By Evan Krawczuk, Contributing Writer
The 2018 season for the Eagles left some to be desired. Was it a Super Bowl hangover? Maybe, but the abundance of injuries and the shuffling of the secondary didn't help. With a healthy Carson Wentz and a more organized defense, 2019 could be a very solid season for the Philadelphia Eagles. These are my projections for the 2019 season and what kind of path I see the Eagles taking, barring any injuries or anything catastrophic, of course.
Week One vs. Washington Redskins
A divisional match-up to kick off the season at the Linc. There's nothing better. The Redskins were a sneaky team last year before their quarterback, Alex Smith, got injured. With Smith’s entire career in limbo, who’s going to be under center for the ‘Skins? Washington drafted Ohio State Buckeye Dwayne Haskins who, after the draft, is determined to prove the league wrong. Haskins could be a very strong candidate for rookie of the year, but there will be growing pains, especially in South Philly in his first career start. The Eagles take the opening game of the year.
Eagles record: 1-0
Week Two at Atlanta Falcons
The Eagles first prime time game comes Week two against the Falcons. Although the dirty birds have a dangerous offense with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and company, their defense couldn’t stop a runny nose last year. The Falcons drafted some beef for their offensive line to keep Matty Ice up-right and give him some time to get the ball out. I think Julio and the Falcons high-powered offense will have a big game against the Eagles. The Eagles lose game two to the Falcons.
Eagles record: 1-1
Week Three vs. Detroit Lions
The last time Detroit came to Philly was the Snow Bowl. Shady McCoy had himself a game in the blizzard. The Birds won that one, but these are two different teams now with two different head coaches. There will be a similar outcome, though, with a lot less snow. Birds beat the Matt Patricia-led Lions at home.
Eagles record: 2-1
Week Four at Green Bay Packers
A short week. On the road. In Green Bay. The only way I see the Eagles taking this one is if Aaron Rodgers isn’t playing. Birds lose.
Eagles Record: 2-2
Week Five vs. New York Jets
After a tough one against the Packers, the Eagles have ten days to recover and prepare for the Jets. Even though, the typically below average, Jets added the likes of Le'Veon Bell, they still aren’t a top echelon team in the league. The Jets will be an interesting team to watch, but with the Jets still not being super talented and the Eagles having extra time to prepare, the Eagles will win this one at home.
Eagles record: 3-2
Week Six at Minnesota Vikings
Do people from Minnesota really hate Eagles fans enough after the NFC Championship game to somehow think this is now a rivalry? It’s not. We have your number. Since the turn of the century, the Eagles are 7-3 against the Vikings, including that dominant NFC Championship game. This year, the Vikings won't be able to handle the Eagles. Philadelphia walks into that stadium and wins another big game (see Super Bowl 52).
Eagles record: 4-2
Week Seven at Dallas Cowboys
A prime-time divisional match-up in Jerry's World. This game is huge. Whether we win or lose this game is what will determine how we go into the last two weeks before the bye. Not to mention this game could mean a ton going into the last few weeks of the season. This will be a tight one, maybe a 24-20 type of game. It will also be a tough one for the Eagles in the middle of a three-game road trip. This hurts so much to say, but the Eagles lose this one in a tight game.
Eagles record: 4-3
Week Eight at Buffalo Bills
Last week was a tough one. The Bills aren’t an automatic win like they were in years past, but they’re not a scary team either. They have a solid young quarterback in Josh Allen but they don’t have all the pieces to be a good team. Philly takes some of their frustrations out on the Bills and runs up the score.
Eagles record: 5-3
Week Nine vs. Chicago Bears
Double Doink Part 2? There’s no way, right? Does Jordan Howard want revenge against his former team? I wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan Howard wants to make his old squad regret trading him but the Bears have an extremely talented defense with a weaker offense. This has the makings of a very low scoring game. The Eagles are going to stumble into the bye week.
Eagles record: 5-4
Week 10 Bye
Week 11 vs. New England Patriots
The Birds fell on their face going into their bye week, but they’re absolutely going to come out of it refreshed and ready to go. The Pats are also coming off the bye. The golden boy, Tom Brady, will be entering his age 41 season. Does this mean that Brady is going to be slowing down? No, not necessarily. The Eagles will come out of the bye refreshed and sharp and will take this game against the Patriots.
Eagles record: 6-4
Week 12 vs. Seattle Seahawks
After a big win the week before, the Eagles welcome the Russell Wilsons, I mean Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson just got a huge payday and that’s nice and dandy but now they can’t pay anyone else. Who’s going to block for him? Who’s going to play defense? You can’t do it all by yourself Russ. The Philadelphia defense swarms Russell Wilson and the Eagles take the win.
Eagles record: 7-4
Week 13 at Miami Dolphins
As a fan, this is a game I look to travel to. December weather in Philadelphia or December weather in Miami? I know, tough choice. The Dolphins aren’t good and the Eagles love the warm weather, if only for a week. The Birds beat up on the Dolphins and take this one handily.
Eagles record: 8-4
Week 14 vs. New York Giants
Monday Night Football against the worst team in the division. You've got to love it. I’m not sure anyone in the Giants organization knows what they’re doing except Saquon Barkley. They traded one of the best receivers in the league for a bag of balls and the title of league laughing stock. Also, old-man-Eli-Manning is still the quarterback for the New York Giants. Do we see Daniel Jones? Who knows, but it won’t be looking good for them either way. Eagles win another one and are rolling.
Eagles record: 9-4
Week 15 at Washington Redskins
Finally, the rematch with the Redskins. Washington actually has a pretty talented team and could win a couple of games if taken lightly. By this point in the season Haskins has figured out what being a professional quarterback entails and the Redskins are pretty confident in their quarterback’s abilities. Because of that, Washington splits the series with the Birds.
Eagles record: 9-5
Week 16 vs. Dallas Cowboys
A chance at redemption for the Birds. A huge game at home that could possibly determine who the division champion is. After a week 15 loss to the Redskins, the Eagles need this one. With the crowd behind them along with the amount at stake, the Eagles come out with a lot of energy. The Eagles will win the game and split the series with the Cowboys.
Eagles record: 10-5
Week 17 at New York Giants
Who knows if this game is going to mean anything? I think it’s safe to assume that this game could determine either the division or seeding in the playoffs. If the game is just for seeding, does Dougy P. rest some of his guys? It doesn't seem realistic if there is seeding on the line, but even if he does put the backups in, the Eagles could still steal one against the woeful Giants. The Eagles will finish the season with a division win. This should be good enough to win the division or, at the very least, a wild card.
Eagles record: 11-5