader, especially later this summer when more has transpired on and off the practice field.
That said, we're just not feeling it right now for Philadelphia. Maybe they'll prove us wrong with the Jackson release, but we can see them really missing him in some of these games. And finishing with back-to-back divisional road games could be a killer.