Eagles versus Patriots: Defensive expectations and bold predictions for Week 1

As the hour approaches, we can't help but play out every possible scenario in our minds. Here are bold predictions for the Eagles versus Patriots game.
Nick Sirianni (L), Jalen Hurts (R), Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Sirianni (L), Jalen Hurts (R), Philadelphia Eagles / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Eagles' defense allows 300 yards but collects two sacks and two forced turnovers.

There's a difference between being in shape and being in 'game shape'. Philadelphia's starters haven't played a snap in a game setting yet, and no, joint practices versus the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts don't count.

There will be some rust that needs to be knocked off. There will be a few big plays for the home team. There may even be a few tense moments. Great teams are often vulnerable early in the season, particularly in Week 1, and when the opposition is well-prepared and ready, the underdogs often throw haymakers.

Now, don't be alarmed. The Eagles are well-coached too. When the smoke clears and the dust settles, the cream will rise, and the game will pay out as expected. The Birds have a lot of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, and it's for that reason that we expect big plays from them as well.

Expect some 'bend but don't break' moments and maybe even some second-half fatigue on both sides. Expect the Pats to be feisty, but expect Philly's defense to come up big when it has to and create some big plays including a couple of sacks and two forced turnovers.