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Expectations are much higher in Philadelphia this year. The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a surprising playoff appearance last season, finishing with a winning record in head coach Nick Sirianni's first season -- also Jalen Hurts' first as the full-time starting quarterback for the franchise. 

The Eagles rewarded their faith in Hurts by acquiring A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans, pairing him with DeVonta Smith to form one of the best young wide receiver tandems in football. Philadelphia also has a promising young receiver in Quez Watkins while Dallas Goedert has emerged as one of the top tight ends in the game. Add in the No. 1 rushing attack and one of the best offensive lines in football and it's easy to project why the Eagles can emerge as a contender for the NFC East title. 

There's an excitement on the defensive side of the ball as well, as the Eagles drastically improved their pass rush with the offseason signing of Haason Reddick and the draft picks of Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. Brandon Graham is back from an Achilles injury and Josh Sweat is coming off a breakout season, adding even more firepower to that unit. The return of Fletcher Cox will also benefit an interior of a defensive line anchored by Javon Hargrave. Darius Slay will lead a young secondary that still has some things to figure out, yet the Eagles have the makings of a return trip to the postseason. 

How far the Eagles can go in 2022 will depend on Hurts taking the next step in his development -- and ultimately becoming the next franchise quarterback. The Eagles certainly have a favorable schedule based on the opponents' win percentage (.464 is third-lowest in NFL). 

Caesars Sportsbook has the Eagles' Over/Under set at nine wins, with +250 odds to win the NFC East. A game-by-game prediction of the Eagles' schedule is provided below, along with the opponents' Over/Under win total. Before diving into all that, let's take a look at some schedule highlights and the toughest stretch on the calendar. 

Schedule highlights

  • Five prime-time games, four of which are at Lincoln Financial Field
  • Four road games played on a short week 
  • Three consecutive road games in December
  • Not leaving the state of Pennsylvania for three weeks and play just one road game from Weeks 6 through 10 -- a 40-day stretch where the only road game is on a Thursday night (Week 9 at the Texans)
  • Nine home games in 2022, compared to eight from last year 

Toughest stretch

The Eagles have three games from Weeks 11-13 that will truly challenge them, as each of these opponents had winning records from last season. Philadelphia will face the Indianapolis Colts (9-8) at Lucas Oil Stadium on a short week to kick off the slate, followed by a home showdown against the Green Bay Packers (13-4) on "Sunday Night Football." 

A home date against the Tennessee Titans (12-5) in Week 13 caps off the gauntlet, as Tennessee was the top seed in the AFC last season. These three teams have a combined .667 win percentage from last season. 

Even though the Eagles have two of those three games at home, this will be a test to see how good they are in 2022. 

Predictions

Week 1: at Lions (Sun., Sept. 11, 1 p.m.)

  • Line: Lions +3.5
  • Opponent win total: O/U 6

The Lions were one of the worst teams in football, but improved their offense last year with the additions of D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams. Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson are no longer Jared Goff's lone options in the passing game. 

Expect some points in this one, as the Eagles pull away in the second half.

Prediction: Eagles 34, Lions 23

Record: 1-0

Week 2: vs. Vikings (Mon., Sept. 19, 8:30 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 9

Justin Jefferson against the Eagles secondary is going to be something to watch, especially since the Eagles infamously picked Jalen Reagor over him. This is Jefferson's first game against the Eagles since that 2020 draft. 

Kirk Cousins typically plays well against the Eagles, but is 2-7 all time on "Monday Night Football" (both wins against the Bears). Thanks to the Vikings' offensive line, the Eagles' pass rush should have an impact on this game. 

Prediction: Eagles 27, Vikings 24

Record: 2-0

Week 3: at Commanders (Sun., Sept. 25, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

Carson Wentz's first game against his former team will be entertaining, and the Commanders should have the advantage facing the Eagles at home on a short week. The Eagles' offensive line will be tested against a Commanders pass rush that has Chase Young back in the fold. 

Wentz is always prone to make a mistake at a crucial part of the game, but he'll play like a top quarterback in this one. He'll get the revenge he wanted in a trap game for the Eagles. 

Prediction: Commanders 30, Eagles 23

Record: 2-1

Week 4: vs. Jaguars (Sun., Oct. 2, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 6.5

Doug Pederson's return to Philadelphia will be an emotional one for Eagles fans, but Philadelphia is a better team than Jacksonville at this stage. The Eagles will score some points against a Jaguars defense that is still learning Mike Caldwell's scheme, while the Eagles' defense will be pressuring Trevor Lawrence all day. 

This is the bounce-back win Philadelphia needed.

Prediction: Eagles 38, Jaguars 17

Record: 3-1

Week 5: at Cardinals (Sun., Oct. 9, 4:25 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 9

The Eagles get an advantage by not having to face DeAndre Hopkins in this one, yet the Cardinals have always been a difficult opponent at State Farm Stadium. Kyler Murray will surely give the Eagles' defense problems, even if the unit is able to bring him down. 

Expect an offensive shootout between Murray and Hurts again, just like their 2020 meeting. Murray gets the upper hand. 

Prediction: Cardinals 34, Eagles 32

Record: 3-2

Week 6: vs. Cowboys (Sun. Oct. 16, 8:20 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 10.5

If the Eagles wish to make a statement in the NFC East, beating the Cowboys at home in prime time is a good start. The Cowboys' pass rush is still good, but not as dominant as last year. The Eagles have the offensive firepower to win a shootout with Dallas if needed, but this game will come down to turnovers. 

