2011 NFL Schedule: Eagles Opponents Game-by-Game Breakdown
The labor uncertainty has at least not barred the NFL from releasing the 2011 schedule.
While it may not even be relevant if there is no season, or may be changed if games are lost, I believe that everything will resolve itself in time for at least most games to be played.
And if games are indeed played, here is the game-by-game analysis of the Philadelphia Eagles 2011 schedule.
Week 1: Eagles at Rams, WIN (1-0)
This will hardly even be a contest. The Eagles have an advantage at every single position, except perhaps running back.
While they have a young, talented quarterback in Sam Bradford, he has hardly any weapons to throw to. And a mediocre defense will not be able to slow down the Birds.
Week 2: Eagles at Falcons, LOSS (1-1)
This will be a close contest. Despite the one-sided contest last season between the two teams, this time the Eagles will be at the Georgia Dome.
While it may seem unlikely that Vick would lose at his former home, Atlanta’s record at home is too good to dismiss. Atlanta did not lose a single home game during last year's regular season (8-0 at home), and it will be a tough game.
Many will come out to support Mike Vick here, but the majority of fans will still be rooting for him to get his head taken off the minute he takes the first snap. This will likely be a close loss.
Week 3: Giants at Eagles, WIN (2-1)
The main weapon the Giants have against the Eagles is a relentless pass rush, which the Eagles' porous offensive line struggles against. But with an offseason of additional training, expect Vick to be better at reacting to and beating the blitz.
The Giants secondary is also not what it once was and has always been hard-pressed keeping up with the speed of the Eagles' young receivers. If the Eagles acquire superior talent opposite Asante Samuel at cornerback then expect Eli Manning to make a few mistakes.
Week 4: 49ers at Eagles, WIN (3-1)
This is also an unfavorable matchup for the opponent.
This could potentially be a spoiler game, but I simply don’t see the Eagles losing this one, especially as they are at home.
Week 5: Eagles at Bills, WIN (4-1)
The Bills might just be the worst team in the league. The Eagles have the potential to be the best in the NFC and one of the best in the league.
With one of the worst defenses in the league going against one of the best, combined with one of the worst offenses in the league, the Bills have little real chance of winning this game.
This game may very well be over before the end of the first half.
Week 6: Eagles at Redskins, WIN (5-1)
A great deal of their roster consists of players 30 and older. Without the services of a franchise running back due to the departure of Clinton Portis, and with few weapons through the air, this team is completely outmatched.
While they have a few playmakers on defense, this Redskins team will soon enter full rebuilding mode. And as this Washington defense is not what it once was, this will be an easy victory.
Week 8: Cowboys at Eagles, WIN (6-1)
Right after the bye week, this game will pose a challenge. Dallas will be revamped and better than last season under the leadership of Jason Garrett.
They are possibly the most talented team in the NFC and will have the services of Tony Romo once again.
And as a divisional opponent, this will be a hard-fought battle to the very end. But I believe that the Eagles can at least split the season series with Dallas, and Andy Reid has never lost a game after the bye week.
Throw in home-field advantage and this should be a win for the Birds.
Week 9: Bears at Eagles, WIN (7-1)
The Bears got the better of the Eagles last season in Chicago, but don’t expect them to do so twice in a row.
Harvey Mudd will do much to help the offensive line protect Vick from the likes of this relentless Bears defense.
The weakness that the Eagles have defending the pass should be made less relevant with Cutler having a very weak set of receivers to throw to. Chicago is a decent team, but on paper this matchup favors the Eagles.
And at home, this is a game that Philly should be able to win.
Week 10: Cardinals at Eagles, WIN (8-1)
Far from the Arizona team that painfully knocked out the Eagles in the 2009 NFC Championship, the Cardinals have questions everywhere.
This is also a team that matches up poorly against the Eagles in almost every category.
They may have more of a chance if they are traded for Kevin Kolb, but the Eagles outmatch the Cardinals on paper and should cruise to a victory at Lincoln Financial Field.
Week 11: Eagles at Giants, LOSS (8-2)
Don’t expect the Eagles to pull off a third Miracle at the Meadowlands.
This Giants team will be eager to avenge their heartbreaking loss at the hands of Philly.
While the Eagles can certainly defeat New York once again at their stadium, the odds of sweeping the season series against the Giants a third season in a row are unlikely.
Furthermore, the Giants will not only be at home, but will have had weeks to plan against Vick and a weak offensive line.
Nearing the end of the season, this would be a likely time for a divisional defeat.
Week 12: Patriots at Eagles, LOSS (8-3)
While I believe the Eagles are one of the few teams in the NFC that can contend with the Patriots due to their explosive offense, the Patriots will be very much to handle.
Facing a weak passing defense, Tom Brady will carve up this Eagles defense left and right. The inexperienced defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, will find it an immense challenge to get Brady off of his rhythm.
The pressure will be on Vick, Jackson and McCoy to attempt to keep up and try to outscore the Patriots.
It will be close, but Philly will fall short.
Week 13: Eagles at Seahawks, WIN (9-3)
This could potentially be the annual letdown game that Eagles fans have grown accustomed to under Andy Reid. And after their upset in 2011 against the Saints, this Seattle team would be likely to do just that.
But again, Seattle is simply outmatched in this one. This Eagles offense will run circles around them. And don’t expect Andy Reid to lose more than two games in a row.
The 28th-ranked defense in the league will have little chance at stopping Philly's young playmakers.
Week 14: Eagles at Dolphins, WIN (10-3)
The Dolphins have too many holes on their roster to compete against the Eagles.
While Brandon Marshall may pose a problem, the rest of the team struggles to find consistency.
At this late in the season, as they are likely to be out of the playoff hunt and with the Eagles competing for a top seed, the Eagles should be able to triumph.
Week 15: Jets at Eagles, WIN (11-3)
This Jets team has the league’s best defense, but I don’t think the Eagles should be afraid of them.
Call me crazy, but the Eagles match up very well against the New York Jets. The Jets are an outstanding defense, but they lack a dominant pass rush.
Vick is a quarterback who limits his turnovers, and if no one is open he can simply take off and run if there is no one to pressure him.
This Eagles offense is too explosive to be shut down for the entire contest. And once they start scoring, the Jets offense is too feeble to attempt to keep up, especially with LaDainian Tomlinson nearing the end of his career.
Week 16: Eagles at Cowboys, LOSS (11-4)
With so much talent and knowledge of the Eagles' strategies, the Cowboys are likely to split the series with the Eagles.
With home-field advantage, they might be able to secure a victory in Week 16.
I will count this second battle with Dallas as a defeat.
Week 17: Redskins at Eagles, WIN (12-4)
A perfect way to end the 2011 season: a showdown at home against a divisional rival.
As stated earlier, the Redskins are easily the worst team in the NFC East and may be one of the worst in the NFC.
The only way the Eagles lose this game is if they are resting their starters (cross your fingers).
12-4: This schedule favors Philadelphia very much.
While there are factors that could alter it, such as roster moves by opponents and potential injuries, if the Eagles can stay healthy, they look poised to win the NFC East once more and possibly snatch a first-round bye and a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl.
And if offseason moves can be made to fill in holes in this team, I could see this team winning as many as 13 or 14 games next season.
Now let’s just hope that there is a season to take advantage of a relatively easy schedule.