By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia (CBS)—The following is a bold, somewhat irreverent dissection of Chip Kelly’s first season.
Sep. 9 at Washington, 7:10 PM ET: Expect a lot of shootouts, starting with the season opener. Robert Griffin III shows a little rust, but has enough to drive the Redskins down the field to win in the waning minutes.
Prediction: Redskins 34, Eagles 30
Sep. 15 vs. San Diego, 1:00 PM ET: The Chargers once mirrored the Eagles, a promising team that underachieved the last two years. Now they’re trying to rebuild—like the Eagles. Chip Kelly gets his first win, while Chargers’ new coach Mike McCoy still looks for his.
Prediction: Eagles 28, Chargers 24
Sep. 19 vs. Kansas City, 8:25 PM ET: Andy Reid gets booed, Donovan McNabb spews something controversially contrived in an attempt to steal the spotlight from his former coach and the occasion. Oh there is a game. The Chiefs, led by Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles, score late to still beat the Birds.
Prediction: Chiefs 35, Eagles 27
Sep. 29 at Denver, 4:25 PM ET: The Eagles should have never bothered getting off the plane. Von Miller or no Von Miller, it won’t matter. Peyton Manning salivates over the Eagles and bites into their porous secondary for over 400 yards passing.
Prediction: Broncos 48, Eagles 24
Oct. 6 at NY Giants, 1:00 PM ET: Michael Vick finally breaks down when he runs head long into Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin on the sideline. Vick is carted off the field with a concussion. A groggy Coughlin gets up, puts his headset back on and keeps coaching, despite losing the rosy color in his cheeks.
Prediction: Giants 37, Eagles 30
Oct. 13 at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM ET: The Bucs erase the awful memory of Nick Foles’ coming out party last season. Foles drives the Eagles down the field, but this time tosses an interception in the closing minutes of the game.
Prediction: Bucs 35, Eagles 32
Oct. 20 vs. Dallas, 1:00 PM ET: The Eagles bolt to a large early lead, only to have Tony Romo channel Roger Staubach and lead the Cowboys to a comeback victory.
Prediction: Cowboys 37, Eagles 35
Oct. 27 vs. NY Giants, 1:00 PM ET: The Giants’ defense has a better grasp of what Kelly likes to do, after facing them three weeks ago. Eli Manning breaks open what had been a close game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Prediction: Giants 34, Eagles 20
Nov. 3 at Oakland, 4:05 PM ET: The Raiders should have grabbed Terrelle Pryor much sooner. He was a better quarterback at Jeannette High School. This may be the Bridgewater Bowl.
Prediction: Eagles 36, Raiders 20
Nov. 10 at Green Bay, 1:00 PM ET: This will be U-G-L-Y! The Packers bury the Eagles. Aaron Rodgers sits out the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Packers 47, Eagles 20
Nov. 17 vs. Washington, 1:00 PM ET: A much healthier RGIII feasts on the Eagles’ defense along with Alfred Morris. But this may be a slightly different Eagles team than what Griffin and the Redskins saw back in September. The Eagles make it close, but lose on a last-second field goal.
Prediction: Redskins 30, Eagles 28
Nov. 24, Open
Dec. 1 vs. Arizona, 1:00 PM ET: Former Temple coach Bruce Arians has had problems with the Eagles in the past, as offensive coordinator with Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. He could have more after the Eagles come off a bye week and beat the Cards.
Prediction: Eagles 28, Cardinals 23
Dec. 8 vs. Detroit, 1:00 PM ET: This begins a run of four-straight potential playoff teams. The Lions marked the beginning of the end for Andy Reid last season by beating the Eagles in overtime. Matt Stafford finds Calvin Johnson again, and again, and again, and … nevermind.
Prediction: Lions 34, Eagles 30
Dec. 15 at Minnesota, 1:00 PM ET: If the Eagles can’t corral Jacksonville’s Jordan Todman, what do you think Adrian Peterson will do against them? The last time Peterson faced the Eagles he rushed for 118 yards on 22 carries in a 24-14 Vikings’ victory. And that was with Joe Webb as the Vikes’ QB on a Tuesday night in 2010. Remember that? Peterson has probably already circled the date against the run-vulnerable Eagles.
Prediction: Vikings 42, Eagles 28
Dec. 22 vs. Chicago, 1:00 PM ET: This could go under the “Any Given Sunday” rule. The Bears went 10-6 last year and didn’t make the playoffs. The Eagles pull a mild shocker and upset visiting Chicago, making it tougher for the Bears to make the playoffs. Foles plays the type of game we saw when he led the Eagles to the last-second victory over Tampa Bay last year.
Prediction: Eagles 34, Bears 30
Dec. 29 at Dallas, 1:00 PM ET: Figure the Cowboys to still be in the playoff picture and playing for something, and the Eagles to be a different team than Dallas saw in October. A lot of scoring and little defense. Even Romo can’t ruin this.
Prediction: Cowboys 47, Eagles 40
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.