Eagles-Redskins Predictions by Our (cough) Experts

Ready for some football?

The Eagles kick off Year 2 under Carson Wentz when they visit the Redskins on Sunday (1 p.m./FOX).

How will the 2017 season start for Doug Pederson and company?

Our experts provide their Week 1 predictions:

Reuben Frank
Yeah, the Redskins have won five straight over the Eagles, but this is a different team.

DeSean Jackson is gone, Pierre Garcon is gone and the biggest advantage the Redskins had during that five-game winning streak was that outside speed against the Eagles' overmatched cornerbacks. The Redskins still have decent receivers and a quarterback in Kirk Cousins, who has the fifth-highest passer rating ever against the Eagles.

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But they don't have that explosive speed, and the Eagles finally do have some speed at outside cornerback, although how that rebuilt secondary performs remains to be seen. Carson Wentz didn't play well in Washington last year - he completed only 11 passes - but I expect much more consistency in Year 2, especially on the road and especially early in games.

So Wentz throws for 278 yards, Wendell Smallwood has a combined 112 rushing and receiving yards, Derek Barnett begins his career with 1 1/2 sacks and the Eagles open the season with a win over the Redskins at FedEx Field.

Eagles 27, Redskins 20

Dave Zangaro
The Eagles have lost their last five games to Washington, and Washington hasn't won in an opener since Jay Gruden took over three years ago. 

So something has to give. 

And it's going to be the Eagles' five-game losing streak to their division rival. Simply put, the Eagles are just the better team. And they have been really good in openers, winning five of their last six and seven of their last nine. 

Even with the addition of Terrelle Pryor, I'm not sure Washington is going to be the same team without Jackson and Garcon. And the Eagles will have Lane Johnson back for this game after playing both against Washington last season without him. 

It's a big game for the Eagles and I think they start off with a win. 

Eagles 27, Redskins 19 

Derrick Gunn
So many unknown elements to figure into the equation. Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Pryor, Josh Doctson. How will they all fit into this divisional rivalry?

Gruden is beginning his fourth year as the Redskins' head coach, but he's 0-3 in season openers. How will Doug Pederson distribute the ball among his running backs?

Big things are expected from Wentz in Year 2. In five career games against the Eagles, Cousins has feasted on the Birds. He's averaged 315 yards and completed just under 64 percent of his passes against the Eagles with 12 touchdown passes to just three interceptions. He's been sacked just five times against the Eagles.

An improved Eagles defensive front cannot allow Cousins to get in a rhythm. Four of the last five meetings between the Eagles-'Skins have been decided by seven points or fewer. Washington has won the last five, but in this latest knockdown drag-out brawl, the Eagles flip the script.

Eagles 27, Redskins 26

Ray Didinger
The Redskins seem to have the Eagles' number. They won the last five meetings, the last four with Cousins at quarterback. Cousins picked the Eagles apart (65 percent completions, nine TDs, two interceptions) because they weren't able to pressure him. Give Cousins time in the pocket, let him throw in rhythm, he is very effective. Knock him around, he will make mistakes.

That's the key to beating the Redskins. They don't run the ball very much - or very well - so it is all about Cousins and the receivers. This will be a good test for the Eagles and their new pass rush with Tim Jernigan at tackle and Barnett and Chris Long on the edge. Will they finally be able to win the battle against Washington's stout offensive line? I think they will and that will be the difference.

Eagles 28, Redskins 24

Andrew Kulp
I'm not a big believer in Cousins. Take Jackson out of the equation, and watch Cousins regress. Malcolm Jenkins generally does a good job limiting Jordan Reed, too. Washington's offense simply doesn't scare me.

As long as Lane Johnson can prevent Ryan Kerrigan from running amok in the Eagles' backfield, I foresee big games from Zach Ertz and Smith while Jeffery is keeping Josh Norman occupied. Wentz looks like a different quarterback with all these weapons.

Eagles 20, Redskins 10

Corey Seidman
The Redskins look slightly worse on paper than they did in 2015 or '16. It's Week 1 of a new season, so there isn't much more than paper to go on. 

I think Jeffery makes his presence felt with a few impressive 1-on-1 catches against Norman, Ertz goes for 90 yards and a TD, and Pryor has an inauspicious Redskins debut. 

Eagles 27, Redskins 17

Andy Schwartz
As Corey pointed out in his fantasy outlook, Washington's front-seven isn't what it was last season. It still features Kerrigan, but he'll be facing Johnson, not Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who started for a suspended Johnson the last time the Eagles played at FedEx Field. 

Wentz will have more time to throw, and he'll have better guys to throw to. Ronald Darby will contain Pryor, and barring a miraculous return by John Riggins, the Eagles' D should handle the run.

Eagles 24, Redskins 20

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