|ESPN.com: NFC East||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
In what has become an overnight sensation, the Beast will now attempt to guide you through the Philadelphia Eagles' '09 season. Will Philly need another strong push at the end or will they stack up wins early? Keep reading to find out:
Sept. 13 at Carolina: The Eagles were pretty steady against the run last season. They'll force Jake Delhomme to beat them -- and he won't be able to. Eagles' 1-0 start creates good vibes and makes Donovan McNabb's new signing bonus seem like a bargain.
Sept. 20 New Orleans: Drew Brees will be in search of a shootout, but on this day, it's second-year wide receiver DeSean Jackson who steals the show. He scores two touchdowns and the Eagles improve to 2-0. City rejoices.
Sept. 27 Kansas City: I respect the work of new head coach Todd Haley immensely, but he'll still be tinkering with things at this point. The Eagles' defense will have Matt Cassel on his heels from the start. The Chiefs will surprise some teams, but the Eagles will take care of business on this afternoon to improve to 3-0.
Oct. 4 Bye: What an absolute drag to have your bye this early in the season. I bet Andy Reid hated this more than anything on the schedule.
Oct. 11 Tampa Bay: The Eagles get to sleep in their own beds for a month. Reid will keep them sharp during the early bye week and the Bucs will be in trouble -- mainly because of suspect quarterback play. Eagles are 4-0 and someone at ESPN.com will ask me to write a "perfect season" column.
Oct. 18 at Oakland: For some reason, this game scares me. No, I don't think Tom Cable's the next Madden, but strange things happen in Oakland. Give me the Raiders in an upset. This would be my inexplicable Eagles loss of the season. 4-1
Oct. 26 at Washington: I love a good prime-time game, and both teams should still be in the hunt for a playoff spot. The loss against the Raiders serves as a timely wakeup call. 5-1
Nov. 1 New York Giants: What a tough stretch against division opponents. The Giants matched up well with the Eagles last season, but New York has brought in reinforcements on defense. And Braylon Edwards will do his best Plax imitation and catch four balls for 117 yards and a touchdown. You heard it here first. 5-2
Nov. 8 Dallas: Back-to-back great games -- and this one's in prime time. The Cowboys are haunted by that 44-6 shellacking at the end of last season. This one's a lot closer, but the Eagles prevail -- and improve to 6-2.
Nov. 15 at San Diego: This is about the time when Norv Turner wakes up his team and reminds them how easy it is to win the AFC West. LaDainian Tomlinson is still weeks away from a toe injury at this point. Chargers roll and the Eagles fall to 6-3.
Nov. 22 at Chicago: You have to hope Jay Cutler's not on a roll at this point. But with his subpar group of wide receivers, I'm not that worried. The Eagles make up for that ridiculous loss to the Bears in '08 to improve to 7-3.
Nov. 29 Washington: I think Jason Campbell's about to have a really nice season, but he won't win in the Linc in late November. It's just not happening. The playoff push continues with the Eagles improving to 8-3.
Dec. 6 at Atlanta: Uh-oh. We've reached the dangerous portion of the schedule. Falcons only lost one game at home last season. And Matt Ryan would love nothing more than to beat his hometown team. Bad spot for the Eagles in my mind. 8-4
Dec. 13 at New York Giants: This is about the time in '08 when the Eagles walked into the Meadowlands and pushed the mighty Giants around. That's why they were so confident in the playoff win. But I think the Giants have circled this one on the calendar. Huge division game. Giants win. 8-5
Dec. 20 San Francisco: Not the pushover the 49ers once were -- but still a pushover. Eagles get back on the winning track when a rookie running back named Rashad Jennings runs for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Trust me on this one. 9-5
Dec. 27 Denver: For some reason, Kyle Orton has never scared me in late December. Eagles sack The Neckbeard five times and improve to 10-5.
Jan. 3 at Dallas: Let's hope it means something. Last year, the Cowboys rolled over and played dead in this game. At their new stadium, the Cowboys will actually find a way. Eagles finish 10-6 and grab a wild-card playoff spot.
Updated records: The Eagles and Cowboys both finished the '09 season 10-6. We're still waiting to see how the Giants and Redskins did. Keep hitting "refresh" every 35 seconds or so to find out.