2011 Philadelphia Eagles: Season Predictions, Part 1
NFL fans can breathe a sigh of relief. The NFL lockout is a thing of the past and we are now in the midst of the preseason, ready to begin the regular season right on schedule.
The Philadelphia Eagles have drawn a lot of offseason chatter with their numerous moves, most notably the signing of free agent corner Nnamdi Asomugha. There have been comments calling the Eagles the "dream team," the NFL's version of the Miami Heat, overrated and Super Bowl contenders, among other controversial labels.
With that said, it is time to look ahead to the Philadelphia Eagles' regular season and predict how this team will perform.
This is the first part of my Philadelphia Eagles' regular season predictions, covering Weeks 1 through 5.
Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles at St. Louis Rams
Despite their improvements, the Rams were still only 7-9 last year. Bradford will be improved, but with a weak receiving corps, the Rams will be overmatched by the Eagles new pass defense.
Under the guidance of Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams' defense will be able to keep the score from getting out of hand. As long as the Eagles do not get overconfident early in the year with the "dream team" hype, they should easily start the year 1-0.
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 23, St. Louis Rams 13
Philadelphia Eagles: 1-0
Week 2: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
Despite going 13-3 last season and adding explosive playmaker Julio Jones in the draft, people are not talking about the Falcons anywhere near as much as they should. With Matt Ryan and Michael Turner leading the way, the Falcons have posted three consecutive winning seasons and have two playoff appearances in that span.
The danger for the Eagles is that with Michael Turner, the Falcons can exploit the Eagles' suspect run defense and play ball control.
Of course, there is also the Michael Vick subplot. This game will mark Vick's first start in Atlanta since going to prison for dog fighting. The drama and the subplots will make for a very good game and there is a chance that Vick goes off for a monster game against his former team.
I am expecting a very close game between two of the NFC's best teams. However, Atlanta gets the edge because they can exploit the Eagles' holes at linebacker.
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 21, Atlanta Falcons 24
Philadelphia Eagles: 1-1
Week 3: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles' home opener is also a big showdown against their NFC East rival New York Giants. The Eagles have owned New York the past three seasons, winning six of their seven games against the Giants, including their only playoff meeting.
While both teams finished last season 10-6, they have headed down opposite paths since that point.
The Giants have cut players like offensive linemen Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert and have watched Kevin Boss and Steve Smith leave in free agency. In addition, defensive end Osi Umenyiora is disgruntled about his contract situation.
Now the Giants have to go against the Eagles' pass defense with William Beatty trying to block Trent Cole and with Eli Manning's two favorite receivers no longer on the team?
The Eagles will follow up on last year's incredible comeback against the Giants with a Week 3 statement win.
Prediction: New York Giants 13, Philadelphia Eagles 28
Philadelphia Eagles: 2-1
Week 4: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Despite being favored to win the NFC West last season, the San Francisco 49ers finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs.
Many of the 49ers' problems have to do with quarterback Alex Smith, who still has not turned into anything more than an average quarterback.
With Frank Gore and Vernon Davis able to exploit the Eagles' linebackers, the 49ers will be able to keep this game interesting. As long as the Eagles take the game seriously, they should easily get the win here.
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 21, Philadelphia Eagles 34
Philadelphia Eagles: 3-1
Week 5: Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have been a bottom feeder in the AFC East for a while now. However, this team did give playoff contenders like the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears tough games last season.
The Bills have enough offense to get an upset or two this year, which means that the Eagles need to be very careful with this team despite their 4-12 record a season ago.
The good news for Eagles' fans is that the Bills defense was among the worst in the league last year. When you match that up with the Eagles' excellent offense, you get a lot of points.
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 41, Buffalo Bills 20
Philadelphia Eagles: 4-1