Which Team Will Eagles Kick Off 2018 Season Against?

Matthew Jordan

Monday, February 5, 2018 2:12 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 2:12 PM UTC

They are still celebrating the first-ever Super Bowl title for the Eagles in Philadelphia. That means the team will kick off the 2018 season on Sept. 6. Here’s an educated guess against which opponent.

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The Philadelphia #Eagles are Super Bowl Champions.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/KyzzEiEgHz

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 5, 2018

The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t just earn Super Bowl rings with their wild and offensive record-setting 41-33 upset of the New England Patriots on Sunday night in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, they also earned the right to host the 2018 NFL Kickoff Game. Of course, the previous season’s Super Bowl winner does that annually, with the ’18 opener to take place Thursday, Sept. 6, at Lincoln Financial Field on NBC (barring something unforeseen). It’s the first time for the Eagles in that game; obviously, they hadn’t won a Super Bowl before but weren’t an opponent in any of them, either.

Already, one big question for the Eagles is whether young superstar quarterback Carson Wentz will be ready for Week 1 after tearing his ACL in Week 14 this past season at the Los Angeles Rams (Eagles think he will be ready). Most gave up on the Eagles’ title chances after that, but backup QB Nick Foles was magnificent in the playoffs, capping it with Super Bowl MVP honors. The Eagles do have him under a terrific contract for one more season, but GM Howie Roseman no doubt will be getting trade calls on Foles and could decide to sell him high because there’s no question this is Wentz’ team.

Currently, Philadelphia is given a win total of 10 for next season on 5Dimes NFL futures, with the ‘under’ a -140 favorite. Bit of a surprise. The Eagles are +700 second-favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions. New England, to no surprise, is the +500 favorite. If you are wondering, the teams don’t play in the 2018 regular season.

We know each team’s opponents for next season, just not all the dates yet. Here’s a list of the eight clubs that will visit Philadelphia and in the order of likelihood said team is the choice on Sept. 6 – along with each club’s futures odds to win Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The NFL schedule will be out mid-April or so, but we should hear a leak of this matchup before that.

Dallas Cowboys (+2000): The Cowboys are still America’s Team and the best draw in the NFL, plus this is a terrific rivalry. Dallas should be a top NFC contender as long as Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t do something stupid off the field again this offseason and earn another suspension. Dallas has played in this game once, upsetting the defending champion Giants in 2012. That year the game was held on a Wednesday instead of Thursday because of a speech by President Obama and the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

Atlanta Falcons (+2000): The past two NFC champions squaring off. The 2016 league MVP in Matt Ryan against Wentz, who likely would have been the 2017 winner had he not gotten hurt. Atlanta visited Philadelphia in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and had four shots from inside the 10 to score the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute but couldn’t and lost 15-10.

Minnesota Vikings (+1200): Rematch of the NFC Championship game, won in stunning easy fashion by the Eagles 38-7 as 3-point underdogs. Who will be Minnesota’s QB come Week 1? Case Keenum? Teddy Bridgewater? Sam Bradford? Someone else? (Foles?).

Carolina Panthers (+2500): The Panthers have one of the NFL’s biggest stars in Cam Newton and were a playoff team this past season, losing in the Wild-Card Game in New Orleans. Philly won in Carolina in Week 6 on a Thursday night, 28-23.

New York Giants (+5500): The Giants were putrid in 2017 but one could argue they won Super Bowl Sunday with that awesome “Dirty Dancing” commercial starting Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Plus, you have the whole New York market for NBC to lust over.

Washington Redskins (+7000): The Redskins are moving on from Kirk Cousins, with Alex Smith as the team’s new starting QB after a shocking recent trade with the Chiefs. Meh.

Houston Texans (+1850): Houston has an exciting young quarterback of its own in Deshaun Watson, who was well on his way to earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors before tearing his ACL. I would put the Texans higher if you guaranteed Watson was healthy for Week 1, but history has shown the Kickoff Game will be an intraconference affair.

Indianapolis Colts (+4000): The Colts were one of the dullest teams of 2017 but that’s because Andrew Luck missed the season following shoulder surgery. His return would make for good TV, but can the NFL/NBC count on that happening?

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