BY PAUL MANCANO—Ah, yes, it’s that time again. Preseason is winding down and roster cuts are approaching. The perfect time for some bold regular season predictions. And if there’s one thing the Moose loves, besides taking a long drink from the Schuylkill River to clear his head, it’s bold regular season predictions.
So, without further ado, I give you, the prophetic game-by-game Eagles prediction from the infallible Philly Moose:
Week 1: Jaguars 10, Eagles 30
During the week leading up to the season opener, a shockingly large percentage of callers on WIP say we should’ve hired Gus Bradley instead of Chip a year ago. But the Jaguars suck so hard in this game, those callers give up and only call in now to say Matt Barkley should be the franchise quarterback.
Week 2: Eagles 33, Colts 41
Andrew Luck blows the cover off the Eagles’ secondary, throwing for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Late in the third quarter, just after getting torched yet again, Cary Williams throws his helmet against the bench and starts jawin’ off. Chip rushes down the sideline to put him in his place. Williams is benched the entire fourth quarter. After the game, Chip says it was a “football decision.” This time, we believe him.
Week 3: Redskins 17, Eagles 27
In one of the worst editorial decision of all time, the Philadelphia Daily News carries the headline “Jackson’s Back, Son” on the day of the game. Jackson makes his presence known early. After scoring the first touchdown of the game, he proceeds to flap his arms like an eagle to thunderous boos. But amidst his flapping, Connor Barwin levels him, then stands over him taunting, a la Chuck Bednarik. The tone for the game is set. Eagles roll.
Week 4: Eagles 11, 49ers 35
Chip tries one of those weird-looking two-point conversions in the first quarter and it actually works! But Kap tosses three TDs in the rout. Alex Henrey misses three field goal attempts, which prompts Dave Fipp to call on Carey “Murderleg” Spear to hit a 35-yarder. Spear’s kick goes so far right, it misses the screen and hits a female fan in the head, killing her instantly. The prophesy of Murderleg is fulfilled.
Week 5: Rams 21, Eagles 24
Lane Johnson returns, but LeSean McCoy is stymied by St. Louis’ vaunted front seven. So, Nickfolean Dynamite takes to the air. Foles shines, tossing two deep bombs to Jeremy Maclin, including one with two minutes left to complete the Birds’ comeback. But the game garners national attention when Michael Sam comes in for one play in the second quarter and does absolutely nothing. ESPN spends the next week applauding his heroic effort.
Week 6: Giants 7, Eagles 14
Shady rebounds from the Rams game in a big way, breaking through for 195 yards and accounting for both touchdowns. The defense also looks the best it has in weeks. MalcolmJenkins turns a couple lame ducks into picks, causing Eli to put his hands on his hips and put on that dumb face he wears when he’s upset.
Week 7: Bye
In a shockingly transparent press conference, Chip finally releases the name of his girlfriend. He then goes on to describe his sexual escapades with her in full detail to a gaggle of revolted reporters. Nobody asks about his personal life ever again.
Week 8: Eagles 17, Cardinals 21
Foles goes down. In comes Sanchez. He looks really good for a couple drives, prompting Geoff Mosher to send a couple tweets questioning whether Sanchez should start for the rest of the year. But then, Sanchez, in order to avoid a sack, tosses a weak, Ronnie Brown-esque piece of flaming garbage at Shady. The ball ricochets off his butt and is picked out of midair by Patrick Peterson. “The Butt Pick” holds the “Worst of the Worst” title until June 2021, the same month the Sixers win their second-straight title.
Week 9: Eagles 34, Texans 24
Foles is still out with a sore ankle, but it’s okay, because things are a mess in Texas. Bill O’Brien, who’s at wits end with the 2-6 Texans, shoves former Pitt Panther Tom Savage into the starter’s role. Savage goes 8 for 21 with three picks. Two days later, O’Brien resigns Bobby Petrino-style, posting a note on everybody’s locker.
Week 10: Panthers 21, Eagles 23
Foles is back and in midseason form, which is good, because it’s, ya know, midseason. It’s one of those games where the Eagles offense scores a bunch early on and then goes caput, leaving the defense to cling on for dear life. But Brandon Boykin performs his usual game-saving antics with a pick in the end zone with 25 seconds left. Having beaten a very good Panthers team, the Birds now look like one of the best teams in the NFC.
Week 11: Eagles 24, Packers 27
A career game for Zack Ertz isn’t enough to push the Eagles past Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy. However, it is enough to prompt every major news outlet to take a crack at their best Ertz pun. As always, “Ertz So Good” and “Love Ertz” are the cream of the crop.
Week 12: Titans 10, Eagles 44
Shady runs for 160, the defense forces two fumbles, and Josh Huff takes the second-half kickoff to the house. Just about everybody has a good day. But the real winner is Chip’s visor, which returns to the field for the first time since last year’s blowout in Denver. Welcome back, old friend. It’s been too long.
Week 13: Eagles 33, Cowboys 17
The Eagles roll over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, as the defensive line gobbles up Tony Romo. Trent Cole and Marcus Smith combine for five sacks. Maybe Romo cracks a rib at some point in the game. I don’t know, I’m just making this stuff up.
Week 14: Seahawks 42, Eagles 13
Richard Sherman and his Band of Merry Men—sorry, “Legion of Doom”—put a hurtin’ on the Eagles’ sorry receivers. Riley Cooper gets laid out over the middle by Bruce Irvin and stumbles off with a concussion. It’s the kind of game that makes every Eagles fan wish DeSean was still with the team. Then they remember that he just cursed out RGIII on the sideline the week before for not throwing to him enough. Meh, we’re OK without him.
Week 15: Cowboys 3, Eagles 35
Jason Garrett has already been sacked and Jerry Jones has installed himself as head coach. Chip toys with him all game, intentionally scoring a touchdown with every offensive weapon, just to prove he can. With the win, the Eagles clinch the NFC East for the second-straight year.
Week 16: Eagles 21, Redskins 31
The Team-Formerly-Known-as-Redskins (they’ve been forced to change their nickname by this point, but have yet to determine a replacement nickname) DeSean bites back with a fury, catching 6 passes for 109 yards in the second half, in front of a crowd of 13,632.
Week 17: Eagles 14, Giants 9
In an utterly meaningless game, Chip trots out the starters for the opening half, like he did in the Bears game. Following an Eagles touchdown, Bryan Braman pulls off his helmet and hurls it at former Eagle and current Giants kick returner Quintin Demps. Braman is suspended for the following year, but who cares, it was awesome.
Eagles 10-6 5-1
Redskins 8-8 4-2
Giants 6-10 2-4
Cowboys 5-11 1-5
Wildcard Round: Eagles 34, Lions 20
Darren Sproles finds so much success in the wheel route, Chip decides to call it on every single play. Sproles finishes the day with 21 catches for 278 yards. Chip gets his first playoff win, and the birds head out to San Francisco.
Divisional Round: Eagles 24, 49ers 28
With Jordan Matthews finally coming into his own, the offense looks better than ever. They make it a lot closer than the early regular season game, but the Super Bowl-bound Niners are too much for the squad. Still, it was another successful season, and Howie Roseman looks to make a big splash in free agency.