September 06, 2019
After months and months of waiting, football season finally returns this weekend with Week 1 of the NFL season and a full slate of games on tap.
For the Eagles, they won't have to wait for their first NFC East test as they'll host Washington at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. But with the Birds a whopping 10-point favorite against Case Keenum and Co. — the largest spread of any matchup this weekend — it doesn't seem like it's expected to be that big of a test.
But with Carson Wentz yet to play in a game this summer after sitting out all four of the preseason games — and many of the rest of the starters playing just a handful of snaps, if any — there could be a good deal of rust still stuck to the Eagles offense. So it could be a tighter test than some expect.
With that in mind, let's take a look at what you need to know for Sunday's opener, as well as which team our writers think will come out on top...
TV: FOX | RADIO: 94.1 WIP
SPREAD: Eagles (-10) | TOTAL: 45.0 (via Bovada)
While the Eagles' preseason was far from pretty, Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz have proven that they will have the team ready to play Week 1, as the Eagles have started 1-0 in each of the last three years. They've also been successful against Washington, sweeping their division rival in each of the last two years:
That would be a combined score of 116-54 in favor of the Eagles in the last four matchups between these two teams. On Wednesday, we laid out our five matchups to watch, but it's probably just easier to say that the Eagles have one of the best rosters in football, and Washington has one of the worst.
It's pretty clear the Redskins are a much worse team than the Eagles — I'll let the other guys tell you why. It's just a matter of how strong the Eagles will look in Week 1 after not playing their starters much (or at all) over the preseason. We saw kind of how rusty and out of whack a team can be in the ugly Packers-Bears, a team that didn't see their starting QBs get any real reps in preseason games. Will Wentz be in MVP form right out of the shoot?
I'm taking the Birds here but I think it'll be a struggle early before Philly breaks things open toward the end. I don't have them covering the 10-point spread.
I alluded to as much in my intro but I don't see this one being a rout, although that's certainly not out of the question. Typically when two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum face off this early in the season, it benefits the lesser team, and in this case, that's Washington.
We've yet to see the Eagles full 2019 offense take the field together, and although the expectations are high based on how it looks on paper, it will be a lot more reassuring once we see it in action. We'll hopefully know a lot more about the Birds after Week 1 — and that will likely make picking their games a lot easier — but for now, all we've seen is practice.
That being said, the Eagles are still the better team and will handle business on Sunday at the Linc. They just might not cover the spread.
The Eagles emerged from the preseason basically unscathed with one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Washington is on the other side of that talent spectrum, and Trent Williams’ absence only broadens the gap.
Will this be a sloppier game than Eagles fans hope? I think so. As much as rest helped keep them healthy, they still need to develop timing on offense and get into game shape across the board. There’s no substitute for game reps.
But that shouldn’t stop them from beating an inferior team starting Case Keenum at QB. The Eagles kick things off with a win.
The Eagles are that good and I do believe the Redskins are that bad. I also feel Carson Wentz sees this season as a rebirth of sorts. He's healthy, he has a healthy attitude, he'll spread the ball around and this will be the start of a special season. Anything less than the NFC East title and winning the NFC would be a major disappointment.
I don’t think there could be a better team to kick off the season against. Washington could possibly be considered at the “dumpster fire” phase of their rebuild. With Case Keenum at the helm and left tackle Trent Williams holding out for a new contract, there’s nothing other than a semi-strong defense that you can pinpoint to hinder an Eagles offense that is STACKED with weapons for the glorious return of our savior Carson Wentz.
I think this could potentially be a massacre on Sunday to the delight of the home crowd.
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