The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Are you ready for some football?

Yes, I have returned for another season of fearless Eagles predictions.

And I have good news and bad news. The good news? This opener vs. the Redskins is the closest thing to a lock the Eagles might face this year. Put the house on it, the Birds take the measure of the Redskins and start the season with a win.

So what's the bad news? It just might be a "must" win for Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz and the gang.

In Week One? Yes, in Week One.

Take a glance at that schedule.

It gets a whole lot tougher from here. The Eagles go to Kansas City next week, where a rested Andy Reid and the Chiefs will be waiting fresh off their thumping of the Super Bowl champion Patriots Thursday night.

Then the Birds have the Giants at home before jetting to the West Coast to face the Chargers, a home tilt vs. the Cardinals and a road game vs. Panthers.

Bad news, Gang Green. There might not be a lot of wins in that stretch.

Howie Roseman made the Eagles a better team in the off-season. He gave Carson Wentz some more weapons, adding receivers Torrey Smith for a deep threat and Alshon Jeffery as a big target. LeGarrette Blount was added to strengthen a questionable ground game.

On defense, the Eagles should be solid, with cornerback Ronald Darby solidifying one of last year's biggest problems, a shake secondary. The strength of this team should again be their defensive line and linebacking corps.

But after four pre-season games, does anyone really have a good feel for this Eagles team?

Doug Pederson decided to play it safe, and protect his players.

We'll start finding out if that was a good idea about 1 o'clock Sunday.

THE PICK: Make it Eagles 26, Redskins 13. Like I said, it's not every year you see a must-win situation in Week One. This might be one of those years for the Birds. It gets a lot tougher from here.

LAST WEEK: It's a clean slate. Last year the Eagles went 7-9. Doug Pederson has to improve on that record this year. I see the Birds at 9-7 and in the hunt in the NFC East, a possible playoff team. Of course, this all has a huge asterisk. Carson Wentz has to stay upright - and on the field. An injury to Wentz - with Nick Foles and his ailing elbow waiting in the wings - and all bets are off. That said, if Pederson does not push the Birds to a winning mark, Jeff Lurie might be looking for his next coach.

GAME BY GAME: I think I'd just as soon most of my prognostications from last season. My motto: Sometimes correct, always certain. But hey, football back, and so are our beloved Birds.

All together now: E-A-G-L-E-S!.