Eagles 2018 schedule highlighted by playoff rematches, trip to London

Eagles 2018 schedule highlighted by playoff rematches, trip to London

Forget that report that had the Eagles opening up their season against the Vikings in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game. 

You’ll have to settle for a divisional round rematch. 

Because the Eagles will kick off the 2018 regular season on Thursday, Sept. 6, when they host the Falcons for an 8:20 p.m. kickoff. The Eagles beat the Falcons, 15-10, back on Jan. 13 in the divisional round at the Linc. The Falcons were one play away from taking down the eventual Super Bowl champs. Now, they’ll have to watch them raise the banner (see breakdown, part 1)

That game is one of five primetime games on the Eagles’ schedule in 2018 after they also played five in 2017. 

The others: Oct. 11 at the Giants (Thursday night), Nov. 11 vs. Dallas (Sunday night), Dec. 3 vs. Washington (Monday night), Dec. 16 at the Rams (Sunday night). 

Instead of playing the Vikings in the opener, the Eagles won’t host them until Week 5. If Minnesota really wants to see that banner, it’ll still be hanging. 

The big trip for the Eagles this season will be to London to face the Jaguars on Oct. 28. The game will kick off at 9:30 a.m. EST from Wembley. It’s a home game for the Jaguars. As expected, the Eagles have a bye week in Week 9 after the London game. And coming off the bye week, they won't play until Sunday night at home. That's a long layoff (see breakdown, part 2).  

That Sunday night game will be against a division rival. This year, the Eagles will host the Sunday Night Football game against the Cowboys. In the past few years, the game in Dallas has been a Sunday night game. The game in Dallas is a late afternoon kickoff this year. 

The Eagles will finish off their schedule in Washington. 

Here’s the full schedule: 

Week 1 — vs. ATL on Sept. 6 at 8:20 p.m. 
Week 2 — at TB on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. 
Week 3 — vs. IND on Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.
Week 4 — at TEN on Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.
Week 5 — vs. MIN on Oct. 7 at 4:25 p.m.
Week 6 — at NYG on Oct. 11 at 8:20 p.m.
Week 7 — vs. CAR on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.
Week 8 — at JAX (in London) on Oct. 28 at 9:30 a.m. 
Week 9 — BYE
Week 10 — vs. DAL on Nov. 11 at 8:20 p.m.
Week 11 — at NO on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.
Week 12 — vs. NYG on Nov. 25 at 1 p.m.
Week 13 — vs. WAS on Dec. 3 at 8:15 p.m.
Week 14 — at DAL on Dec. 9 at 4:25 p.m.
Week 15 — at LAR on Dec. 16 at 8:20 p.m.
Week 16 — vs. HOU on Dec. 23 at 1 p.m.
Week 17 — at WAS on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m.

And the preseason schedule: 

Week 1 — vs. PIT
Week 2 — at NE
Week 3 — at CLE
Week 4 — vs. NYJ

Eagles-Panthers NFL Week 7 predictions

Eagles-Panthers NFL Week 7 predictions

The Eagles (3-3) are hosting the Panthers (3-2) at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon. 

This is a big test for both teams. 

To the predictions: 

Reuben Frank (4-2)
It’s hard to get too excited about a win over the Giants team that barely put up a fight. It was good to see the Eagles score early and finish a team off, but the Eagles still don’t have that signature win that tells you they’re a serious contender. They have wins over the 1-5 Giants, 1-5 Colts and 2-4 Falcons. Combined record 4-14. A win over a decent Panthers team Sunday would be the first indication this year that this Eagles team is capable of beating a winning team. It would give the Eagles back-to-back wins for the first time and get them back over .500. 

Cam Newton is always tough to defend, but I like the matchup. The Eagles generally play well against Newton and I like their chances at home. If they can get past the Panthers and then get out of London with a win over the Jaguars and find their way to 5-3 at the midway point and the bye week then we can start thinking that maybe the Eagles have something going on. I think this will be another one of those ugly difficult games, but when all is said and done …

Eagles 20, Panthers 16

Dave Zangaro (1-5) 
I have somehow become the Giants of our predictions and my season is spiraling out of control. I got too cute last week and tried to pick the Giants because I’m an idiot. 

I look at this game against Carolina as a pretty good test for the Eagles. If they slow down Newton and Christian McCaffrey, they win this game. Newton hasn’t played well against the Eagles in his career and I expect that to continue Sunday afternoon. I’m expecting a big-time performance from this defense, even with their issues in the secondary.

And offensively, Carson Wentz has gotten better in every game he’s played this season. He’s pretty much back to MVP-level Carson Wentz. I’ll take that guy to get a win. 

Eagles 27, Panthers 19

Derrick Gunn (2-4) 
When I look at the Panthers, I see a competitive team but not an upper-echelon squad. They needed a prayer of a 63-yard field goal to beat a Giants team the Eagles thoroughly dismantled, and they lost a game this past Sunday to the Redskins they should have won. You’re not going to stop McCaffrey from getting his touches, but the Eagles have to make sure they keep him in front of them. Devin Funchess is their headliner pass catcher, but TE Greg Olsen is back from a foot injury and is a handful. The Panthers also have a pair of young speedsters at WR in Curtis Samuel and first-round pick DJ Moore. Carolina’s defensive front is huge, but their defense overall is average. The Eagles can run on them and have success through the air.       

