Win-Loss Predictions for Rest of Philadelphia Eagles' 2017 Schedule

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 15, 2017

Win-Loss Predictions for Rest of Philadelphia Eagles' 2017 Schedule

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles will look to come flying off their bye week and into the final seven games of the season with the same laser focus that spurred an 8-1 record and seven straight victories.

    Not only did the Eagles enter Week 10 with the NFL's best record, they appear to be improving each and every week.

    The opening four weeks of the season featured three ground-out victories and a close loss in Kansas City, but Philly has won four of its last five games by double digits and put up 84 combined points in its last two.

    Head coach Doug Pederson's squad has taken its injury lumps throughout the season, losing veteran left tackle Jason Peters and star middle linebacker Jordan Hicks for the year.

    However, the Eagles continue to find ways to win decisively, with Carson Wentz playing at an MVP level and the defensive line dominating every matchup.

    Hopes couldn't be higher for the Eagles, who have validated their recent status as the favorites in the NFC playoff race. But plenty of tough games remain that will continue to test their mettle and the 7-2 Rams, Saints and Vikings are all just one game back in the race for the NFC's top seed.

    Let's go game by game and make predictions for what's left of the Eagles' 2017 schedule.

Week 11: At Dallas Cowboys

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    The landscape of the NFC East has changed quite a bit since the last time the Eagles faced their fiercest rival in last year's season finale, when the Dallas Cowboys rested many starters having already locked up the NFC's top seed in the playoffs.

    This time around, the Eagles are eyeing that top seed (albeit hoping for a different end result) and the Cowboys are slipping fast. The Ezekiel Elliott suspension saga couldn't have worked out better for Philly, who is set to face Dallas without its star rusher on Sunday Night Football.

    The Cowboys' issues are much deeper than the loss of Elliott, as their 27-7 defeat to Atlanta last weekend showed. Without left tackle Tyron Smith, the Falcons sacked Dak Prescott eight times, six of which came from Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn.

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones revealed to the team website that Smith has a better chance to play this weekend than linebacker Sean Lee, but being without either would be detrimental Sunday.

    The Eagles' dominant pass rush will wreak havoc regardless, and without Lee, the Cowboys defense will have no match for Philly's multi-faceted run game.

    Expect the wounded Cowboys to get routed and the Eagles to extend their win streak in convincing fashion.

    Prediction: Eagles Win, 30-13

Week 12: Vs. Chicago Bears

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears' rebuilding project is coming along quicker than most expected, but their defeat last week to Brett Hundley's Green Bay Packers illustrated they still have a ways to go.

    The Packers' defense has been routinely beaten up on in 2017, but they still shut down the Bears' run game to the tune of just 55 yards. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a career-high day in pass yards but never seriously threatened to pull Chicago back into it.

    Chicago has to establish a run game to have a chance to match a high-powered offense such as Philly's, and the Eagles have the league's best run defense. The Bears defense is improving, but it is still average at best against the run and shouldn't be able to keep the Eagles offense from churning out long drives.

    Trubisky will make some plays but not nearly enough to keep the Bears within striking distance as the Eagles' roll continues.

    Prediction: Eagles Win, 26-10

Week 13: At Seattle Seahawks

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    For the second-straight year, the Eagles have the unenviable task of traveling across the country to play the Seattle Seahawks on the road.

    However, this Philly team is leaps and bounds better than the one that grappled to a 26-15 defeat last year, and the Seahawks are merely treading water.

    After a hapless start, the Seahawks defense has gotten its act together in recent weeks by holding five of its last six opponents below 20 points and went 5-1 in that span. But the loss of cornerback Richard Sherman for the year looms large against an Eagles receiving corps that is getting production from virtually every active wideout. 

    Furthermore, high-powered offenses have wreaked havoc on the Seahawks this year. The Titans hung 33 on them, and Deshaun Watson's heroics allowed the Texans to put up 38 on the once-vaunted Seahawks D just three weeks ago.

    Most importantly, the Eagles will come into this game eyeing the opportunity to make a statement against a team that's on the short list of NFC Super Bowl contenders. Expect them to seize it and for Wentz to have another banner day against a susceptible secondary he won't be fazed by.

    Russell Wilson's elusiveness and playmaking ability will allow Seattle's offense to put up points, but its struggling offensive line will fall apart late as the Eagles' win streak hits double digits.

    Prediction: Eagles Win, 31-27

Week 14: At Los Angeles Rams

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Back in September, it would have been pretty hard to believe a Week 14 matchup between the first two selections of the 2016 NFL draft would feature two of the NFC's best teams.

