By Thomas Brown
The 2020 NFL season is quickly approaching! The regular-season schedule for your reigning NFC East champions is now set. In this article, I will cover the Eagles‘ new foes and make predictions for the season. So, let’s get right into it!
Week 1: At Washington Redskins
The Redskins are still in rebuilding mode. However, it is essential to note that Washington still has playmakers on both sides of the football. On defense, they drafted DE Chase Young to wreak havoc with the rest of their front four. On offense, they have WR Terry McLaurin for others to worry about with his deep threat ability. Even with the Redskins’ talent, the Eagles have too much offensive firepower for Washington’s defense to withstand.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Redskins, 35-20
Week 2: Vs. Los Angeles Rams
Despite the off-season departures, the Rams are still formidable. With the pairing of Jared Goff and Sean McVay, the ability to put up points is not an issue. Their defense has some holes to fill, but CB Jalen Ramsey can still shut down one side of the field on his own. This game will come down to one possession where the Rams will pull out the nail-biter.
Prediction: Rams Beat Eagles, 27-24
Week 3: Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The number one overall pick, Joe Burrow, is coming to town. He is surrounded by talent on offense with Green and Mixon (when healthy). The Bengals defense improved slightly through free agency with the additions of S Vonn Bell, CB Trae Waynes, and DT DJ Reader. In this game, the Eagles’ defense has the opportunity to outshine their offense. The Eagles are at home for this game, which helps.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Bengals, 31-13
Week 4: At San Francisco 49ers
Philadelphia visits the reigning NFC champions in this prime-time matchup. The 49ers are still lethal offensively despite the departure of WR Emmanuel Sanders. Their defense is still one of the best in the NFL despite the departure of DE DeForest Buckner. This game will be a shootout where it ends in a costly Jimmy Garoppolo interception.
Prediction: Eagles Beat 49ers, 42-35
Week 5: At Pittsburgh Steelers
The Eagles continue their road trip, visiting the Steelers. With the return of QB Ben Roethlisberger, coach Mike Tomlin does not have to change his offense around (barring injury). Offensively, their aging offensive line can be troublesome by keeping Roethlisberger upright. RB James Conner is still improving as a top back. WR Juju Smith-Schuster has some help with Diontae Johnson and their second-round draft pick, Chase Claypool. Their defense is still ascending with the continued emergence of LB T.J. Watt. However, the Eagles will keep their momentum from week four and get the win. This game showcases the Eagles offense and Wentz’s ability to spread the football around. At least five Eagles receivers will have five or more catches in this bout.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Steelers, 38-23
Week 6: Vs. Baltimore Ravens
The birds come back to their home field to face the reigning AFC North champions. The Ravens improved on both offense and defense through the draft. Offensively, they selected RB J.K. Dobbins, WR Devin Duvernay, and WR James Proche to provide more weapons for Lamar Jackson. Defensively, they selected arguably the best linebacker of the draft in Patrick Queen. Baltimore kept its roster intact and improved a dangerous team. This game is going to come down to a one-possession where Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens on a winning drive.
Prediction: Ravens Beat Eagles, 28-21
Week 7: Vs. New York Giants
The New York Giants are visiting the Eagles for this prime0time matchup. New York is still in rebuilding mode with the new coaching staff at every position, a rookie head coach, and an average at best defense. Their offense, however, cannot be ignored. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram can put up points with anyone. However, the Eagles can have an advantage at home.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Giants, 38-17
Week 8: Vs. Dallas Cowboys
We are halfway through the season, and the Eagles have an upcoming week nine bye. Dallas stockpiled firepower offensively with their first-round draft selection of WR CeeDee Lamb. They will miss CB Byron Jones on defense. They still have a looming issue with QB Dak Prescott’s contract. With this prime-time matchup being in Philadelphia, the Eagles go into the bye week with another win.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Dallas, 24-14
Week 9: Bye Week
The Eagles record to this point of the season is 6-2.
