2018 Philadelphia Eagles game-by-game predictions

There will be no shortage of story lines as the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles set off on their title defense. They'll face most of the top NFC contenders, including the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5, and will play a total of seven playoff teams from a year ago. It all leads to a Week 15 game at the Los Angeles Rams, as Carson Wentz returns to the site where his season was cut short looking to exorcise a few demons. Here's a stab at how the year might play out:

Week 1: Sept. 6 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 8:20 p.m. ET.

Wentz expects to make his return from a torn ACL and LCL against the Falcons. Whether that comes to fruition or not, there should be enough energy inside Lincoln Financial Field on the night they raise the championship banner to carry the Eagles past last season's divisional opponent. Record: 1-0

Week 2: Sept. 16 at TB Bucs, 1 p.m. ET

Former Eagles defensive linemen Vinny Curry and Beau Allen are now in Tampa. Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata were brought in as their replacements, and will make their presence felt against Jameis Winston & Co. Record: 2-0

Week 3: Sept. 23 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. ET

Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich is now head coach of the Colts. He'll bring Doug Pederson's aggressive approach to Indy and has inside information on how the Eagles' offense operates. Then again, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will know what to expect from Reich as well. Record: 3-0

Week 4: Sept. 30 at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. ET

The post-Super Bowl ride hits its first bump, as the Mike Vrabel-led Titans prove a worthy opponent. Wentz vs. Marcus Mariota should be fun. Record: 3-1

Week 5: Oct. 7 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 4:25 p.m. ET

Think this game will have some buzz to it? Philly throttled the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, and the Minnesota fans in attendance left feeling less than welcomed. A rather unlikely rivalry has emerged and will be kicked up a notch now that Kirk Cousins, who gave the Eagles fits during his time in Washington, is under center for the Vikings. Record: 3-2

Week 6: Oct. 11 at NY Giants, 8:20 p.m. ET

The Giants should have a better showing this season following a disastrous 3-13 campaign, but aren't at the Eagles' level. Record: 4-2

Week 7: Oct. 21 vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

The Eagles' win over Carolina last season was one of the first signs that they might have something special, as they were able to go on the road on short rest and pull out a Thursday night win. This time they're at home and will have the benefit of extra rest, which should lessen the degree of difficulty. Record: 5-2

Week 8: Oct. 28 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 9:30 a.m. ET

It's the Eagles' turn to go across the pond. This London games could very well be a heavyweight bout. The tailgating is going to start bright and early. Record: 5-3

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: Nov. 11 vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET

This is Season 3 of Wentz vs. Dak Prescott, with each QB winning a round so far. Wentz made a convincing case last season that he deserves top billing in the NFC East, and will further that argument here. Record: 6-3

Week 11: Nov. 18 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. ET

Can we talk about how great this travel schedule is for a second? Nashville, London, L.A., Tampa and New Orleans? The beat writers have nothing to complain about this year, but we'll find a way. Record: 7-3

Week 12: Nov. 25 vs. NY Giants, 1 p.m. ET

The last time these two teams played at the Linc, Jake Elliott booted a 61-yarder as time expired to lift the Eagles to a win. It won't be nearly as dramatic this time around. Record: 8-3

Week 13: Dec. 3 vs. Washington Redskins, 8:15 p.m. ET

The Eagles have a pretty significant talent advantage over Washington. But divisional games can get weird. Record: 8-4

Week 14: Dec. 9 at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET

Dak stikes back. Record: 8-5

Week 15: Dec. 16 at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET

Could be the game of the year. Wentz returns to the Coliseum, where his season ended, to bring the comeback story full circle. Not a bad setting for Wentz-Goff, Part II. The Rams went a bit crazy importing big-named talent this offseason in hopes of toppling the Eagles in the NFC, but Wentz is going to be a motivated soul. Record: 9-5

Week 16: Dec. 23 vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET

Here's hoping that Wentz and Deshaun Watson make it through healthy. It's what's best for football, and would set up a heck of a matchup late in the year. Record: 10-5

Week 17: Dec. 30 at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET

Washington hasn't treated the Eagles particularly well in recent years, but they snapped their D.C. losing streak last season and will notch another "W" with playoff positioning on the line. Record: 11-5