Bye Week Checkup: 100 Predictions for the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles Season

USA Today Sports

Back in July, we compiled a list of 100 predictions for the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles season. Some of the predictions were goofy and/or satirical, but a lot were dead-on serious. We were looking at this campaign as a “fact-finding” mission for a young team with a new coaching staff that was very obviously in a transitional year following the Carson Wentz trade.

The bye week seemed like a good stopping point to refer back to this list, and so we decided to go back over it and see how many of these predictions held up, how many missed the mark, and how many have yet to be determined. The original statements are in regular font, and then we’ve updated bold:

  1. People will continue to argue about Carson Wentz, even though he doesn’t play here anymore. –it’s happening, but it’s not as bad as we thought it would be
  2. If Wentz plays well out Indy, people will flock to social media to say “I told you so.” –this came true
  3. If Wentz plays shitty out in Indy, the other half will go to social media to say “I told you so.” –this also came true
  4. Kyle will tweet something like “the Eagles should have kept Nick Foles.” –he has not tweeted this yet
  5. The Folesian Society will resurface around Week 3 and start calling the radio stations. –if they did, it wasn’t significant
  6. Wentz will play 82% of of the Colts’ snaps and the conditional draft pick will go to the Birds. –this is going to be wrong; he’s actually on pace to play more
  7. Coggin thinks Jalen Hurts will rush for 600+ yards. -Cog was correct; Hurts is at 695 already
  8. I think it’s going to be a little higher. I’d set the over/under on Hurts rushing yards at 750. –he’s going to shatter that mark
  9. Hurts will have more rushing TDs than passing TDs. -this will be wrong, he’s currently thrown 13 and run for 8
  10. Jalen Hurts will have a decent season. Not bad, but not great. At the end of the year, people will remain split on whether he’s “the guy” moving forward. We will not have a resolution. – I think this is gonna hold true
  11. Hurts’ completion percentage will be bottom-third of the league, but he’ll get it up into the 61-64% range. –right now he’s at 60.1%
  12. DeVonta Smith will catch 7 touchdowns. -he has 4 right now
  13. DeVonta Smith will have more than 125 targets. -currently on 82
  14. DeVonta Smith will finish somewhere between 900 and 1,050 receiving yards. -probably not, sitting at 701 right now
  15. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside won’t make the team. –I was wrong
  16. Miles Sanders final numbers: ~900 rushing yards, ~300 receiving yards. Good season but not Tier 1. –probably gonna hit the unders here
  17. Miles Sanders will not play all 17 games. –winner winner chicken dinner
  18. Nick Sirianni will make a rookie coaching mistake that gets him absolutely killed in the press. –early on yeah, but he’s done well since
  19. The secondary will absolutely stink and the Birds will get torched through the air. –heyo!
  20. The linebacker corps will be slightly improved, but still stink. –yes
  21. The defense will be really frustrating and porous in general. –frustrating, but not totally porous
  22. Davion Taylor will play mostly special teams. –was wrong, he earned a spot in the starting group
  23. The special teams play will improve. –mostly correct so far
  24. Jordan Howard will not make the team but inevitably end up on the active roster before Week 7. –ding ding ding!
  25. Zech McPhearson will be a disappointment. You can’t draft a corner out of the Big 12. Come on. –have you even noticed him out there? 
  26. Alex Singleton will have 30 more tackles than the next Bird on the list. –false, right now he’s #1 on team but it’s only 15 more tackles, not 30
  27. A key player will enter the blue medical tent in the first quarter of game one. –I cannot remember
  28. By the third quarter of game three, we will want to fire the blue medical tent into the sun. –false! thankfully injuries weren’t terrible this year
  29. Jason Kelce will get downfield on a screen and absolutely clobber some poor cornerback or safety. –true
  30. Brandon Brooks unfortunately will not make it through the season healthy. –true
  31. The Cowboys will be favorites to win the division, but find some way to screw it up and miss the playoffs. –I was wrong
  32. The New York Giants will be better than expected. –happy to be wrong about this
  33. Giants fans will complain about the Eagles tanking the final game of the 2020 season (which was the correct strategy). –came true
  34. The Washington Football Team will not win the division. –true
  35. Joe Judge will say some dumb “leader of men” fake tough guy stuff at a press conference. He’s so cringe. –nailed it
  36. I will successfully strike Judge’s name from the Lansdale Catholic record books. –still working on this
  37. Howie Roseman will take immense amounts of shit from the fan base. –easiest prediction ever
  38. Fans will become irrationally angry with something stupid. –second easiest prediction
  39. People will call for Nick Sirianni to be fired two games into the season. –third easiest prediction
  40. Nick Sirianni will become annoyed with the Eagles media corps after the second loss. The honeymoon period will be over. –he’s holding strong, credit to him
  41. The F Lot Crew will un-retire and return to tailgating. –happy to be wrong!
  42. Mike Scott will show up to a game. –TBD
  43. Eliot Shorr-Parks will say something he doesn’t believe, which totally contradicts something he tweeted two weeks ago. –I think this happened in Week 1
  44. Howard Eskin will misspell a player’s name on social media. –too easy
  45. Howard will walk around wearing his Super Bowl ring. -again, too easy
  46. Howard will lay the Twitter smack down on that “dope,” Cole Beasley. –there’s still time
