Week 11 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (3-5-1) at Cleveland Browns (6-3)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The last time the Eagles played the Cleveland Browns, things were very different. Carson Wentz was a rookie making his NFL debut. The Browns were on their way to being the second 0-16 team in league history. I was still in high school. The Eagles had never won a Super Bowl.

Now, the Browns are a winning team competing for their postseason birth since 2002. Meanwhile, the Eagles are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since that aforementioned 2016 season.

The Birds travel to Cleveland coming off of a demoralizing loss in a season full of them. With a record of 3-5-1, the Eagles still sit atop the NFC East but the Giants are right on their heels at 3-7. Tensions in the Eagles locker room might be the highest they’ve been since Chip Kelly and his stupid visor were still on the sideline.

Not great, folks! Meanwhile, the Browns are coming off of an ugly win against the Houston Texans. Cleveland is 6-3, currently just outside the playoffs in the AFC but firmly in the picture. The Eagles should expect the Browns best effort on Sunday, because they need this game to stay in the hunt.

I’d say the same about the Eagles, but that’s exactly what I said about last week’s game. Look how that turned out.

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Week 10 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1) at New York Giants (2-7)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The first place 3-4-1 Eagles will travel up the New Jersey turnpike to East Rutherford to take on the two win New York Giants.

These two teams played just three weeks ago, a narrow 22-21 comeback victory in favor of the Birds that saw the Giants find new, impressive ways to lose a football game.

The Eagles are coming off of their much needed bye week after a disgusting victory against Dallas. The banged up Birds are finally starting to get healthy. Big name offensive contributors Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffery look set to play, while Lane Johnson's status remains up in the air.

The Giants are coming off of a victory in Washington D.C. against the Football Team, something the Eagles could not do. Both of New York's wins this season have come against Washington.

On paper, you would not think this game would be close. But, that’s why sporting events aren’t played on paper. Expect this to be a close game between teams that know each other well, much like their Thursday night battle a couple weeks ago. I expect this mostly because the Eagles are incapable of blowing a team out.

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Week 8 Preview: Dallas Cowboys (2-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

This is a classic “throw the records out the window” game. Eagles vs. Cowboys. The most intense, bitter, hatred-filled rivalry in the city of Philadelphia.

Most players and coaches will dismiss any rivalry game as “just another game on the schedule.” Not the Eagles. Say what you will about the performance of the team this year, but they understand the importance of this matchup. Even the new guy, cornerback Darius Slay, knew the significance behind this game pretty quickly.

Yes, both these teams have severely underwhelmed this season, and quite frankly are not good football teams. Yes, it’s increasingly probable that the Cowboys will be down to their third string quarterback on Sunday night. Yes, there will only be about 6000 fans in Lincoln Financial Field to witness the game.

It doesn’t matter. This game is still so much more than a game. When these two teams get together, they are playing for the history of the rivalry. They are playing for their cities. They are playing for everyone that came before them. They are playing for bragging rights.

In Philly, the Eagles could go 2-14, but if those two wins are against the Dallas Cowboys, those two wins feel like a whole lot more than two wins. The hatred spans from the cities, to the fan bases, to the two organizations.

So when outsiders are confused why we, as fans, get so invested in this game even though both teams objectively stink, it’s simple. This game just means more than any other game on the schedule. It always has, and always will.

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Week 7 Preview: New York Giants (1-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Eagles are coming off of yet another loss on Sunday, and will have a quick turnaround as they host their divisional foes, the New York Giants, on Thursday night.

The Eagles have a putrid 1-4-1 record, yet sit just a half game out of first place behind the 2-4 Cowboys. Recently, that ugly record that disgustingly has three digits honestly has not been as horrifying as it may seem on the surface.

The Eagles last two losses came at the hands of two of the best teams in football, the Steelers and the Ravens. In both games, the Eagles found themselves down double digits in the second half, and in both instances they clawed their way back to make it a two point game.

Obviously, both games ended in extremely frustrating losses that only tantalized Eagles fans of what could have been, but that despicable 1-4-1 record doesn’t seem detrimental once you factor everything into account.

That being said, if the Eagles lose this game at home to a truly terrible New York Giants team, it will be much harder to shine a positive light on this squad.

As is tradition at this point, the Eagles will be #BackInBlack as they like to say, for a home game against the Giants. For those of you who are not doing the math at home, don’t fret, because I am.

This is the sixth time in the last seven years the Eagles will wear their black uniforms for a home game against the Giants, and the fifth instance in which it will be a night game. I think this tweet sums up the current situation pretty well.

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Week 6 Preview: Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Eagles are coming off of yet another loss as they will play host to one of the NFL’s best teams in the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens come into this matchup off of a 24-point win against the Bengals. For reference, these are the same Bengals that the Eagles had to scratch and claw their way to a tie with. That’ll give you a good indication of the direction of the Ravens and Eagles seasons.

The Eagles arguably played one of their best games last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Though they lost, they showed signs of life and resolve even after falling behind by 17 points in the second half.

That, along with another breakout performance from an Eagles practice squad player, has given Eagles fans some semblance of hope. I told you guys to put that Travis Fulgham jersey in your carts last week, so I hope to see green Eagles #13 jerseys (they better not say Agholor on the back) in the Linc on Sunday.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Lincoln Financial Field will host fans for the first time this season when they let 7,500 Eagles fans through their gates. What an absolute nightmare scenario for Nathan Gerry.

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Week 5 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

The Eagles are coming off of their first win of the season and now sit atop the NFC East. Yes, you read that correctly.

