Philadelphia Eagles 2011 Predictions: Outcomes for All 16 Regular-Season Games
The 2010 season ended with heartbreak for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles were driving in Packers territory late in the fourth quarter, down by less than a touchdown. It looked like the Eagles were going to pull off another late playoff comeback under Andy Reid until Michael Vick overthrew Riley Cooper in the end zone. The pass was intercepted by Packers cornerback Tramon Williams and the season was over for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Since then, the Eagles have been very aggressive in the offseason, upgrading all of their weaknesses from 2010. Danny Watkins was drafted in the first round to take over at right guard and both Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were brought in to improve a secondary that was helpless outside of Asante Samuel last season.
The Eagles have also added two of the best assistant coaches in the game, offensive line coach Howard Mudd and defensive line coach Jim Washburn.
The Eagles appear to be ready for a Super Bowl run in 2011. Will they have a season like 2004, where they won 13 of the first 14 games before resting their starters the final two games, or will they have a third straight season without a playoff win?
Week 1: Philadelphia at St. Louis, Eagles 30 Rams 13
The Philadelphia Eagles' loaded secondary will face the likes of Donnie Avery, Mike Sims-Walker and Danny Amendola for their first test. Not exactly what the front office had in mind when they signed Nnamdi Asomugha and traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Expect a lot of coverage sacks in Week 1 for the Eagles. The Eagles' new defensive line scheme asks its linemen to attack the quarterback on every play. Combine that with receivers that will have trouble getting open against three Pro Bowl corners, and it could be a long day for Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford will have to rely on a running game that ranked 25th in the NFL last season.
The Eagles should have no trouble getting past a Rams team that struggled to move the ball in 2010. It's never easy to win on the road in the NFL, but with such a loaded team on both sides of the ball, the Eagles should win by double digits.
Week 2: Philadelphia at Atlanta, Eagles 31 Falcons 27
The Eagles get an early test in Week 2, going on the road to face off with the 2010 NFC regular-season champions. The Eagles have beat the Falcons by a combined score of 65-24 in their last two meetings. The Falcons will clearly be looking for some sort of redemption.
The Falcons have quietly had themselves a pretty nice offseason. The Falcons drafted playmaking wide receiver Julio Jones, signed defensive end Ray Edwards while re-signing several key veterans including Tyson Clabo and Jason Snelling.
The Eagles will have to try and contain two of the league's best at their position—wideout Roddy White and running back Michael Turner. The game could be a preview of the NFC title game with two playoff teams from last year that have improved their teams through the offseason.
Neither team has any major weaknesses and the game should go down to which team manages the game better and who can limit their mistakes.
It will be Michael Vick's first start in Atlanta since 2006. Look for Vick to have a big day in front of a fanbase that still has nothing but love for him.
Week 3: New York Giants at Philadelphia, Eagles 28 Giants 19
The New York Giants went into the 2010 season looking to end a four-game losing streak to the Philadelphia Eagles. They had two great opportunities to do it last season, but blew leads in the fourth quarter including the "Miracle at the New Meadowlands." The losses to the Eagles not only kept the Giants from winning the NFC East, but also knocked them out of the playoffs altogether.
The Giants now head into the 2011 season with a six-game losing streak to the Eagles. The Giants' No. 1 goal will be to beat the Eagles and win the NFC East in 2011, and it all starts with their matchup with the Eagles in Week 3.
The Giants offense had great success against the Eagles in 2010, scoring a combined 48 points. This season the Eagles will provide a tougher task for the Giants with a loaded secondary and a very aggressive defensive line.
The Eagles will jump out early, as the Giants did last December, however the Eagles defense will stay strong and make it seven in a row against the Giants.
Week 4: San Francisco at Philadelphia, Eagles 24 49ers 6
In Week 4 of 2010, the Eagles hosted Donovan McNabb's new team, the Washington Redskins, in one of the most anticipated games of the 2010 season. In 2011, Week 4 will be the return of David Akers to Philadelphia. David Akers was not re-signed after the Eagles drafted kicker Alex Henery. Akers signed with the 49ers during the offseason.
The 49ers may have addressed a need at kicker, but they still have issues in their secondary and their entire offense. The lone challenge for the Eagles will be to try and contain 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.
Expect the Eagles offense to score early and control the clock late while the defense will just shut down an offense that doesn't have any one receiver that can consistently get open against the likes of Asomugha, Samuel and Rodgers-Cromartie.
Week 5: Philadelphia at Buffalo, Eagles 37 Bills 3
The Buffalo Bills front office appears to be heading in the right direction, but they still have a very long way to go. The Bills are coming off a 4-12 season and still are lacking in offensive playmakers. The Bills will have to rely on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and wide receiver Steve Johnson to improve on last year's 24th-best passing attack in the NFL.
