Power Ranking Philadelphia Eagles' 2013 Schedule from Easiest to Hardest Games
The 2012 season is history for the Philadelphia Eagles. It's over and done with.
The goal in 2013 is rebuilding under new head coach Chip Kelly, who was hired from the University of Oregon without any previous NFL experience.
Kelly replaces Andy Reid, arguably the best coach in franchise history, despite his struggles during the final couple of seasons in Philadelphia.
The following 16 slides will highlight each game for the Eagles in 2013, beginning with the easiest game and ending with the most difficult.
1. Week 9: At Oakland
The Oakland Raiders are a terrible football team. In fact, they might be the worst team in the entire National Football League.
Despite the potentially difficult road trip across the country for the Eagles, this should be an easy win. Then again, the Eagles did lose to a pitiful Raiders team by a 13-9 score in 2009, as tight end Zach Miller scored the game's only touchdown on an 87-yard catch-and-run.
But the Eagles should be close to an average football team in 2013. Average football teams don't lose to the Oakland Raiders, even on the road.
2. Week 13: Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals could be anywhere from a five-win team to an eight-win team in 2013 but this should be a pretty winnable game for the Eagles, especially since it comes immediately after the bye week.
Forget about the Cardinals embarrassing the Eagles in each of the past two seasons. The Eagles should be better prepared in 2013, especially if a playoff berth is on the line.
3. Week 2: San Diego
Hosting the San Diego Chargers won't exactly be an easy game. But the Eagles don't have a lot of easy games on their schedule in 2013.
The team who played the Eagles in their home opener has won the Super Bowl for four straight seasons, as the New Orleans Saints in 2009, Green Bay Packers in 2010, New York Giants in 2011 and Baltimore Ravens in 2012. Don't expect the Chargers to continue that trend in 2013, although I do expect their team to be improved with the addition of new head coach Mike McCoy, who should be able to coax one last great season out of Philip Rivers.
I expect the Eagles to pull away with a victory in this game, especially if they lose their season opener to the Redskins.
4. Week 14: Detroit
The Lions should be much better than the 2012 team that won just four games and surrendered the sixth-most points in the National Football League.
But they're still in for a difficult year, especially with the tough competition in the NFC North. I think Kelly's Eagles should be able to collect a victory in a potentially-crucial December contest, especially because Philly is at home for the game.
5. Week 3: Kansas City
Although the Chiefs were the worst team in the NFL in 2012, I expect them to completely rebound in 2013, thanks mainly to the addition of new head coach Andy Reid and veteran quarterback Alex Smith.
Their Thursday Night Football contest in Philly should be one of the most hyped matchups in the league, considering Reid's return to the city where he coached for 14 seasons.
I'll take the Eagles in a surprisingly low-scoring affair, improving them (likely) to 2-1 on the season.
6. Week 15: At Minnesota
I'm aware that the Vikings reached the postseason in 2012, but I still don't think they're a good football team. They lost arguably their second-best player this offseason, as cornerback Antoine Winfield signed with the Seattle Seahawks. And the addition of veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings won't suddenly turn Christian Ponder into a good quarterback.
Despite this game being played in Minnesota, the Eagles should be able to collect a much-needed victory, which will hopefully keep them solidly in the playoff race.
7. Week 7: Dallas
The Eagles weren't able to field a competitive football team in 2012, leading to the Cowboys sweeping their head-to-head matchups. Things should change in 2013, as Kelly should be able to revive the offense.
You never know what you're going to get from the Cowboys but the home game, played in October, should easily be the easier of the two contests.
8. At Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely be a major sleeper team heading into the 2013 season, especially if they can complete a trade for all-world cornerback Darrelle Revis (and if Revis returns to elite status following his torn ACL early in the 2012 season).
For the Bucs, everything depends on quarterback Josh Freeman, arguably the most inconsistent quarterback in the game since he entered the league in 2009.
