Eagles’ road to 17-0: Philly’s 8-0 run over nine remaining games, with predictions

The Philadelphia Eagles are the last undefeated team in the NFL for over a month and are off to an 8-0 start for the first time in franchise history. There are 40 teams that have started 8-0 in NFL history — 29 since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger — 14 of which have won a Super Bowl or NFL championship. So the Eagles will certainly take the 35% odds to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Of those 40 teams that started 8-0, only four finished a perfect regular season: the 1934 Chicago Bears, the 1942 Chicago Bears, the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2007 New England Patriots. The Dolphins were the only team to finish a perfect season — showing how the task of going undefeated is nearly impossible.

The Eagles really have a golden opportunity to run the table through the end of the regular season in 2022. Philadelphia will face five teams that currently have losing records. The other four games are against the NFC East (where the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are a combined 12-4) and the only team over .500 in the AFC South (Tennessee Titans).

Of the rest of the Eagles’ opponents, their combined record is 39-36-1 as their .510 winning percentage is 13th worst in the NFL. According to the Power Rankings Guru, the Eagles have played the easiest schedule in the NFL to date – yet they have beaten two teams with six or more wins on the schedule.

Going 17-0 will be tough, but the Eagles are talented enough to find their place in the history books. Let’s take a look at Philadelphia’s remaining schedule and predict the remaining set of games.

The Eagles will have 11 days to prepare for Taylor Heinicke and the resurgent Commanders offense, as Carson Wentz will not return to face the team that drafted him (injured reserve with a finger injury). Philadelphia’s defense sacked Wentz nine times in the first meeting as the Chiefs didn’t score for 1:55 left in the game.

The Commanders’ offensive line is better with Heinicke under center and the pass rush has settled (and Chase Young could return). Philadelphia’s passing attack still has a big advantage.

Forecast: Eagles win (9-0)

Week 11: at Colts (3-5-1)

The Colts’ offensive line has struggled all season, and it’s taken its toll on Jonathan Taylor. Indianapolis is 30th in yards per play and yards per carry, while Taylor (who was inactive with an ankle injury in Week 9) is averaging just 4.3 yards per carry with just one rushing touchdown on the season. Sam Ehlinger is more mobile than Matt Ryan, but will make just his third career start against an Eagles defense that leads the league in scoring.

Short week for the Eagles, but the defense has the edge over a Colts offense that is trying to find its identity.

Forecast: Eagles win (10-0)

Week 12: vs. Packers (3-6)

This game is such a wild card for the Eagles. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback the Eagles will face all season, but the Packers’ offense has been incredibly inconsistent. Green Bay plays poor situational football, sorely missing Davante Adams as Rodgers’ receiver. The Packers current pass catchers are a mismatch for the Eagles secondary talent.

The Packers will have to run the football and run the game short to beat the Eagles. Green Bay can do it, but will they? The Eagles will challenge a Packers run defense that is 26th in the NFL in yards allowed per game after their Week 9 loss to the Lions.

Forecast: Eagles win (11-0)

Week 13: vs. Titans (5-3)

At the end of what looked to be the Eagles’ most daunting early season, the Titans are one team that has found its identity after an 0-2 start. Give the ball to Derrick Henry to score points and stop the run.

This game will hinge on Jordan Davis returning from his high ankle sprain (eligible to come off injured reserve). That would be the Eagles’ counter to Henry, but AJ Brown will be looking to prove a point against a Titans pass defense that has allowed 15 passing touchdowns on the year (29th in the NFL) entering Week 9.

Forecast: Eagles win (12-0)

Week 14: at Giants (6-2)

Who knows where the Giants will be at this point in the season? This will be the third straight NFC East game New York will play, but the Giants are in prime position to have a winning record at this point in the year.

The Eagles lost at MetLife Stadium in Jalen Hurts’ worst game as a starting quarterback last year, but the Giants allow a lot of yards on the ground and their cornerback situation is dire. It looks like a game where the Eagles offense can get out to an early lead and control the flow from there. A strong start is vital.

Forecast: Eagles win (13-0)

Week 15: at Bears (3-6)

Chicago is a much better team than it has been since the start of the season and Justin Fields is developing. The Bears still have the worst passing offense in the league and the 30th-ranked defense. That doesn’t seem like an ideal formula for beating an Eagles team playing to their strengths.

The Eagles are on track for a first-round bye and home field advantage this week. That won’t be decided this week, but they’ll take care of business in Chicago.

Forecast: Eagles win (14-0)

Week 16: at Cowboys (6-2)

This highly anticipated Christmas Eve matchup will be huge for both teams, but the Cowboys will have more to play for than the Eagles here. Dak Prescott will bring a much different look to the Cowboys’ offense than Cooper Rush did, even if Philadelphia may have clinched the division by then (the Eagles have two games in hand and a head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas after Week 9).

If the Eagles lose a game, that makes the most sense. Green Bay, Tennessee and New York are contenders for the first loss, but the Eagles haven’t won in Dallas since 2017. That streak continues, if little is at stake for Philadelphia.

Forecast: Eagles lose (14-1)

Week 17 vs. Saints (3-5)

The Eagles clinch home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs with a win, having the opportunity to take care of a Saints team that turns the football over at an alarming rate (16 turnovers ranks third in the NFL) and score points against a defense that is 26 1st in the NFL in points allowed entering Monday night’s game against the Ravens.

A perfect record at home remains. The quest to go undefeated is gone, but the road to the Super Bowl runs through Lincoln Financial Field.

Forecast: Eagles win (15-1)

Week 18: vs. Giants (6-2)

This game means nothing to the Eagles and it may mean nothing to the Giants either. It could be a game of backup quarterbacks, as many young players on both teams are getting significant NFL snaps.

Winning 15 games is pretty impressive, especially since the Eagles have never accomplished that in a regular season.

Forecast: Eagles lose (15-2)

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