The lack of offensive playmakers along with a mediocre offensive line will lead to coverage sacks all day for the Bills. Expect the Eagles to attack early and often on offense while the Bills struggle to put points on the board in the early going. The Eagles have shown in the past under Andy Reid that when they get an early lead they like to add to it rather than play clock management.
The Bills could be headed for an even rougher season than they had in 2010.
Week 6: Philadelphia at Washington, Eagles 24 Redskins 13
If Rex Grossman is going to make good on his promise of the Redskins winning the NFC East, he better start by beating the projected division champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Redskins have been known as of late for giving the Eagles at least one tough game each season regardless of the state of the team.
Last season, the Redskins upset the Eagles in Philadelphia in Donovan McNabb's first game back in Philly. The Redskins will not have McNabb this time around after trading him to the Minnesota Vikings for a late-round draft pick. The Redskins will be led by either Grossman or John Beck. Either way, the Redskins won't be favored at home against their divisional rivals, but will still give Philadelphia a tough game.
Look for Washington to run early and often. Head coach Mike Shanahan is known for having a stout running game regardless of who is getting the carries. The Eagles defense is clearly built to shut down the pass and the Redskins will most likely look to pound it out on the ground as long as they can.
Washington will try and keep the explosive Eagles offense off the field as much as possible, but will still come up short. They just don't have the players on offense that can consistently put up points against the better defenses in the NFL. The Eagles win a game that will be a little closer than most people will expect it to be.
Week 8: Dallas at Philadelphia, Eagles 23 Cowboys 16
The Dallas Cowboys will get their first look at the player they thought they had signed, Nnamdi Asomugha. The Dallas Cowboys were one of two teams in the running for Asomugha along with the New York Jets until both teams were eliminated and out of nowhere the Eagles swooped in and signed the league's most coveted free agent.
It will also be the first chance for Rob Ryan's "Three Bullies" to show the "All-hype team" that they mean business. The three bullies that Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was referring to are defensive linemen Marcus Spears, Kenyon Coleman and Jason Hatcher.
The Cowboys will also attempt to be the first team to beat Andy Reid after a bye week. The Eagles are 12-0 after the bye week under Coach Reid.
The Eagles will look to attack a Cowboys secondary that ranked 26th in the NFL last season. Last year DeSean Jackson scored on a 91-yard touchdown reception against Dallas in the fourth quarter to take control of the game late.
With the Cowboys front office unable to upgrade the secondary, look for more of the same from Jackson.
Week 9: Chicago at Philadelphia, Eagles 31 Bears 17
The Eagles will be looking for revenge against the Bears in 2011 after their matchup last year turned both teams' seasons around. The Eagles headed into Week 12 last season at 7-3, on pace to get a first-round bye. Michael Vick hadn't thrown an interception all season and the Chicago Bears offensive line had struggled to give quarterback Jay Cutler any pass protection. All that changed in just one game.
Going into the 2011 season, the Eagles appear to be the better team. The Bears have added Cowboys castoffs Roy Williams and Marion Barber while the Eagles have added Pro Bowlers Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin.
The Eagles offensive line should give Vick a lot more protection than he get last season under new line coach Howard Mudd. Julius Peppers will be the focus of the Eagles offensive line. As long as they can contain him, Vick should have all day to dissect the Bears' mediocre secondary.
Week 10: Arizona at Philadelphia, Eagles 34 Cardinals 21
Kevin Kolb will get his opportunity to show the Eagles what they missed out on. Kolb was supposed to be the Eagles' new franchise quarterback in 2010, but a concussion in Week 1 was immediately followed by stellar play from backup Michael Vick. Vick was named the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
Kolb was traded to Arizona in the offseason for a second-round draft pick in 2012 and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Both sides are very happy with how everything transpired, as there should be no bad blood in the reunion of Andy Reid and Kevin Kolb.
Kolb has a big-time wideout in Larry Fitzgerald, but not much else. It's always tough for a West Coast team to win on the East Coast and that trend should continue here.
The Cardinals finally have their quarterback, but they still lack a quality defense. Vick and his supporting cast of playmakers on offense should have a big day.
Week 11: Philadelphia at New York Giants, Giants 27 Eagles 20
The Giants finally get revenge on the previous seven losses at the hands of the Eagles. There will be no miracles in "The Meadowlands" in Week 11. Last season, the Eagles beat the Giants twice despite trailing in the fourth quarter in both games, including a 31-10 deficit in a Week 15 matchup last December.
During the Eagles' current six-game winning streak against the Giants, this rivalry has really heated up. Several players on both sides have took to social media to let their hate towards their rival be heard. The recent signing of former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith by the Eagles has really escalated the rivalry as well.
