Saturday, October 25, 2014
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The Inquirer's 2014 Eagles Predictions

The Inquirer’s Eagles beat reporters make their predictions:

The Inquirer's 2014 Eagles Predictions

Brandon Boykin breaks up a pass intended for Dallas´ Dez Bryant in last season´s game at Cowboys Stadium. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images file photo)
Brandon Boykin breaks up a pass intended for Dallas' Dez Bryant in last season's game at Cowboys Stadium. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images file photo)

The Inquirer’s Eagles beat reporters make their predictions:

Jeff McLane: 10-6.
Zach Berman: 9-7.

Week 1: Jaguars
Sunday, Sept. 7, 1 p.m.

JM: Win – The Jags are on the upward, but they plan to sit rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, and the Eagles hit this opening drive down the middle.

ZB: Win -- The Eagles are fortunate they play Jacksonville in September and not December, and a dominating performance excites the home crowd.

Week 2: at Colts
Monday, Sept. 15, 8:30 p.m.

JM: Win – Indianapolis has the better quarterback and is coming off a 6-2 home record, but the Colts will also be without pass rushing specialist -- the suspended Robert Mathis. 

ZB: Loss -- Colts quarterback Andrew Luck went 1-2 against Chip Kelly-coached teams at Oregon, but he wins his first game against the Eagles on Monday Night Football.

Week 3: Redskins
Sunday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m. 

JM : Loss – After a 2-0 start, the Eagles lay an egg upon DeSean Jackson’s return. Nick Foles struggles against the Redskins pass rush and his receivers can’t bail him out.

ZB: Win -- DeSean Jackson will find the end zone in his return to Philadelphia, even in an Eagles victory.

Week 4: at 49ers
Sunday, Sept. 28, 4:25 p.m.

JM: Win – The 49ers defense, still reeling from the losses of Aldon Smith and Navorro Bowman, can’t slow Chip Kelly’s hair-on-fire offense that avenges the Redskins upset.

ZB: Loss -- A win on the road in San Francisco would prove the Eagles are contenders. The 49ers are a heavyweight, and the Eagles are not yet there.

Week 5: Rams
Sunday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m.

JM: Win – The marquee matchup will pit left tackle Jason Peters vs. defensive end Robert Quinn. But it will be the Birds that tee off on Rams quarterback Shaun Hill.

ZB: Win -- St. Louis’ pass rush will be one of the toughest the Eagles see all the season. Without Sam Bradford, the Rams don’t have the firepower to stay with the Eagles.

Week 6: N.Y. Giants
Sunday, Oct. 12, 8:30 p.m.

JM: Win – The Eagles survive a nationally televised scare to go to 5-1 – their best first six games start since 2004’s 6-0 start.

ZB: Win -- The Eagles move to 4-0 at home against an NFC East rival that has problems on both the offensive and defensive lines.

Week 7: BYE

Week 8: at Cardinals
Sunday, Oct. 26, 4:05 p.m.

JM: Loss – Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles shut down the Eagles offense in the second half of a loss last season. He has better success over the entire 60 minutes this year.

ZB: Loss -- The Eagles were fortunate to escape the Cardinals games last season with a win. They won’t be able to do it this season against one of the NFL’s most underrated teams.

Week 9: at Texans
Sunday, Nov. 2, 1 p.m.

JM: Win – Kelly and Bill O’Brien have often been mentioned in the same breath, but the former Penn State coach will have a harder time turning his program around in his first year.

ZB: Win -- This game is tougher than it appears. The Texans have a formidable defense, but Kelly gets the win over former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien.

Week 10: Panthers
Monday, Nov. 10, 8:30 p.m.

JM: Loss – Mychal Kendricks spies Cam Newton and keeps the Carolina quarterback in the pocket, but the Eagles offense sputters against Sean McDermott’s scheme.

ZB: Win -- Sean McDermott’s Panthers defense looks formidable, although Carolina lacks offensive firepower. You can count on Jason Avant making a few third-down catches, though.

Week 11: at Packers
Sunday, Nov. 16, 1 p.m.

JM: Loss – Aaron Rodgers picks apart a pass defense that still hasn’t completely adapted to the enforcement of contact downfield.

ZB: Loss -- The Eagles escaped Lambeau Field with a win last season when Aaron Rodgers was sidelined. Rodgers makes the difference this season.

Week 12: Titans
Sunday, Nov. 23, 1 p.m.

JM: Win – The Eagles stop a two-game skid as Foles and budding tight end Zach Ertz hook up for two passing touchdowns.

ZB: Win -- If the Titans get production at quarterback, this game will be tougher than it appears. The Eagles should be able to hold them off at home.

Week 13: at Cowboys
Thursday, Nov. 27, 4:30 p.m.

JM: Win – LeSean McCoy owns the Cowboys once again and one of league’s worst defenses is stuffing for Kelly’s explosive unit.

ZB: Loss -- It won’t be a happy Thanksgiving for the Eagles, who lose to the Cowboys on a short week.

Week 14: Seahawks
Sunday, Dec. 7, 4:25 p.m.

JM: Loss – Seattle won’t win all 16, and the Eagles have enough firepower to top the Seahawks’ vaunted defense. But Kelly’s troops lose a close one at the Linc.

ZB: Loss -- Ten days might not be enough to prepare for the Seahawks defense, which hands the Eagles their first losing streak since October 2013.

Week 15: Cowboys
Sunday, Dec. 14, 8:30 p.m.

JM: Win – Tony Romo and Dez Bryant give Bill Davis’ unit fits, but the Eagles sweep the season series and move Dallas coach Jason Garrett one step closer to his end.

ZB: Win -- The game plan will still be fresh from two weeks earlier. LeSean McCoy’s best game of the season will come against the Cowboys’ porous defense.

Week 16: at Washington
Saturday, Dec. 20, 4:30 p.m.

JM: Win – The Eagles shake off the September loss, stifle quarterback Kirk Cousins, and clinch the weak NFC East with a week to spare.

ZB: Loss -- Washington might be the Eagles’ biggest challenge for the NFC East crown, meaning this game could have playoff implications.

Week 17: at N.Y. Giants
Sunday, Dec. 28, 1 p.m.

JM: Loss – The Eagles have the opportunity to secure a first-round bye, but can’t get it done in the Meadowlands against an Eli Manning-led offense that needed four months to click.

ZB: Win -- For the second consecutive season, the Eagles must win their final game to secure a playoff bid. They do it in the Meadowlands and lock up the NFC East at 9-7.

More coverage
 
Paul Domowitch's NFL power rankings
 
Three things to know about Chip Kelly
 
What are Eagles' biggest unknowns?
Can Nick Foles be as good this season?
Yes. Another year in Chip Kelly’s offense can only help.
No. He is bound to fall back a little bit.
About this blog
Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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