The Eagles (1-1) are hosting the Colts (1-1) at Lincoln Financial Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
This will be the return of Carson Wentz, who tore his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 and has waited 9½ months to return.
Everyone picked the Eagles last week. Everyone was wrong.
Here are our (cough) expert predictions:
Reuben Frank (1-1)
It’s been so long since Carson Wentz has lost a game at the Linc that last time it happened, one of his leading receivers was Jordan Matthews, who has since changed teams three times and is now back with the Eagles. That was 21 months ago and it was 27-22 to the Redskins. Since then, Wentz is 8-0 at home and 13-3 overall, and the Eagles have won 12 straight meaningful home games. Those streaks are not going to end this weekend. Wentz will come back and immediately be the Carson Wentz we’re used to seeing, and this Eagles defense will rebound from a shaky afternoon down in Tampa with a dominating performance against a Colts offense that certainly looks better under new head coach Frank Reich, but has yet to record an offensive play longer than 26 yards this year and has scored only 14 second-half points so far. I like the Eagles to bounce back from that loss in Tampa with a 27-14 win over the Colts Sunday at the Linc.
Eagles 27, Colts 14
Dave Zangaro (0-2)
I need a W. And I’m not about to pick against Carson Wentz and the Eagles at home. I know Wentz might be rusty. I know he has a depleted group of receivers and running backs. And I know the Colts look like an improving team. But the Eagles don’t lose at home. And they’re not going to lose to this team at home.
It might take Wentz some time to get cooking, but he’s going to get it going in this game. He’s a game-changer. Oh, the defense is going to show up on Sunday too.
Eagles 24, Colts 13
Derrick Gunn (1-1)
The franchise is back!!! It’s been a long time coming, but Carson Wentz has been given the green light to get back under center. But who is he throwing to? We know Nelson Agholor is one for sure. But how much can recently-signed Jordan Matthews add to the mix if he’s activated? Shelton Gibson and Kamar Aiken will have to be more productive. The running back situation is also iffy. Jay Ajayi (back) and Darren Sproles (hamstring) are out, so Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and recently-activated rookie Josh Adams will have to carry the load. The Eagles’ defense needs to redeem itself after a rough outing in Tampa.
The Colts come in riding a stunning win at Washington. Andrew Luck has completed 71 percent of his passes but has no completion longer than 26 yards. Keep an eye on Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard. He had 18 tackles against the 'Skins and leads the league with 28.
It will be an interesting chess match between Frank Reich and Doug Pederson. Because Pederson is further along into his offense than Reich, I’m giving Doug the home-field advantage.
Eagles 24, Colts 17
Ray Didinger (1-1)
Frank Reich is already making a difference with the Indianapolis Colts. With the former Eagles coach calling the shots, the Colts’ offense is more imaginative and the quicker tempo suits quarterback Andrew Luck, who is completing 71 percent of his pass attempts. More importantly, Luck is not getting hit as much, which means he may make it through this season in one piece. That hasn't happened in a very long time.
Reich and Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz know each other very well so this will be a fascinating chess match. The Eagles’ defensive line, which did a good job pressuring Atlanta's Matt Ryan (four sacks, 13 hits), was a non-factor Sunday in Tampa Bay where Ryan Fitzpatrick was allowed to stand in the pocket and pick them apart. That has to change this week or Luck will pick up where Fitzpatrick left off.
Everyone is expecting Carson Wentz to perform miracles in his first game back but it is more likely he will need a little time to regain his rhythm, especially with so many skill position players on the shelf. It may be a struggle early but the Eagles just don't lose at home.
Eagles 28, Colts 17
Andrew Kulp (1-1)
Amid all this talk about Carson Wentz possibly being rusty in his return, or struggling because of all the injuries to the Eagles offense, I am reminded of his NFL debut. After missing most of the preseason and training camp, with few legitimate weapons around him, Wentz came out in his first game and threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns in a win. I don't worry about him. He's ready to go, and he's the type of quarterback who elevates the talent around him.
I don't worry about the Eagles' defense at home, either. The Colts still don't have much of a ground attack, which means it should fall on Andrew Luck to move the football. While Luck is more than capable of winning games on his own (or he was at least), I suspect he'll be under quite a bit of duress missing his left tackle (Anthony Costanzo), and possibly his favorite target, too (T.Y. Hilton). Even if Wentz is a little rusty, the D should bail him out.
Eagles 26, Colts 10
Corey Seidman (0-2)
For you bettors out there, this is a stay-away game for me. Need to first see what Carson Wentz looks like in game action.
I do, however, expect the Eagles’ defense to roll in this game, forcing multiple turnovers and sacking Andrew Luck at least twice. The Colts have never been able to protect Luck. Indy has one of the league’s weakest ground attacks.
T.Y. Hilton worries me because he provides everything DeSean Jackson does and a little more. The Eagles couldn’t contain D-Jax last Sunday. But it’ll take more than one deep ball to Hilton to beat this Birds team.
Eagles 30, Colts 17