Despite the Eagles' slew of talent on both sides of the ball, they will have their down games in 2011. The Giants will go into their Week 11 matchup hungry for a big win against their rivals after suffering through a week of hearing about the losing streak to the Eagles.
It won't be easy, but the Giants will figure out a way to contain the explosive Eagles offense and put up points against a solid defense.
Week 12: New England at Philadelphia, Patriots 31 Eagles 27
Week 12 will provide the league with a Super Bowl preview as two of the league's best face off in Philadelphia. New England has had a pretty solid offseason adding two elite superstars in Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth at a discounted price.
The game is also a rematch of Super Bowl XXIX, where the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21.
It's a great opportunity for the Eagles to show the rest of the league exactly how great they really are. 2011 reminds me a lot of 2004; the Eagles had most of the pieces of a championship team and they used the offseason to put them over the top. In 2004, the Eagles signed Pro Bowlers Jevon Kearse and Terrell Owens.
Both teams are pretty evenly matched, with neither team having a clear weakness. Tom Brady will manage the better game than Michael Vick and come out on top in a close one.
Don't worry Eagles fans, you will get a second chance against the Pats in February.
Week 13: Philadelphia at Seattle, Eagles 28 Seahawks 13
The Seattle Seahawks have had themselves a very good offseason, signing quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, wide receiver Sidney Rice and tight end Zach Miller. Despite the big-name free-agent signings, the Seahawks are still a mediocre team with an inexperienced offensive line.
Whether head coach Pete Carroll names Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst his starting quarterback, the 2011 Seahawks could look more like the 2010 Arizona Cardinals, who never got consistent play from their quarterbacks last season.
The Eagles will be looking to bounce back after two tough losses to the Giants and the Patriots. The Eagles are known for playing their best football in December, and that trend should continue against a clearly inferior opponent.
Week 14: Philadelphia at Miami, Eagles 30 Dolphins 3
Going into the 13th game of the season for the Dolphins, we could see any of their three quarterbacks getting the start after what will be projected to be a rough season for the Dolphins. Chad Henne has yet to impress in his first three seasons.
The Dolphins have already lost 90 percent of their rushing yards from last season in free agency and outside of troubled receiver Brandon Marshall, the Fins don't have a lot of pop on offense.
The Dolphins are one of several teams in the running for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in next April's draft and probably won't have much to play for going into the final four games of the season. The Eagles, on the other hand, should be playing for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Eagles will be too much for the Dolphins to keep up with and the Eagles should have this one wrapped up early in the third quarter.
Week 15: New York Jets at Philadelphia, Eagles 23 Jets 17
Week 15 provides us with another outstanding matchup as both the Jets and the Eagles will be battling for playoff position in their respective conferences. To put it in Bart Scott's words: "Can't wait!"
The Eagles will face a familiar foe in new Jets receiver Plaxico Burress, who will be covered at times by a player they nearly signed, Nnamdi Asomugha.
The game will also be a matchup of the two best cornerbacks in the game, Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha. Revis is used primarily as a shutdown corner, covering the opponents best wide receiver for the entire game. Asomugha, on the other hand, will be used all over the field. The Eagles defensive coordinator has hinted that Asomugha could be used in the slot in nickel packages, covering receivers in the slot while also blitzing the quarterback.
Both teams are serious Super Bowl contenders, and this game should provide us with another potential Super Bowl preview. The Eagles have the better offense and should be able to win another tough game at home.
Week 16: Philadelphia at Dallas, Eagles 24 Cowboys 14
Depending how everything shakes up in the NFC in 2011, this game could be meaningless for the Eagles. The Eagles have a very good chance at coming into Week 16 with 11 or 12 wins.
If the Eagles are still battling for playoff positioning in Week 16, the Eagles should easily come out on top, completing the season sweep of the Cowboys.
Week 17: Washington at Philadelphia, Redskins 16 Eagles 13
If all goes as planned for the Eagles in 2011, the first day of 2012 will be the first start for Vince Young and 21 other backups.
The Eagles should head into Week 17 with, at the very least, the NFC East clinched and possibly home-field advantage in the NFC. The Eagles have the talent and the coaching to get the job done.
By the time we get to Week 17, Kellen Clemens could be the starting quarterback for Washington. Rex Grossman and John Beck are battling for the starting job right now, but if the Redskins struggle to move the football in 2011, coach Mike Shanahan will most likely give every quarterback on the roster a shot.
The Eagles backups will fall just short to the Redskins starters in Week 17, similar to the way they fell short to the Cowboys starters last year at this time.
Eagles go into the playoffs with a 13-3 record and home-field advantage. Will Super Bowl XLVI finally be the one in which the Eagles get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy? Only time will tell.