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Eagles vs. Browns: Week 1 Preview

It’s finally here, football is back in Philadelphia baby!  Our Philadelphia Eagles kick off their season today against the Cleveland Browns.  So let’s take a closer look at this game and see what you can expect.

Offensive Breakdown 

This is a bit of a wildcard due to the simple fact that the Eagles changed quarterbacks one week before the season starts.  Look, we knew what we were going to get with Sam Bradford when he was on the field.  You were going to get a west coast offense and you weren’t going to see any shots taken down the field.  With Wentz in the game, I’m expecting to see a bit more of a modified offense similar to what you saw in Kansas City.  I expect to see Pederson get Wentz on the move, pound the running game early and often, and utilize his tight end in a big way.  Cleveland ranked 27th in total defense last year and simply don’t have a ton of talent on the defensive side of the football.

Bottom Line:  The Eagles offense will not be very explosive this year, but I expect a pretty productive day out of the unit today.  Since he’s fully healthy and may not be for the rest of the season, I’m expecting Ryan Mathews to pound the ball early and often.  I’m also expecting a big day out of Zach Ertz.  Jordan Matthews missed the preseason, which essentially made Zach Ertz the top receiving threat.  While Matthews works to get his legs under him, Ertz should flourish.

Defensive Breakdown 

The Eagles finally did it, they switched back to the 4-3!  Although I admit, I was fully on board with Chip Kelly, the one thing I never understood, was why they went with a 3-4 instead of a 4-3.  This team has such great talent to play a 4-3 defense and they’re finally switching back to it.  Fletcher Cox will be an All-Pro this year, the defensive end rotation is extremely talented, and I expect this safety duo to be one of the best in the NFL.  The Browns are starting RG3 in his first start since 2014, they’ll be without their top wideout and marijuana aficionado (Josh Gordon), and they’re extremely thin on the offensive line.  The Eagles did rank 30th in total defense last year, but with all the aforementioned changes, I expect close a top 10 finish this year, if not in the top 10.

Bottom Line:  This defense, under Jim Schwartz, is going to bring the personality and toughness that this city loves.  With his new attacking scheme, Fletcher Cox’s rise to stardom (pun), and a shaky Cleveland offense, I expect the defense to have a big say in this game.

FINAL PREDICTION

Eagles 23, Browns 20

I think you’re going to see some sloppy play to start this game.  RG3 hasn’t started a game in over a year, Wentz missed most of the preseason, both teams have new coaching staffs, and both teams have dealt with injuries and players being unavailable all preseason.  Sadly, this will not be an easy game for the Eagles.  But I’m fully expecting Ryan Mathews to have a strong game, Wentz to manage the game, and the defense to be stout.  Birds win 23-20.

About KeithCarman

My name is Keith Carman and I eat, sleep, and breathe Eagles football. I've grown up and spent 27 years as a Philadelphia Eagles fan. Writing and talking Eagles football is my passion and my dream.

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