The Eagles have concerns about their bookend Pro Bowl tackles Jason Peters (biceps tear) and Lane Johnson (high ankle sprain), but both will give it a go. The Eagles’ passing game should be able to find success in the middle of the field, and hopefully, Doug Pederson will stay committed to the run game to help keep pressure off Wentz. This is a game where the winner can send a message to the rest of the NFC about where they are at a squad. 

Eagles 28, Panthers 20

Ray Didinger (3-3) 
Any scouting report on Carolina begins with Newton. He is the key to that team. If you catch him on one of his good days, look out because he can take over a game with his legs as well as his arm. If you're lucky, you'll get the bad Newton where he is spraying the ball all over the field and running in circles.

The Panthers fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula after last season because they felt Newton was trending in the wrong direction. They replaced him with Norv Turner, who had success calling plays for quarterbacks like Troy Aikman and Phillip Rivers. While Turner has improved Newton's completion percentage (65.9 percent), it is with a lot of short underneath throws (6.8 yards per attempt) so Newton isn't hitting as many big plays as he once did.

When Jim Schwartz's defense has struggled this season, it has been in giving up big plays, but since Newton isn't airing it out these days, all the Eagles have to do is clamp down on the dink and dunk stuff -- McCaffrey mostly -- for a big home win.

Eagles 27, Panthers 20

Andrew Kulp (3-3) 
For the second week in a row, I'm going with my gut, which is telling me the Eagles are still a superior team. They also took two of three from the Panthers over the previous four seasons, suggesting they match up well.

The defense is perfectly capable of containing Newton. It's just a question of which offense shows up for the Eagles. Injuries to Jason Peters and Lane Johnson along the offensive line are certainly concerning, especially against a quality Panthers front, but I believe those guys will find a way.

Eagles 27, Panthers 17

Corey Seidman (2-4) 
It feels like the Eagles have faced the Panthers every year of Newton's career.

This is not the same Carolina defense we became accustomed to the last several years. The Panthers' D has been bad on the road and has struggled to cover tight ends in any location. Tight ends have scored against the Panthers in three of their last four games, with Austin Hooper, Tyler Eifert, C.J. Uzomah, Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed all having good games.

If the Panthers overcorrect to try to stop Zach Ertz, it will mean a big day for one of the Eagles' receivers, perhaps Nelson Agholor in the slot.

Defensively, I trust the Eagles at home more than I trust Cam Newton and all the throws he sails.

Eagles 27, Panthers 17

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Arguing about Power Rangers with Eagles’ Brandon Brooks

AP Images

Arguing about Power Rangers with Eagles’ Brandon Brooks

Each week, we try to go through the Eagles' media guide, pull out one interesting factoid and ask a player about it. 

Since Halloween is rapidly approaching, I figured I’d add a theme to this week’s chat. 

That backfired. 

DZ: It says your favorite Halloween costume of all time was the Black Ranger from the Power Rangers. Is that true? 

Brandon Brooks: That wasn’t my favorite Halloween costume. They asked me what my favorite Power Ranger was growing up. 

DZ: Oh, OK. How about Halloween costumes? Did you have a favorite one? 

BB: I never really dressed up. I mean, I did when I was a little kid, but by the time I was 8 or 9 … 

DZ: OK, let’s talk about Power Rangers then. 

BB: (laughing) All right. 

DZ: I was a big fan too. I wore the costume for Halloween. I was the Green Ranger before he turned into the White Ranger. Remember that? 

BB: Well, he was the Red Ranger and then he turned into the White Ranger. 

DZ: No, no, no, no, no, no. The Green Ranger turned into the White Ranger, right?

BB: I’m pretty positive, man. The reason I say that was because the White Ranger was the leader of the group. And prior to that, the Red Ranger was. 

DZ: I thought … well, who was the Green Ranger then? 

BB: You had the Yellow and the Pink were the two girls. A black, a blue and then the head guy. There was always five of them.

DZ: There was a Green Ranger though. I know there was a Green Ranger because I was it for Halloween one year. Did my mom just make up a Ranger? 

BB: I don’t know, man. (Looking around) Who else is old enough to watch? Nigel, you watch Power Rangers as a kid? 

Nigel Bradham: Not really, man. 

BB: Oh, man. I’m trying to figure out who was old enough to know. 

DZ: I’ll figure it out. 

NB: That wasn’t really our era. 

BB: Power Rangers? 

NB: That was our era? 

BB: Yeah, I watched it all the time!

DZ: Nigel, how old are you? 

NB: I’m 29. 

BB: Yeah, we’re the same age. 

DZ: Yeah, I’m 30. 

BB: Damn, you’re 30!

DZ: (Saddened) Yeah, I’m 30. 

NB: You’re only 30?!

DZ: Only 30!

NB: Oh… you’re young. I thought you was older than that. 

So after we wrapped up the conversation, WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks came over and confirmed my belief that the Green Ranger did indeed turn into the White Ranger. 

Later in the day, I tried to do some quick internet searches and I have no idea how we watched this show as kids. I’m so confused. What I figured out was that Tommy Oliver was the Green Ranger and then became the White Ranger. But the White Ranger replaced the Red Ranger as the leader of the group. So we were both kind of right. And, apparently, I’m old.

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