Week 10: At New York Giants
The good guys visit the Giants for their second divisional matchup well-rested from the bye. The Giants will score in garbage time to make the score look better. This game is an opportunity for the Eagles’ defense to shine by holding Saquon Barkley to less than 75 yards rushing and sacking Daniel Jones four times.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Giants, 34-10
Week 11: At Cleveland Browns
The Eagles continue their road trip as they face the Browns. The Browns have a new head coach in Kevin Stefanski. Cleveland’s front office provided more weapons and protection for QB Baker Mayfield. In the draft, they selected OT Jedrick Wills Jr to guard Mayfield. The Browns offense still has many talents, including Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, and David Njoku, to name a few. This game will bring the Eagles’ defense back down after their performance against the Giants. This shootout will come down to the Eagles defense struggling to stop the Browns’ rushing attack late in the 4th quarter.
Prediction: Browns Beat Eagles, 42-35
Week 12: Vs. Seattle Seahawks
The rematch of the 2019 NFC Wild Card game is upon us! For the Eagles, it’s an opportunity to get revenge. For the Seahawks, this game is an opportunity to prove that their win in last season’s wild-card game was no fluke. The Seahawks have a reputation for turning their performance up during the late season. However, the significant issue for the Seahawks is DE Jadeveon Clowney and his decision to return to the team or not. This game will be decided in the trenches.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Seahawks, 27-17
Week 13: At Green Bay Packers
It is now the month of December, where the weather becomes a much more significant factor. The Packers went through the draft providing nothing except future competition for QB Aaron Rodgers. That competition is the Packers’ first-round draft selection, QB Jordan Love. However, Green Bay still has one of the best receivers with WR Davante Adams. RB Aaron Jones is underrated and can be useful in the running game. Their defense is improving as they gain more experience. This game will be a test on how to minimize the production of both Rodgers and Adams.
Prediction: Packers Beat Eagles, 31-27
Week 14: Vs. New Orleans Saints
Former Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins returns to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since signing with the Saints. New Orleans acquired yet another weapon for QB Drew Brees in free agency with WR Emmanuel Sanders. Their tools on offense are even the scariest that Brees has ever worked with, including Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Alvin Kamara, Taysom Hill, and Jared Cook. Their defense is still one of the best with DeMario Davis and Cameron Jordan leading the way. However, this game will be in Philadelphia. The Saints struggle to win on the road in December. This game will come down to Carson Wentz and the Eagles completing a comeback to beat the Saints on the winning drive.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Saints, 49-42
Week 15: At Arizona Cardinals
The flock visits the new-look Cardinals in this matchup. Arizona made the heist of the offseason. The Houston Texans traded WR DeAndre Hopkins to Phoenix for a 2nd and 4th round draft picks along with RB David Johnson. Sophomore QB Kyler Murray now has more weapons, including DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Kenyan Drake, Andy Isabella, and Hakeem Butler. They also improved their defense by drafting LB Isaiah Simmons eighth overall. The Eagles defense struggles to keep up with Arizona’s impressive offense.
Prediction: Cardinals Beat Eagles, 30-17
Week 16: At Dallas Cowboys
The birds are heading to Dallas for this divisional matchup. The Cowboys are a tough team for the Eagles to beat late in the season. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallop, and CeeDee Lamb will be feared offensively. On the defensive side of the ball, they still have playmakers that can alter momentum in any game. Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, and Leyton Vander-Esch fit in that category. However, the Cowboys defense will miss the services of CB Byron Jones. This game will display the deep threat ability of the Eagles receivers and the rest of the offense.
Prediction: Eagles Beat Cowboys, 24-13
Week 17: Vs. Washington Redskins
The flying terrors close out the regular season at home, playing yet another division rival. This game is heavily dependent on playoff scenarios. Before this game, the Eagles have clinched the division. The questions to look for in this game would be: should they rest their starters for the postseason? Should the starters play throughout? That is something that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson should consider.
Prediction: Redskins Beat Eagles, 27-14
The Eagles finish the 2020 regular season with a record of 10-6