It appears that the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will open defense of their NFL title when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.
It will soon be official. But for now, it appears that there will be a battle of the Birds in the City of Brotherly Love when the NFL opens its 99th season on Sept. 6.
It’s been over two months since the Philadelphia Eagles bested the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Of course, on the team’s way to the franchise’s first league title since 1960, Doug Pederson’s club slayed the Atlanta Falcons and then the Minnesota Vikings on their way to the showdown with Bill Belichick’s team in the Twin Cities.
That aforementioned first postseason game for Pederson’s club resulted in a 15-10 victory at Philadelphia. The Eagles’ defense throttled Matt Ryan and company, limiting the Falcons to 281 total yards in dethroning the then-defending conference champions.
Now it’s been learned (via Jeff McClane of the Philadelphia Inquirer) that the last two clubs to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl will kick off the 2018 campaign in the very first game of the season:
Of course, history informs us that when it comes to the defending Super Bowl champion and its first game the following season, the vast majority of those holding the Lombardi Trophy have come out on top. That number stands at 34-16-1 for the previous 51 Super Bowl titlists. Then again, more recent history tells us that the Patriots were surprised a year ago in Week 1 at home by the Kansas City Chiefs, 42-27.
In fact, the last six defending Super Bowl champions are just 3-3 in their first outing the following years. That follows a stretch in which the reigning NFL title holders had won 12 consecutive outings. What is very evident is that it’s been quite the offseason of change for the Philadelphia Eagles. So who knows what to expect?