Training Camp is six weeks away and for every team it is a chance to relax and mentally prepare for the 2015 season.
Chip Kelly is entering his third year as the coach of the Eagles and this is unarguably the most pressure that he has had on him thus far in his early career. Although it is too early to predict anything with much confidence, let's evaluate how good the birds can be this year.
Week 1: @Atlanta Falcons: W
For the second time in the Chip Kelly era the Eagles will start their season on a Monday night away from the Linc. The Eagles have performed well in primetime games in recent years; with a record of 7-3 over the last two seasons.
Philly should win fairly easily because it seems as if they finally have the defense to at least contain explosive options such as Julio Jones. Unfortunately for Atlanta they will open the season against the pre season number one ranked backfield; in 2014 Atlanta was ranked 21st against the run. Eagles will win the way any road team should, controlling the game with the rushing attack and playing good defense.
Week 2: Dallas Cowboys: W
Every Eagles fan waits for the schedule release with severe anticipation so they can run to their calendar and circle when they get to see that one team that the city religiously despises, the Dallas Cowboys.
I want to apologize to all Eagles fans for the nauseating statistic you're about to become familiar with, the Eagles have not beaten the Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field in three long years. Behind the former Cowboy, DeMarco Murray, the Eagles will give Dallas a taste of their 2014 medicine and run it down their throat and finally reward the fans that live to see Dallas lose.
Tempo will play a major role in the victory, as the eagles are fortunate to play Dallas so early in the season. Dallas will not be ready to go up against the fastest team in the NFL, which will have the Eagles at 2-0 for the second straight season.
Week 3: @New York Jets: L
One of the most improved teams this offseason is the New York Jets. Their secondary is revitalized with the same corners that led the Jets to two straight championship appearances. In possibly the biggest steal of the draft Leonard Williams, DT from USC, slipped to the Jets at 6. New York already had a young, ferocious, and talented defensive line, they added to all that while expanding the depth of their team strength. After a couple of exhilarating wins, the Eagles will lose a close game to one of the elite defenses in the NFL.
Week 4: @Washington Redskins W
Last season the Eagles season ended in turmoil that began against Seattle, but it was their division foes that officially eliminated them from playoff contention. Washington upset Philly in a game where DeSean Jackson continued to disrespect his former team. It is hard to believe that has been forgotten.
This team was recently described as "thirsty" by Chip Kelly and if that is so there is no doubt they are waiting to get revenge on Washington. Unlike most divisional games, it is not outrageous to predict a blowout in this revenge game; coming off a loss to New York.
Week 5: New Orleans Saints: W
Last season was not the same because the Saints simply fell off the map. They had struggles defensively and also did not get the same elite production from Drew Brees. Philly will be ready for this matchup. The saints are simply not the same team away from their beloved Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Just as they will be in week 4 against Washington, the Eagles will play with some vengeance as they will face the team that eliminated them from he playoffs in 2013 off of a last second field goal. This year's schedule was set up for the Eagles too face the two teams that eliminated them in the Kelly era in back to back weeks, that motivation should fuel them to two straight wins.
Week 6: New York Giants: W
This game seems to be destined to have a deja vu feeling at the end of it. Last season the Eagles faced the Giants at the Linc on a Sunday night game and embarrassed them 27-0. Philly will again host the Giants early in the season in primetime, this time on a Monday night. However, do not be fooled, this is a much improved Giants team. They will not be held to 0 points; expect it to be a grind out kind of game. Eagles will manage to win this game on the ground facing the 2014 30th ranked rushing defense.
Week 7: @Carolina Panthers: W
The roles of the Panthers and Giants have been reversed. Last season the Eagles blew out the Giants on Sunday night and this year they face them Monday night, the Eagles blew out Carolina on a Monday Night and face them on Sunday night week 7. This time the Eagles will travel to Carolina, and it won't be a walk in the park. Defensively the Panthers are still dangerous, but offensively they can not put up points with the Eagles.
Week 8: BYE
Eagles are 1-1 with Chip Kelly at the helm after bye weeks.
Week 9: @Dallas Cowboys: L
It is very difficult in the NFL to sweep any division rival no matter what the records say. Just look at the recent history. Since 2010 Dallas and Philly have split the season series 1-1 every year besides 2012; when Dallas Swept an Eagles team that was in disarray.
Dallas also has not beaten the Eagles in front of their fans since 2012. The combination of Romo and Bryant will be just enough to even up the season series. Philly had tremendous success defending the Cowboy's rushing attack, but Dez has been an Eagle killer.
