The Eagles kick off their schedule with an NFC East battle at home against the Redskins.
The Eagles have won their last four games between the two. After this game, they won’t face Washington again until Week 15.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (0-0)
Weird things happen opening day. There are always upsets. There are always surprises. Good teams often don’t know they’re good yet, and bad teams never realize they’re bad yet. There are new coaches, new players, new schemes, teams just trying to figure out who they are, and it’s by far the most unpredictable week of the season. No wonder every Knockout Pool loses so many people on the first day of the season. That said, the Eagles aren’t losing this game. Doug Pederson owns this team. The Eagles have won four straight over the Skins by an average of 29-13 and that seems about right to me. The Eagles are just better. If they play poorly, they’ll lose. But if they just play average they’ll win. If they play well, they’ll win by three touchdowns.
Eagles 29, Redskins 13
Dave Zangaro (0-0)
In Doug Pederson’s first season, the Eagles actually lost both games to Washington, but since then they’re 4-0 against the Redskins and have beaten them by an average of 15.5 points per game. There’s no way they lose this game. Maybe they start slow on offense against a good Washington front seven, but Case Keenum won’t be able to put up points and eventually, the Eagles won’t have any problem doing so.
I think it’s going to be a fun home opener at the Linc. Carson Wentz has a big day and this season starts off with an easy win.
Eagles 31, Redskins 16
Derrick Gunn (0-0)
Finally, some meaningful football to talk about. Finally, this Eagles team can unleash its offensive fury. Carson Wentz is healthy. DeSean Jackson is back in the fold. Dallas Goedert is a year older, and a year wiser. Darren Sproles just can’t stay retired, and that’s OK. Doug Pederson has an embarrassment of riches in offensive weapons at his disposal. All training camp, the Birds have talked about unfinished business and playing with a chip on their shoulders. Sunday, we get our first sample of what they will look like.
As for the Redskins, their defensive personnel is sound, but offensively they have a lot of question marks. Can new QB Case Keenum play like he did a few years ago? Can second-year RB Derrius Guice, who lost his rookie season to an ACL tear, be that thumper in the run game? And who will be the Skins’ reliable target in the passing game? The Linc will be rocking and the Eagles will roll to their first win of the season.
Eagles 24, Redskins 13
Ray Didinger (0-0)
The Eagles are the biggest Week 1 betting favorite. The line got up to 9½ points this week, which is a lot of points, especially for a regular season opener. Historically, underdogs are the better bet in Week 1. The good teams don't always start fast. Sometimes they sputter early in the season before hitting their stride. I have a feeling the Eagles could be a little slow coming out of the gate considering how little the offensive stars played in the preseason.
That combined with an underrated Washington defense could keep this game closer than people expect. The Redskins don't have much in the way of firepower and losing left tackle Trent Williams is a major blow so I don't look for them to put up many points. The Eagles' defense will keep the visitors in check long enough for Carson Wentz to get it cranked up and send the fans home happy.
Eagles 23, Redskins 16
Andrew Kulp (0-0)
Trent Williams and Jordan Reed: probably out for Washington. Case Keenum, Ereck Flowers and Wendell Smallwood: in! The Eagles might be prone to a slow start after Carson Wentz skipped the entire preseason, but can afford it against an offense with little firepower. By midway through the third quarter, the game should be getting out of hand, and by the fourth, Dwayne Haskins is making his NFL debut.
Big games for DeSean Jackson and Zach Ertz, and the final score a nod to Keenum's last trip to Philly.
Eagles 38, Redskins 7
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