On paper, this looks to be a tough battle for the Eagles, who do have to travel on the road for the third straight week. Only the Tennessee Titans will also do so in 2013.
But remember the last time the Eagles had three straight road games? They won them all, defeating each divisional opponent on their way to a 2006 division title.
9. Week 8: New York Giants
The Eagles will play the Giants for the second time in a four-week span, when they host their division rivals at the end of October.
In recent years, the Eagles have done relatively well against the Giants, collecting six straight victories from 2008 through 2010. Expect the Giants to be significantly better in 2013, however, as Eli Manning looks for a rebound year.
If Michael Vick is still healthy (and the starter), he could turn in a turn-back-the-clock performance against the Giants. Or he could turn the ball over four times and the Eagles won't have a chance.
Week 11: Washington
There's a chance that Robert Griffin III won't be fully healthy for the Eagles' Week 1 matchup against the Washington Redskins. But he'll undoubtedly be ready to play in Week 11, when the Eagles play Washington for the second time.
That's what makes this game more difficult than their other contest against Washington, even though this one is at home.
This is a game that could have serious playoff implications, as it leads into a much-needed bye week for the Eagles.
11. Week 17: At Dallas
The Eagles vs the Cowboys in the season finale. It's almost becoming a pattern, as the two teams will meet in Week 17 for the fourth time in six seasons.
Eagles fans will never forget the 44-6 beatdown they laid on Romo, Owens and the rest of America's Team in the 2008 finale. But the Cowboys extracted revenge with a 24-0 shutout of McNabb and the Eagles in the 2009 finale. And the 2010 finale saw the Eagles rest their starters for the postseason.
No one knows what to expect from this game. Will the Eagles be a surprise playoff team? Will the Cowboys finally put it together or will they disappoint yet again? And if they are fighting for a playoff spot, will Romo disappoint yet again with a trip to the postseason on the line?
12. Week 1: At Washington
Will he play? Or won't he play? That's the question surrounding the Washington Redskins and Rookie of the Year quarterback Robert Griffin III, who tore his ACL in last year's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
If RGIII is healthy for the season opener, he will have completed an improbable comeback that won't have cost him a single regular-season game. But if he cannot play, the Redskins will have to start Kirk Cousins, also a rookie last year. Cousins played well in limited time but he's no RGIII.
Regardless, the Eagles are in for a tough battle in Kelly's first game in Philly, especially on the road on Monday Night Football. Besides, RGIII will play. Mark my words.
13. Week 16: Chicago
There's no denying that the Chicago Bears have the Eagles' number. They've defeated them in four of their past five matchups, with each game coming down to the final few minutes.
New head coach Marc Trestman should be able to coax a career year out of quarterback Jay Cutler, bad news for a very unproven Eagles' secondary.
The Bears could quietly be one of the NFC's top teams in the 2013 season, and even though they have to travel to Philly in Week 16, the Eagles are in for a pretty tough battle.
14. Week 5: At New York Giants
The days of the Eagles beating the Giants eight straight times are long gone. They were pummeled by the Giants, 42-7, in the season finale, snapping their win streak.
The Giants are clearly the better football team, despite a disappointing season in 2012 that saw them miss the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.
You never know what you're going to get between the Eagles and the Giants but on paper, a midseason contest in New York won't exactly be a cakewalk.
15. Week 10: At Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers. That's really all you need to know.
The Packers' superstar might be the best quarterback in the National Football League. He's only faced the Eagles twice in five seasons as a starter but he torched them both times.
Don't expect anything to be different in 2013. The Packers will be just as dominant as last year and this will be in midseason when they're hitting their groove.
16. Week 4: At Denver
The Eagles are not beating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who might be the NFL's best team. They have a history of playing very poorly against Manning, with their only victory coming in 2010 as Manning played with an extremely banged-up Colts offense.
With Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, the Eagles will be very overmatched. Expect Manning to turn in a 300-yard, four-touchdown performance.
The Eagles will be lucky to keep this one close.