Regular readers are aware that I've been pleasantly surprised at how well the Birds have done so far this year. Wentz might in fact be the QB of the future, Doug Pederson's coaching well so far, the young receivers (Matthews and Agholor) are finally showing some improvement, and the defense, under Jim Schwartz, is looking quite stout. The secondary is still a problem and they don't have a good long-term answer at running back, but so far, so good.
The Eagles are 2-0.
So are the Steelers.
But there's 2-0, and there's 2-0.
When the 2016 schedule came out, most of us had this game noted as very possibly their toughest game of the year, and nothing I've seen in the past two weeks has changed that assessment. Carson Wentz will be facing his first top-10 defense, and the Eagles revamped defense will have to face their first seasoned, high quality QB.
Spoiler alert: they're not going to win.
What I am hoping for is a close, competitive game where Wentz can handle the pressure Keith Butler will throw at him, where we see good special teams play, and where the Birds strong front defensive line manages to get some pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. As long as that happens - and they don't break our shiny new QB - I'll consider it a successful outing.
In the other matchups:
Texans at Patriots: Do the Pats even have a QB at this point? It's foolish to pick against Bill Belichick at home, but that's just what I'm doing. Texans
Cardinals at Bills: Cardinals
Raiders at Titans: Titans
Browns at Dolphins: Dolphins
Ravens at Jaguars: Remember how I picked the Jaguars to beat the Chargers, and then they got stomped? Fool me once...Ravens
Lions at Packers: Packers, who are playing at home and are likely still pissed about losing to the Vikings last week
Broncos at Bengals: Bengals
Vikings at Panthers: Panthers
DC at Giants: The LOLSkins strike again - it's chaos down here in Hogs country, and my schaden is feeling pretty freudey at the moment. Giants
Rams at Buccaneers: Bucs (that thing with the Seahawks last week was a fluke, right?)
49ers at Seahawks: Seahawks (that WAS a fluke, RIGHT?!?!?)
Jets at Chiefs: Chiefs
Chargers at Colts: Colts
Bears at Cowboys: the Cowboys *should* have no trouble here - Dak Prescott is playing well, and even their somewhat sad sack defense should be OK against Brian Hoyer (they're going to lose just to spite me, aren't they?)
Falcons at Saints: The Saints are struggling this year, but I have to believe on the 10 year anniversary of the reopening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina they'll find some of that old Brees/Payton magic at least one more time. Saints