Hurts and the offense challenge the Cowboys' secondary and win a close one. Statement made. 

Prediction: Eagles 30, Cowboys 27 

Record: 4-2

Week 8: vs. Steelers (Sun., Oct. 30, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

Coming off a bye week -- and spending the past three weeks in Philadelphia -- is a good thing for the Eagles. Pittsburgh always seems to have a hard time playing in Philadelphia (no matter the stadium), but will keep the Eagles on their toes throughout the game. 

The Eagles' pass rush will make a difference in the second half, as it plans to in several games this year. 

Prediction: Eagles 29, Steelers 18

Record: 5-2

Week 9: at Texans (Thurs., Nov. 3, 8:15 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 4.5

The Eagles couldn't have asked for a better team to play on a short week. Houston is still in the rebuilding phase, even if Davis Mills has shown he can compete in the league. This offense should have no problem scoring points against Houston, which gives up a lot of yards through the air. 

Philadelphia develops a nice little win streak. 

Prediction: Eagles 37, Texans 17 

Record: 6-2

Week 10: vs. Commanders (Mon., Nov. 14, 8:15 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

The Eagles have 11 days to get their vengeance against Wentz for beating them in Week 3. This game will be emotional for Wentz, who returns to Lincoln Financial Field in front of a raucous crowd. 

Wentz has one of his poor performances and Hurts and the offense find ways to beat their pass rush this time. This will be a big game for the Eagles' passing attack. 

Prediction: Eagles 27, Commanders 20

Record: 7-2

Week 11: at Colts (Sun., Nov. 20, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

After a big win against the Commanders, the Eagles will have a short week to prepare for Frank Reich and the Colts. Nick Sirianni will be facing his former head coach for the first time -- a trap game for sure. 

The Eagles enter the toughest stretch of their season. The start isn't what they hoped, even though they'll run the ball well. 

Prediction: Colts 24, Eagles 22

Record: 7-3

Week 12: vs. Packers (Sun., Nov. 27, 8:20 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 11

The Eagles have a daunting task against Aaron Rodgers, who will have his new-look offense figured out by the time these two teams meet. Rodgers is expected to get his yards against the Eagles' secondary, so the pass rush will have to be on top of its game and make critical red zone stops. 

Philadelphia's offense will be ready for the moment, but this will be a tough one to pull off. The Eagles lose their first home game of the year.

Prediction: Packers 31, Eagles 27

Record: 7-4

Week 13: vs. Titans (Sun., Dec. 4, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

This game is tailor made for A.J. Brown, who will be seeking vengeance against the team that failed to sign him to a contract extension. Philadelphia gets back on track with a big game from Brown as its rush defense will be tested against Derrick Henry throughout the day.

An early lead will force the Titans to abandon the run in the fourth quarter. 

Prediction: Eagles 33, Titans 23

Record: 8-4

Week 14: at Giants (Sun., Dec. 11, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 7

The first of a critical three-game road trip in December starts at MetLife Stadium, where Hurts played his worst game of the season against a poor Giants team last year. New York will be better, but Hurts exercises those demons by keeping the Eagles' offense on track. 

With the NFC East at stake, the Eagles can't afford a bad loss to the Giants this time.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Giants 18

Record: 9-4

Week 15: at Bears (Sun., Dec. 18, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 6.5

Typically, having a hard time at Soldier Field shouldn't be a problem for the Eagles, as the Bears are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league. Justin Fields could give the Eagles problems, but the Bears don't have the offensive firepower to compete in a rebuilding year. 

This could be a trap game for the showdown in Dallas. The Eagles won't let that happen. 

Prediction: Eagles 34, Bears 20

Record: 10-4

Week 16: at Cowboys (Sun., Dec. 24, 4:25 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 10.5

Winning in Dallas has been tough for the Eagles in recent years, especially since Dak Prescott has become the Cowboys' starting quarterback. Sweeping the Cowboys will be a tall order for the Eagles, one Prescott will be determined to not let happen. 

The Cowboys' running game will give the Eagles fits in the rematch, as Dallas stays alive in the NFC East race. 

Prediction: Dallas 27, Eagles 24

Record: 10-5 

Week 17: vs. Saints (Sun., Jan. 1, 1 p.m.)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 8

The Saints are going to be hard to project the entire season, especially with Dennis Allen as the head coach tasked with replacing Sean Payton. Adding Jarvis Landry with Michael Thomas and Chris Olave will make the passing attack more formidable, but will New Orleans score enough points?

This game is a toss-up, but Sirianni will have the Eagles ready as a playoff spot is on the line. 

Prediction: Eagles 26, Saints 23

Record: 11-5

Week 18: vs. Giants (Sun., Jan. 8, TBD)

  • Opponent win total: O/U 7

Whether this game means anything for the Eagles or not in terms of the NFC East is up for debate, but the Eagles should be fighting for a division title and a home playoff game heading into Week 18.

They won't let this opportunity slip away at home. A win over the Giants showcases the improvements Philadelphia made in 2022. Twelve wins certainly has this team on the right track.

Prediction: Eagles 34, Giants 17 

Record: 12-5