The Eagles open up the 2017 NFL regular season with a trip to FedExField in Landover, Maryland to take on a Washington Redskins team that’s won five consecutive games against the Birds. The Eagles’ last win against Washington came on September 21, 2014 … so three years ago. Yikes. And while all the games have virtually been closely contested [the only lopsided victory for Washington came on December 16, 2015, defeating the Eagles 38-24], it’s just kind of dirty that Kirk Cousins has had his way with the Birds’ defense.
Hopefully, this year we see a change. Hopes are high and Carson Wentz looks poised to lead this team to a playoff berth for the first time since Chip Kelly’s first season as head coach. The defense is improved, and hopefully improved enough to give Cousins a hard time behind his offensive line. It won’t matter that Washington lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon if the defense can’t solve Cousins.
Just like last season, the staff at Philly Influencer will provide their predictions on the weekend’s games throughout the season, whether the Eagles are winless or lossless. Or something.
Feel free to agree or disagree and engage in a discussion with us in the comments or on social media! We enjoy interacting with our readers.
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To the predictions:
Candis McLean (@CandisRMcLean):
If somebody takes your lunch money once, they got one over on you. If they take it five times, you’re their sure-fire ATM. Washington has cashed out on Philly five times in a row. At some point the madness has to end, and I believe that it ends Sunday. The Eagles have an improved defensive line, inserted Ronald Darby at corner, and have actual wide receivers who can catch the ball. Divisional games are always tough, especially on the road, but I think the Eagles have done enough in the offseason to end the drought.
Dave Uram (@MrUram):
After a lackluster preseason, Doug Pederson’s Eagles will come up firing on all cylinders on offense and defense against an inferior Washington team. But, on the week Pederson’s coaching qualifications are put into question, he’ll fail to adjust as the game goes on, and the ‘Skins will mount a comeback but ultimately fall short.
Tony Cutillo (@TCutillo23):
Finally! Football is back with the Wentz Wagon rolling through the Land of Cousins in Week 1. The Eagles made a lot of changes in the offseason, but still have a secondary that has to show they belong. The Redskins have a very underrated running attack (4.6 ypg last season) and Cousins just missed the 5,000 yard plateau in 2016.
All that being said, the faith of the football gods in Philly are in the hands of #11. Look for the Eagles to come out firing on a secondary that is vulnerable as long as they stay out of Mr. Norman’s neighborhood. I am looking for the Eagles to outlast the ‘Skins with Zach Ertz proving he can stay on his feet and Torrey Smith making all of us believe he can fly! #FlyEaglesFly!
Adrian Fedkiw (@AdrianFedkiw):
It will not be six in a row for the Redskins, and Eagles fans will be singing Hail to the Gingers sometime late during Sunday afternoon. The addition of Alshon Jeffery and return of Lane Johnson will make the difference offensively. Nine sacks in two games is a ton to give up. I think the Eagles will do a better job of standing Wentz upright despite Johnson’s struggles during the preseason. I still think Kirk Cousins and the Redskins’ offense will be able to move the ball through the air, primarily through Jordan Reed. Jamison Crowder is also someone to keep an eye on. I think Wentz leads the Eagles on a late field-goal drive and the defense will preserve the victory.
Nick Piccone (@nickpiccone):
The feel around the Eagles this year is very positive. It was positive last year. It was positive two years ago. It was even positive three years ago. Anyone that follows this team can talk themselves into anything positive or negative. Football is so unpredictable that the Eagles could win 13 games this year. They could also lose 10. I’m high on Wentz and the receivers, but it’s almost like I have to be. Tempering expectations is something of the past. We need to see results now.
With Washington winning the last five in a row, it’s hard to bet against something that’s sustained itself for three years. But I’m doing it here, just like everyone else. Streaks always end, and this would be a perfect time to show the NFC East and the rest of the NFL that the Eagles are for real.
Sean Brace (@Sean_Brace):
Finally the game we’ve been waiting for is here! The Eagles are opening the season at Washington and damn do I want to open the season with a win! Wentz will show everyone why he should be the quarterback of the future when you talk about young QBs around the league. Eagles sneak away from DC with a victory and look forward to Week 2 vs. Big Red!
You can follow Nick Piccone on Twitter (@nickpiccone) and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to his podcast on iTunes here and listen live on WildfireRadio.com. Click here to read his pro wrestling articles on PhillyVoice. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.