    Alas, the Los Angeles Rams are slowly but surely earning that distinction as 31-year-old head coach Sean McVay continues to engineer one of the greatest one-year turnarounds in recent memory. Second-year quarterback Jared Goff's emergence is the focal point, while Todd Gurley has gotten back to his rookie form and the defense is improving steadily after early-season woes.

    If the Rams get wins over the next two weeks against Minnesota and New Orleans, they'll stake their claim as the chief threat to the Eagles' Super Bowl aspirations. They've beaten their last three opponents by a combined 117-24 and are peaking on both sides of the ball.

    Los Angeles has one of the only defensive fronts that can compete with that of Philly, and it will stifle the Eagles' run game. The Rams may struggle to establish Gurley in this one, but they have weapons such as Tavon Austin who are capable of stretching the defense laterally.

    Goff has listened to the criticism over his No. 1 overall selection a year ago and drowned out the noise to play spectacular football in 2017, but it won't come full circle until he bests Wentz, his draft companion who he still can't compare himself favorably to.

    A Rams defense that has grabbed 12 picks, second in the NFL through Week 10, will make life difficult for Wentz as L.A. picks up a statement win at home and brings the Eagles' win streak to a sputtering halt.

    Prediction: Rams Win, 21-20

Week 15: At New York Giants

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    There's no telling who we'll see on the field for the New York Giants when they host the Eagles in Week 15. In fact, there's no telling who we'll see leading them on the sideline.

    The Giants' hapless season took another turn for the worse last weekend when they fell to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers to fall to 1-8 on the season. New York doesn't look poised to compete with the league's worst teams, much less the league's best.

    No matter how you slice the Giants defense, it looks set to struggle mightily against Wentz and the machine-like Eagles offense. New York is giving up the fourth-most passing yards and the third-most rushing yards going into Week 11.

    The Giants team that orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback to take the Eagles down to the wire in Week 3 is a world away from the team that will face them in Week 15.

    With Philly looking to bounce back from a potential loss the previous weekend to the Rams, don't expect the Eagles to take it easy on their NFC East rivals.

    Prediction: Eagles Win, 41-10

Week 16: Vs. Oakland Raiders

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Going into the season, a Week 16 game against the Oakland Raiders appeared to be a matchup nightmare for an Eagles team fielding an inexperienced secondary. But the Raiders have yet to show they can consistently gash opponents through the air as they did in 2016.

    At 4-5, the Raiders are treading water in the murky AFC West and could be out of the playoff hunt by the time Week 16 rolls around. Even if they have something to fight for, it's hard to envision Derek Carr slinging it around on a crew of Eagles cornerbacks that are exceeding expectations and will have Ronald Darby fully healthy and acclimated. 

    The Raiders defense has been pedestrian at best against both the run and the pass, opening up Pederson for a world of opportunities with his play-calling. Oakland has zero interceptions as a team through nine games, which seems impossible. 

    With an eye on potentially locking down the NFC's top seed, the Eagles won't lose focus against a team that entered 2017 with higher expectations than them but is worlds away in terms of championship contention.

    Prediction: Eagles Win, 31-17

Week 17: Vs. Dallas Cowboys

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The Eagles' Week 17 hosting of the Cowboys is the toughest game to call, due to a number of variables.

    Will Philly have the NFC's No. 1 seed locked up and thus rest its best players? Will Elliott's suspension finally be over with, or will it continue its on-again, off-again rhythm? 

    Let's meet in the middle. Considering the Eagles have three teams that are just one game behind them in the standings, we'll say the top seed will still be up for grabs. And assuming Elliott's suspension is underway, we'll say he's suiting up for the Cowboys in what could be a must-win game for their playoff chances.

    It shouldn't matter much.

    The Eagles are boisterous enough up front to stymie Elliott and the Cowboys' run game, even if their line gets its act together. Dallas still struggles to slow down opposing offenses through the air, leading to a big game from Wentz, who will step his game up with postseason home-field advantage on the line and a first-round bye looming.

    It could serve as extra motivation for the Eagles that a win at home over the Cowboyswho they'd surely rather not see again in the playoffsjust might knock them out of postseason contention.

    Philly will enter the playoffs on a high note after squeaking out a close win over its rival.

    Prediction: Eagles Win, 27-24

                    

    The Philadelphia Eagles are predicted to finish with a 14-2 record and the NFC's No. 1 seed in the playoffs