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September 07, 2019

Week 1 NFL picks: Rounding up the experts' predictions for Eagles-Redskins

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1228_Darren_Sproles_Eagles_USAT Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports

Darren Sproles could be playing in his final NFL game Sunday.

No more training camp talk, no more 53-man roster projections, no more Antonio Brown talk. It's time for some actual, meaningful NFL football in South Philadelphia.

As we will be doing every week this season — all the way through Super Bowl 54 (assuming they go that far...) — we've compiled the predictions and picks of expert football writers across the media landscape.

The Eagles are hosting the Redskins Sunday at 1 p.m., and it's not pretty for Washington. Of the 60 experts whose opinions are listed below, just one picked Washington to win in Week 1.

Take a look...

•  PhillyVoice staff: All six of our staffers are picking the Eagles to roll Sunday, with Joe Santoliquito calling an absolute blow out : 

TThe 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. Eagles 42, Washington 13.

•  ESPN staff: All 10 of their experts are picking the Eagles to beat the Redskins on Sunday.

•  Tim McManus, ESPN.com: Eagles 27, Redskins 17

The Eagles are anticipating Washington cornerback Josh Norman will shadow Alshon Jeffery most of the game. That's all the more reason for Carson Wentz to target his other outside receiver, DeSean Jackson, who has a history of monster games against his former teams. 

•  John Keim, ESPN.com: Eagles 42, Redskins 13

Tight ends will do most of the damage in this matchup. The Redskins' Jordan Reed will catch five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown, and Eagles tight end Zach Ertz will continue his domination of Washington with seven catches for 80 yards and a score of his own.

•  Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Eagles 31, Redskins 14

While these organizations are uneven in so many ways, the battle up front when the Eagles have the ball will reveal much about where both squads are headed in 2019. If Eagles left tackle Jason Peters and right guard Brandon Brooks put their injury concerns aside well enough to handle the Redskins' rugged defensive line, led by Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, Philadelphia's offense will look primed to steamroll its schedule. If the Redskins' compelling front seven has any chance of keeping its team in playoff contention, the 'Bama big uglies need to dominate.

•  CBSSports.com staffAll eight of their experts are picking the Birds to get to 1-0 Sunday afternoon.


MORE: Where, how and what to bet on (or against) the Eagles


•  OddsSharkTheir computer model is predicting the Eagles win handily, by 19 points.

•  Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 35, Redskins 14 

There’s an enormous gulf between these two rosters. Philadelphia has great depth, Washington has a lot of holes. I don’t see this one being close.

•  Michael David Smith, ProFootballTalk: Eagles 34, Redskins 17

Dysfunction meets potential dynasty.

•  Bleacher Report, NFL staffEagles 24, Redskins 13

The Washington Redskins were outscored 52-13 by the Philadelphia Eagles in a pair of humiliating December losses last season. Since then, the Eagles have gotten healthier and arguably stronger, while the Redskins have experienced another painful offseason. So while double-digit spreads for season openers between division rivals are horrifying, the majority of our experts are still getting behind Philadelphia minus 10 points Sunday. 

"Big spreads like this make me especially nervous early in the season because there's just so much we don't know yet about teams," Davenport said. "But the Redskins look like a mess. The skill-position talent on offense is exceedingly meh; the only thing more meh than that skill-position talent is the prospect of Case Keenum at quarterback, and left tackle Trent Williams is nowhere to be found." 

Still, this isn't unanimous, and Sobleski defended his decision to back the 'dog. 

"Last season, the Redskins sat atop the NFC East standings until Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury," he said. "The season spiraled out of control after that point. But last year shows Washington is a better team than it's given credit for. Yes, Keenum doesn't elicit much excitement as a starting quarterback, but the backfield is loaded and the defense is talented. Washington is good enough to keep a game against the rival Eagles close." 

Gagnon, like Davenport, isn't convinced the Redskins can protect Keenum, who's only starting because Smith is injured and Dwayne Haskins isn't ready. He breaks the tie in favor of Philly.    

•  SBNation staff: All six of their writers picked the Eagles to win.

•  Bleeding Green Nation staff: True to form, all eight of their writers picked the Eagles to win.


MORE: Philly Godfather: Tease the Eagles, Ravens in Week 1, watch out for Rams Super Bowl curse


•  NJ.com staffWe finally have a Washington pick! Of the seven NFL writers on staff, six chose Philly to triumph. The lone exception? Joe Giglio. 

•  Philly Influencer staff: Six more writers, six more Eagles over Redskins predictions. Here's what Nick Piccone had to say:

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. 
Hopefully.

•  Todd Haislop, Sporting News: Eagles 21, Redskins 10

These season-opening division games can be tricky for teams like the Eagles, big favorites hosting their rivals in a game they have no business losing. Ask the Saints, who let the Buccaneers score 48 points in the Superdome to open last season. Of course, that loss did not impact New Orleans' run to the NFC title game, and Philadelphia would take the same trade-off should it drop its opener against Washington. Don't count on it, though, especially if Trent Williams isn't there to keep the Eagles' pass-rushers away from Case Keenum.

•  Vinny Iyer, Sporting News: Eagles 27, Redskins 10

The Redskins are rolling with Case Keenum over rookie Dwayne Haskins, and this is a tough early assignment for the veteran. Washington will do its best to run with Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson to take pressure off Keenum, but the Eagles’ pass rush will get to him once it’s done stuffing the rushing attack. He will be forced to drop back into trouble, and a healthy Carson Wentz will light up the scoreboard behind a healthy line and with remixed weapons.


RELATED: Jimmy Kempski's Week 1 NFL picks


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