The 1-2-1 Eagles will travel to the other side of Pennsylvania for a rare cross-state date with the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh had their game postponed last week after a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tennessee Titans organization. Therefore, the Steelers will be coming into this matchup healthy and rested.

As is the case every week, the Eagles cannot say the same. Alshon Jeffery will miss yet another game, this time due to a “non-COVID related illness.” Hm.

DeSean Jackson is also going to be out, as he will miss his third straight game. This means we will be seeing the practice squad all-stars (and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) back in action at receiver. You know what that means? It’s time to officially add that Travis Fulgham jersey to your cart.

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Week 4 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

I guess I was wrong. It can get worse.

The Eagles are coming off of the most embarrassing Eagles game since...week one? Doug Pederson, notorious for his aggression, inexplicably chose to play for the tie with 19 seconds remaining in overtime last week instead of attempting a 64-yard field goal. Frustrating cannot even begin to describe the emotions of Eagles fans everywhere.

The Birds will travel to San Francisco to take on the injury-riddled 49ers on Sunday Night Football. That’s right, the 0-2-1 Eagles are on national television. Oh joy. I don’t even want to know what Twitter is going to look like with everyone watching this game.

The 49ers (2-1) are coming off of back-to-back dominant wins in MetLife stadium against both the Jets and Giants. The Niners have lost a plethora of players to injury over the past two weeks and are the only team in the league within spitting distance of the Eagles lead for “players listed on the injury report.” Quite the prestigious title.

The Eagles have so many injuries heading into this game that Doug Pederson has said that the coaching staff is going to have to get creative with offensive skill players this week. If there is anything I have learned over the first three weeks, it is that there is nothing that Eagles coaches struggle with more than being creative.

I’m truly intrigued to see what creativity means to them. If their only answer is Jalen Hurts read options I’m going to be waiting for Mr. Pederson and friends at the gates of the NovaCare complex.

Look at the injury report from Wednesday. My question is, if all of these guys weren’t practicing, who exactly was practicing? Greg Ward was the only wide receiver on the 53-man roster to practice on Thursday.

It. Is. Week. Four. How is this even possible three years in a row?

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Week 3 Preview: Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

It’s rare that you see a situation in football where a game can be considered a “get right game” and also a must-win in week 3. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, that’s what the Eagles are faced with this week.

The Birds are looking to avoid the disaster that would be starting the season 0-3 as they welcome the winless Cincinnati Bengals to South Philadelphia.

Nothing about the first two games of the Eagles season has gone according to plan. Coaches, players, and management alike have got to be frustrated with how this team has looked to start the year.

At least one thing has remained constant for this team: injuries. The Eagles lost guard Isaac Seumalo and rookie receiver Jalen Reagor for at least the next three weeks as they were both placed on injured reserve after suffering injuries last Sunday.

How the Eagles manage to consistently be the most injury prone team in football year in and year out is just pure witchcraft at this point. That, or each and every medical staff the Eagles have brought in over the past few years are closet Cowboys fans.

Here’s to hoping, at the very least, that the Eagles can avoid any and all kinds of injury this weekend.

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Week 2 Preview: Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

Where oh where do I start.

The Eagles (0-1) will play their home opener on Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Rams (1-0). The two teams are coming into this one off of vastly different outcomes in week one.

The Rams defeated the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football to open up their crown jewel of a stadium and looked pretty solid all the way around.

The Eagles, meanwhile, blew a 17-point lead to a team that doesn’t even have a real name and had scandal after scandal all offseason.

Like I said, vastly different outcomes. The good news is that was only one game, and the Eagles can make up for it. On a much more pessimistic viewpoint, the Eagles have already been ravaged by the ever-present injury bug.

With that being said, it appears as though many Eagles will be making their way back to the game field for Sunday’s game. Derek Barnett, Miles Sanders, and Lane Johnson are all expected to play this weekend after missing last week’s contest. Furthermore, Jason Peters and Brandon Graham are also expected to play after suffering injuries on Sunday. Thank the heavens.

With those guys now in the lineup, does that make me more confident for Sunday? Yes, but that really isn’t saying much, considering where my confidence levels were at around 4 p.m. last Sunday.

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Week 1 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team

By Matt Szczypiorski, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer

We’ve made it. Eagles football is finally back, and while it may look a little different with fans in the stands an unlikely scenario for this season, all that means is more people will join me in screaming at their televisions.

Oh how I’ve missed Zach Ertz’s inability to break tackles, Nathan Gerry getting juked out of his cleats, and the Eagles secondary getting burnt to a crisp.

And don’t you fret Eagles fans! We get to see the majesty that is Jason Peters’ half-second too early false starts for at least one more season. I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

For the third time in four seasons, the Eagles opening day game will be against the Washington Re-- ...I mean Football Team. As we all know by now, after many years of outside pressure, the Washington franchise was finally forced to change their nickname by the league.

They clearly had the creative juices flowing when they came up with this name.

My oh my, the things I would sacrifice to have been a fly on the wall in that meeting.

All joking aside, the Eagles and Washington have played in some really close contests over the past few years. Despite the narrow margins, the Eagles have come out on top in each of the last six meetings. Many of those games have provided some great memories for Philly fans.

Doug Pederson will be coaching against Ron Rivera, who will be making his head coaching debut for Washington (prayers to him, as he was recently diagnosed with cancer). The Eagles enter Sunday afternoon’s game in Landover as 5.5 point favorites.

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