The sports world is ecstatic to see if Chip Kelly can keep pace with the NFL and compete as well as some expect him to.
Well, we still have to wait five months to find out, but with the regular season schedule released yesterday (4/18), we might as well have some fun and predict what Chip's first year in Philly might look like.
Week 1: @ Washington Redskins
Three years in a row the Eagles will start off the regular season away from home, and I believe three years in a row, they will manage to start the season at 1-0.
RGIII will most likely not be at 100 percent by then (Kirk Cousins may start), and Chip Kelly's offense expects to catch teams off guard for AT LEAST the first few weeks.
Week 2: San Diego Chargers
The Eagles will open their regular season at home against the Chargers, and from what I can tell by SD's offseason moves, this is a rebuilding year for them. Expect the country-wide trip along with Kelly's uber-fast paced offense to keep the Chargers guessing all game.
Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs
Yes, you read that correctly. Andy Reid will be making his return to Philadelphia this year, week three to be exact, on Thursday Night Football. It will be the game of the week, and surely the whole nation will be watching.
The Chiefs have had an epic offseason to say the least, and with the No.1 pick in the upcoming draft, everyone is expecting Andy to solidify that line, so the Eagles will be facing their toughest opponent yet.
Reid will get his standing ovation like McNabb did, but he will leave Philly with a loss. Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman will be damned if they lose this game to the guy they booted out of town. Expect Chip to feel the pressure on this one. Hard to go 3-0, and I feel a little bias putting them at that, but it looks like it could happen.
Week 4: @ Denver Broncos
Well, four weeks in, looks like reality is about to set in. Peyton Manning and the Broncos have one of if not the easiest schedule of 2013 (not fair, right??) and the Eagles will provide some of their lone competition next season. Expect Kelly's Eagles to play up to the competition, but fall short to the future Hall of Famer.
Week 5: @ New York Giants
Eagles come off a tough loss and travel to New York to take on one of their most bitter rivals, the Giants. Eli Manning seems to have hit or miss games against the Eagles, and I expect this weeks to be a miss. Kelly will fuel his team to redeem their loss from the previous week as they manage to steam roll the New York Giants.
Week 6: @ Tampa Bay
Eagles are on a long road trip so far, and Tampa Bay should be a good way to end it. Assuming the Revis trade falls through, the Buc's will still be in the bottom of the NFL at pass defense and they will be relying on a rookie (likely Xavier Rhodes) to cover the likes of Jeremy Maclin or DeSean Jackson, which is a bad idea. Expect the Eagles to beat the Bucs two years in a row in their own home, this time with a little more firepower.
Week 7: Dallas Cowboys
If there's one team I look forward to the Eagles playing every year, it's the Cowboys. Whether it is watching Tony Romo have an off-day or waiting for Jerry Jones to have an inevitable mid-game heart attack, this rivalry is always something to look forward to.
Despite losing both times to the Cowboys last year, Nick Foles managed to keep them in check both games. Michael Vick provides more experience and knows the Cowboys better, combine that with the Eagles' new up-tempo offense and it spells disaster for the Cowboys.
Everyone can agree, the Eagles biggest and most hated rival, is the Dallas Cowboys. Kelly knows he has to win this one, for the city of Philadelphia.
Week 8: New York Giants
At this point the Eagles are 6-1, surely taking the NFL by surprise. Well, this week they come back down to Earth. Eli Manning avenges his week five loss and the Giants are the first team to find an answer for Chip Kelly's tricky offense.
Week 9: @ Oakland Raiders
The last time the Eagles and Raiders met, JaMarcus Russell was their quarterback.... and they actually won.
The Eagles put up a pathetic fight and literally let Russell run all over them.
By this point in the season, chances are Darren McFadden will be re-injured, but the defense should be able to take a page out of the Giants' playbook and put up a tough fight and keep the Eagles down, but not grounded.
Philly has to win this week, because lord knows they'll be tested next week.
Week 10: @ Green Bay Packers
The Eagles (in my world) would be coming into this game 7-2, atop the NFC East. They match up well against the Packers, but haven't played a passer like Aaron Rodgers since they went into Denver.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, this too is an away game. Like the game against the Broncos, they'll keep it close, maybe even take it into overtime, but in the end the Packers will come away victorious.
Week 11: Washington Redskins
RGIII is healthy, and there's a darn good chance Vick could be hurt by this point. The Redskins will be out for blood this week and it will be the revenge game of the year. The Eagles will put up a fight, but crumble in the fourth quarter when RGIII shows he's the premiere dual-threat quarterback in the NFC East.
Week 12: BYE
Everyone get's a quick chance to rest, and get healthy. Much needed.
Week 13: Arizona Cardinals
Last year, the Eagles were literally slaughtered by the Arizona Cardinals in week three with Kevin Kolb leading the way. They lost to them the year before, too. Well, expect Chip Kelly to keep his team working hard during the bye-week with only a small break, helping them get a much needed win in week 13 against Larry Fitzgerald and the Cards.
Week 14: Detroit Lions
For the second year in a row, the Eagles will host the Lions. Unlike last year, the Eagles will have (hopefully) a far better secondary should be able to shut down Megatron for most of the game. Expect a big game from McCoy and Vick, just like in 2010.
Week 15: @ Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson vs. LeSean McCoy. Sounds like one helluva game to me. Thankfully for McCoy's sake, the workload won't be on just him. The Eagles' offense should have no problem blowing through the Vikings' defense as long as they spread five-wide getting every player involved from Bryce Brown to Damaris Johnson.
The defense on the other hand should be able to flourish as long as they can keep Peterson from having one of his signature games. Plus, without stud wide receiver Percy Harvin, how far can Peterson really carry this team?
Week 16: Chicago Bears
The Bears finished at 10-6 last year, but failed to make the Playoffs. If there's one franchise out for revenge on the entire league, it has to be Chicago.
Mark Trestman is expected to flourish as the Bears' new head coach and Jay Cutler may just have his best year yet. Expect the Bears to come into Philadelphia and take the Eagles off their high-horses when they once again show the NFL how to shut down Michael Vick and the Eagles.
Week 17: @ Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles are at 10-5, which is a relief to Eagles fans everywhere. Unfortunately, like we saw with the Bears last year and the Giants two years before that, not every team with 10 wins makes the playoffs.
The Eagles need this win to secure a playoff spot, but thankfully for them it's not the Cowboys their worried about making the playoffs. Eagles don't show up to play, assuming they can walk into the postseason with only 10 wins.
Final Record: 10-6
Well, the Eagles finish the season with a more than respectable record of 10-6. Chip Kelly is looking like a genius, and Michael Vick looks like he might actually be getting a new contract to stay in "Midnight Green".
Rejoice Eagles fans, brighter days are ahead in Philadelphia.