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Eagles 2016 Season Preview: Games 13-16


Redskins At Eagles


The final quarter of the season begins with a matchup against the division-rival Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles are home for three of their final four games this season, which is no different than last season. Philadelphia was unable to capitalize on the opportunity losing two of the games including the Week 16 matchup with Washington which ultimately decided the NFC East.

Washington went from worst to first place in the NFC East thanks to the improved play of quarterback Kirk Cousins and the decisions made by Scot McCloughan in his first year as the team's general manager.

With the No. 5 overall pick, the Redskins fortified the offensive line with Brandon Scherff who took over the right guard spot. Second-round pick Preston Smith added to the team's pass rush as an outside linebacker while third-round pick Matt Jones was second on the team in rushing yards.

Washington has continued to add to its roster with low-risk signings and is poised to continue to improve with the 21st overall pick in this year's draft. Of course, the quarterback situation is set (for 2016 anyway) and if Washington starts 2016 like it ended 2015 then this could once again be a showdown that helps determine the winner of the NFC East crown.

  • Chris McPherson

Eagles At Ravens


After an injury-plagued 2015, the Ravens will look to rebound this season. Throughout the year Baltimore placed starting quarterback Joe Flacco (knee), running back Justin Forsett (broken arm), linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (Achilles), among others, on Injured Reserve. They finished with a record 21 players on the list and ended 2015, 5-11, just one year removed from a 10-6 finish and playoff run.

Because of the toll those losses took on the team, the Ravens' play certainly suffered. They had the No. 26 rushing offense, ranked 24th in points allowed per game and had four quarterbacks take snaps during the entirety of the year. With Baltimore's key players now healed, expect the Ravens to be a much different group in 2016.

In the offseason, Flacco was penned to a three-year contract extension and Smith determined he would hold off on retirement to play another season. Then the Ravens added a few pieces in free agency, including Pro Bowl safety Eric Weddle, veteran wide receiver Mike Wallace and tight end Benjamin Watson. But, Baltimore also lost a starting offensive lineman in Kelechi Osemele and linebacker in Courtney Upshaw. Although, it has the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Eagles and Ravens will meet in 2012 for the first time in the regular season since the 2012 season. This late in the year, injuries could very well be a factor once again. They are set to kick off at 1 PM in Baltimore. The Eagles hope to see a similar result as they last time they went head to head with the Ravens when they were able to squeeze out a 24-23 victory following a big defensive stop in the final minutes.

  • Julie Bacanskas

Giants At Eagles


Last season had its fair share of ups and downs for the Eagles, but the team's games against the Giants were two positive takeaways from the year. In the first meeting of 2015, the Eagles were Back in Black at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday Night Football and held quarterback Eli Manning and his offense to seven total points. Manning threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a pick-six by cornerback Nolan Carroll.

The 27-7 victory was very fitting as Maxie Baughan and Brian Westbrook were inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame at halftime and the win brought the team back to the .500 mark on the season.

The tone of the second 2015 meeting between the two teams was vastly different. In the regular season finale, the Eagles took the field under then-interim head coach Pat Shurmur while the Giants took the field knowing very well it could be the last game they played for then-head coach Tom Coughlin. Looking to end their season on a positive, the Eagles went out and downed the Giants, 35-30.

Quarterback Sam Bradford threw for 320 yards against the Giants' defense and posted a 108.3 rating, while tight end Zach Ertz turned in 152 receiving yards. The team will look to play its second-to-last game of the 2016 season in a similar fashion, as it hosts its NFC East rival in Week 16 on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:25 PM and in addition to coverage on NBC and NFL Network, the game will be featured on Twitter, marking the Eagles' first game on the social media side.

-Julie Bacanskas

Cowboys At Eagles


While the Eagles and Cowboys have been fairly evenly matched as of late, the Cowboys have come out on top the last four times they've taken the field in Philadelphia. In 2016, the two sides will meet on New Year's Day, the final Sunday of the regular season. Talk about welcoming in the new year with a bang!

The last time the Dallas Cowboys came to Lincoln Financial Field was in Week 2 of the 2015 season. After the Eagles generated so much excitement during the preseason, a second-half rally against Atlanta in the opener came up short, placing even more pressure on the Eagles' home opener against those rival Cowboys. But the offense again came out flat, and a late touchdown reception by Jordan Matthews wasn't enough to keep the Eagles from falling to 0-2 after a disappointing loss to a division rival.

Fans can be sure that the Eagles' players will remember that game this time the Cowboys come to town, and they'll be looking to wipe it out of their memory banks.

Like the Eagles, the Cowboys' 2015 season fell shy of lofty expectations, mainly because quarterback Tony Romo injured his collarbone against the Eagles early on. Romo would miss most of the season, and his absence paired with the departure of running back DeMarco Murray, resulted in an incredibly underwhelming 4-12 season for Dallas.

Things ought to be very different this time around. The two teams have added and subtracted on both sides of the ball. Murray, who spent his first five seasons wearing either a Cowboys or Eagles jersey, is now playing with Tennessee in the AFC South. After one year in Dallas, defensive end Greg Hardy is no longer a part of the Cowboys' lineup. Romo does figure to be back under center, but the NFL Draft could have a huge effect on both teams, with the Cowboys picking inside the top five and the Eagles drafting inside the top 10. 

-Alex Smith

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