I’m shocked that the season opener didn’t turn out to be against the Minnesota Vikings or Dallas Cowboys. On paper, I’d think those would make for much more compelling season-opening matchups. But instead the Eagles will take on Falcons in a rematch of the Divisional Round playoff game. Matt Ryan and the Falcons always seem to struggle outside of their dome.
Week 2 @ Tampa Bay
The first road game of the season is a trip to Tampa Bay to take on a team that hasn’t been able to live up to expectations.
Week 3 vs Indianapolis
Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich comes to town for the third game. Andrew Luck’s health will have a major impact on whether or not the Colts will be competitive.
Week 4 @ Tennessee
The Eagles cap a favorable start to the season with a road trip to Tennessee. Remember Marcus Mariota? Anyone out there still wish that the Eagles threw five first round picks and Fletcher Cox at the Titans to get that guy? Anyone?
Week 5 vs Minnesota
I think the Eagles might have actually been better off facing Minnesota in Week 1, with Kirk Cousins still developing rapport with his new teammates. However, having this game in Philadelphia is huge, and Carson Wentz may be in much better shape to take on the Vikings defense by this point in the year.
Week 6 @ New York (Thursday Night Football)
The first division game of the year comes on a short week.
Week 7 vs Carolina
The Eagles get extended rest to prepare for a home game against the Carolina Panthers.
Week 8 @ Jacksonville
The Eagles make their first visit to London, as the NFL continues to force teams to give up home games to expand their interests overseas. This is one of the tougher games on the schedule for the Birds. Jacksonville has a great deal of experience preparing for the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.
Week 9 BYE
Week 10 vs Dallas
Coming off the bye, the Eagles host the hated Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
Week 11 @ New Orleans
Tough road game on paper, but is this the year that Drew Brees finally starts to show his age?
Week 12 vs New York
The Eagles begin a stretch of three straight division games with a home match against the Giants.
Week 13 vs Washington
The Eagles don’t meet the Redskins until late in the season.
Week 14 @ Dallas
The Eagles meet the Cowboys for the second time in five weeks.
Week 15 @ Los Angeles
A late season meeting with the Rams could have major playoff implications.
Week 16 vs Texans
The Eagles’ home finale against an AFC team that could improve in the second year of DeShaun Watson.
Week 17 @ Washington
I say this every year. I hate the fact that the NFL forces the majority of division games into Week 17. I understand why they do it. They hope to have at least one or two big games that decide divisions at this point in the year. But what really ends up happening a lot of times is that the league robs fans of a competitive division game during the season, since the majority of playoff scenarios are wrapped up by the final week.
The Eagles get a pretty favorable start to the season.
You have to like their chances against Atlanta at home, and then they’ll have some extra time to prepare for their road opener against Tampa, and follow that up with two games against AFC South opponents.
The key stretch of this schedule for me occurs after the bye week, a six-game stretch against division teams and key NFC opponents New Orleans and Los Angeles. With four of the team’s six division games crammed into this stretch, a great deal of the Eagles’ season will be decided here. The good news is that three of the four division games here are at home, and that run begins after the Eagles come off of the bye, so they should be fresh for this run.
The biggest downside to this schedule is that three of the team’s final four games take place on the road. As long as the Eagles start strong and perform well over the previously mentioned crucial stretch of the schedule, its possible that the late season road trips won’t matter as much, but if the Eagles are competing for a first-round bye late in the year, it’s something to be concerned about.