  47. Team employee Dave Spadaro will interview Howie Roseman and the Eagles will call it an “exclusive.” –I guarantee this will still happen
  48. With Les Bowen retiring, another reporter will honor him by punching a colleague in the face. –has not happened yet
  49. Somebody will get tossed from the press box. –fingers crossed
  50. Some un-vaccinated player will get COVID and cause a mini-crisis. –luckily did not happen
  51. Richard Rodgers will catch a touchdown pass. –sad face
  52. Some guy that you didn’t even know was on the roster will score a touchdown (this year’s Jason Croom). –TBD
  53. Jalen Reagor will have a Tavon Austin-esque season. Something like 500-600 scrimmage yards, a couple of touchdowns, but nothing amazing. –I was wrong, he’s been even wrose
  54. Reagor will delete his social media accounts. –still time
  55. Zach Ertz gets traded at the deadline. –ding ding ding
  56. Travis Fulgham will have a pretty good season. 650 yards and five touchdowns. –whoops, let me delete this one
  57. Eagles Twitter during game days will be a toxic shithole (though, to be fair, Twitter is a toxic shit hole more often than not). –nailed it
  58. Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw for something like 900 yards in two divisional games against the Birds. –he got injured, so we were wrong
  59. The Eagles will stunningly win a game they have no business winning. It will come out of absolutely nowhere. –Denver Broncos W
  60. There will be a fan incident that the “fake news national media” blows out of proportion. –still time
  61. People will cherry pick some useless Pro Football Focus statistic and blow it out of proportion. –luckily people have come around to PFF being a little corny
  62. At the end of the season, Jeff McLane and Reuben Frank will finish in a two-way tie for most questions asked at the press conferences. Dave Zangaro 3rd and Zach Berman 4th. –I think Mike Kaye is actually close to the top
  63. Roob will come up with some insane statistic that only he can come up with. “Did you know that Jalen Hurts is only the second Texas-born, right-handed African-American quarterback to run for 500+ yards and throw for 1000+ yards while wearing a white undershirt as Democrats control the White House? Nobody has done that since 1963!” –this has happened, yes
  64. Sports radio will do 97.6% Eagles talk, and the other 2.4% will be about Ben Simmons. –correct
  65. We will continue to be inundated with Deshaun Watson rumors. –they’ve thankfully died out
  66. Somebody that the Eagles passed on in the draft will absolutely kill them. –Micah Parsons? TBD
  67. Greg Ward will watch a punt go over his head and land on the three yard line. –I was wrong, it was Reagor
  68. Josh Sweat will log 8+ sacks. –he’s got 5 right now
  69. Ryan Kerrigan won’t eat into Sweat’s snaps; he’ll eat into Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett’s snaps. –Kerrigan stinks, I was so wrong
  70. Barnett doesn’t do enough to earn himself a long-term contract. –this is probably going to come true
  71. Fletcher Cox, at age 30, will no longer be double-teamed into oblivion. –eh
  72. Jake Elliott will miss a short field goal. –fake news, he’s been awesome
  73. Jake Elliott will miss at least one extra point. –hasn’t missed
  74. After one of these misses, people will call for Carli Lloyd to replace Elliott (h/t Rick McGovern and MOTT). –nope
  75. We will happily welcome the absence of Jim Schwartz’s “sticks defense.” –it was replaced with soft Cover 2
  76. Jordan Mailata will win the left tackle job. –easy prediction
  77. Andre Dillard will fill in at right tackle when Lane Johnson goes down injured. –wrong, they had Dillard on the left and moved Mailata instead
  78. Eagles fans will be calling for more Kenneth Gainwell touches. –this happened early and then stopped
  79. Fans will complain that the Eagles aren’t running the ball enough. –easy!
  80. Landon Dickerson will not play a single snap. –I was wrong
  81. A fan will cuss on live television outside the Linc and the reporter will say “we apologize for that” (but the FCC will fine them anyway). –could still happen
  82. Philly Mag will publish a story about why football is dumb, or why the Eagles are dumb. Or why city-wide celebrations exhibit “white privilege.” –not sure, haven’t read Philly Mag all season long
  83. The Eagles will have one Pro Bowler, and he will be an offensive lineman. –TBD
  84. Even as a free agent, Jason Peters will become injured. –he actually left last night’s Bears game lol
  85. Sports radio callers will butcher some player’s name. – yup
  86. It will take a full year for everybody to learn how to say “Tuipulotu.” –is he still on the team?
  87. In a Freudian slip, somebody will refer to Milton Williams as “Milton Street.” –TBD
  88. Joe Flacco and Nick Mullens will start at least one game each. –woof 
  89. The Birds will win six games. –TBD
  90. They will not make the playoffs. –TBD
  91. They will beat the Falcons in Week 1. –winner
  92. Fans will be predicting a division title after the Birds start 1-0. –winner
  93. We will overreact to training camp video clips. –winner
  94. You will thoroughly enjoy all of the 1 p.m. start times. 1 p.m. is the best start time. –hell yeah baby
  95. We will all forget that there are actually 17 games this season. –correct
  96. We’ll get a snowstorm game. Ed Rendell will say that fans who stay home are “wusses.” –there’s still time
  97. The Cuz puts someone in the Bagster by week six (h/t @TNickybee). –TBD
  98. The Eagles will finish with another tie game. It will be an instant classic. –hopefully not
  99. The Birds will score a backdoor cover in a game they have no business keeping close. –this happened like 3 times didn’t it?
  100. It will be a painful season, but because there are very low expectations during a transitional year, you will enjoy it more than 2019 and 2020, combined. –I am, but it seems like others aren’t 

Not bad. I got some terribly wrong, but I got a lot right, too. There’s still plenty of time.