Week 10: Miami Dolphins: W
With the signing pf Ndamunkong Suh, the Dolphins defensive line is a force to be wrecking with. They are set up to contain the deepest backfield in the NFL, but this seems to be a game for Bradford and all his weapons to take over.
The Likes of Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, and Zach Ertz have all received high praise this offseason, they will lead the Eagles to this victory over Miami. In 2014 the Miami Dolphins were ranked dead last in the NFL as a offensive line while the Eagles were tied for second in the NFL for most sacks; you can guess why the Eagles may win this game.
Week 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: W
Although the Buccaneers should be much improved with the new face of the franchise, James Winston, looking to transition to the pro game, it would be a surprise if the rookie could go into the Linc and upset the Birds. The Eagles will not blow them out, but they should win without much drama occurring.
Week 12: @Detroit Lions: W
This will be a good game for the Birds to evaluate where they stand 12 weeks through the season. The Lions are no joke, they may very well be a playoff team. Philly will have to find a way to contain Megatron. Detroit is in a similar situation to where the eagles have been as of late, a good team but not a great one.
Philadelphia fans are hopeful this is the year the Eagles take that step to becoming an elite team. They have the honor of playing on thanksgiving for the second straight year, in all likely hood a reward for the display they gave fans last thanksgiving; demoloshing the Cowboys 33-10.
Week 13: @New England Patriots: L
This will be one of the best games of the entire 2015 season, circle Dec 6 on your calendar immediately. It feels as it is almost an impossible task to go into Gillette stadium and walk away victorious. There is some magic in that stadium and Brady and company always seem to miraculously come out on top, regardless of the circumstances.
If this game was scheduled to occur at the Linc it would be a different game. Not to say that this will be a moral victory, because in the NFL a loss is a loss, but the Eagles will stand toe to toe with the champs. Look for this loss to prevail the Eagles start a run that Philadelphia fans hope will last into February.
Week 14:Buffalo Bills: W
Bills fans hope this will be a revenge game for their newly acquired star RB, LeSean McCoy, who everybody knows is biting his nails at the thought of getting back at Chip and the Eagles; just as DeSean Jackson still is.
His negative attitude towards the organization has been displayed via press conferences, where McCoy seems to gain more ignorance by the interview. For example, accusing a coach of being racist when he elected to replace you with not one, but two African American running backs.
Accusing Kelly of factoring race into any of his personal decisions is laughable. McCoy talked himself into a nightmarish week 14; the Eagles will punish McCoy for his ignorance. Buffalo's defense will make it an interesting game.
Week 15: Arizona Cardinals: W
2015 marks the third straight season that the Eagles will face the Cardinals, second time at the Linc. Prior to Carson Palmer unfortunately having his season end due to injury, the Cardinals were viewed as being legitimate Super Bowl Contenders. In 2015 look for the Cardinals to take a step back.
For one who is to say Carson Palmer, who was no star before, will be the same? He is at the ladder portion of his career and injuries have plagued Palmers career. Arizona also lost cornerstone pieces defensively, such as CB Antonio Cromartie and DT Darnell Dockett. Not to mention losing their stout defensive coordinator, Todd Bowels, to the New York Jets.
However, if this game was in Arizona it would be marked as a loss for the Birds.
Week 16: Washington Redskins: W
The Redskins may very well be last in the NFC East in 2015, and a sweep is on the horizon. This new look Eagles team matches up better against Washington's offense compared to past years. Now Philly has cornerbacks who can legitimately play press coverage and will finally shut DeSean Jackson up. Washington does not have the defense to constantly keep Kelly's offense out of the end zone, and from there defense will take care of the rest.
Week 17: @New York Giants: W
This can very easily be trap game for the Birds. Coming off three straight wins and facing the Giants for a second time, but this time in New York. If the Eagles have clinched a specific seeding then the Giants will prevail in this one, but there will almost certainly be something to play for such as home field advantage. Eagles will enter the postseason winning 7 of 8 games and ending their regular season 13-3, the best record they have had since the 04-05 season.
Best Case Scenario
As previously mentioned, do not put much stock into this prediction. It is premature and the lone reason for even attempting to predict what will happen is because there is nothing else to do with training camp being six weeks away.
The 13-3 record prediction probably will not become a reality, as there are always games that will catch you by surprise. This season prediction is based upon no injuries occurring, because one player being absent has potential to be the demise of a team. And for any fans ready to dismiss this prediction as being outrageous, the Eagles were recently ranked as the 6th best roster in the NFL.
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