When I first saw the Eagles schedule, I have to say I was very excited. The Eagles schedule is very favorable this season.
For one, they get to play the hapless NFC West, which means four games against Seattle, St. Louis, San Francisco and Arizona. That's beautiful.
They also get to play the AFC East, which is a strong division. However, they get the two weaker teams, Miami and Buffalo, on the road and the two strongest teams, New York Jets and New England, at home.
So in that regard, the NFL did the Eagles a favor as well.
The other two non-division games are at Atlanta and at home against Chicago. The Eagles dominated Atlanta last year and seem to match up well with that team. They lost to Chicago last year, but that was in Chicago. So those are the non-divisional games, and now let's take a closer look at each game.
The Eagles open their season on the road Sunday, Sept. 11th against the St. Louis Rams. While the Rams are going to keep improving with young QB Sam Braford, you have to think the Eagles will win that game. Record 1-0
In Week 2, the Eagles travel to Atlanta to play Sunday Night Football against the Falcons. This matchup will be tough, as Matt Ryan has only lost two home games in his career as a starter.
However, with Michael Vick at quarterback, I have to think he will be super motivated to play his former team. I think the Eagles will be slight underdogs in this game, but I see them pulling out a nice road win here. Record: 2-0
In Week 3, the Eagles will play their home opener against the New York Giants. The last time the Eagles saw the Giants, they were making a miraculous comeback . I have to think the Eagles win their home opener. Record 3-0
In Week 4, the Eagles stay home and play the 49ers, a team that underachieved last year. You have to think the Eagles win this game as well. Record 4-0
Overall, looking at the first quarter of the schedule, the Eagles should easily be a minimum of 3-1. They could lose at Atlanta or at home against the Giants. The worse case scenario is 2-2, but more realistically, they split those two games and beat San Francisco and St. Louis and are 3-1.
Personally, I think they win all four of those games and get off to a great start.
So the second quarter of the season sees the Eagles travelling to New York to play the Bills. Buffalo was terrible last year, and I don't see that changing too much this year.
The Bills are always scary at home, but it's early enough in the year that the weather won't be a huge factor. This game will be closer than most people think, but the Eagles should pull out a tough one. Record 5-0
After Buffalo, the Eagles go to Washington to play the Redskins. After embarrasing the Skins last year in Washington, you have to think the Skins will be up for this game. The Eagles will be looking forward to their bye week, and I think the Eagles slip up here and lose a game they should win. Plus divisional opponents are always tough. Record 5-1
The Eagles should be 5-1 heading into their bye week with this schedule. They have Buffalo, St. Louis and San Francisco, all games they should win.
They also have at Atlanta, at Washington and at home vs. the Giants. You have to think they win at least two of those three. A perfect 6-0 is not at all out of the realm of possibility, and anything worse than 5-1 would be a disappointment in my opinion.
After the bye, the Eagles have two consecutive national television games. The first one is at home against Dallas on Sunday Night Football. Andy Reid never loses after a bye week, and this year will not be any different. Record 6-1
Then they have a Monday Night game at home against Chicago. The Bears beat up the Eagles in Chicago last year, but I think the Eagles outplay them in Philadelphia. Plus I think the Bears take a step backwards this year. Record 7-1
The Eagles play their third straight home game against Arizona. The Cardinals stink and have no quarterback. This game could be a trap game as the Eagles could get caught overlooking Arizona, but honestly, I'm not sure it will matter as the Cardinals stink that badly. Eagles win a closer game than it should be. Record 8-1
At this point, fans are thinking Super Bowl, but the Eagles schedule is extremely soft early on and is backloaded, with the last seven games their toughest. They head to Giant Stadium to play the Giants in Week 11, and I think the Giants even the season series here. Record 8-2
At 8-2, the Eagles come back to Lincoln Financial Field and play the Patriots, a game most expect them to lose. For some reason, I don't think they will. If they lose the week before against the Giants, I see the Eagles bouncing back and beating the Patriots at home in a close game. Record 9-2
After that, the Eagles get a short week, travelling to Seattle to play on a Thursday night. Between a short week, a hostile environment and having to travel across the country, this game is a huge trouble spot for the Birds.
Though Seattle won't be that solid of a team, they pull off the upset here, due to the short week and the travel. Record 9-3
The Eagles then get 10 days rest before heading down to South Florida to play in Miami. I remember the game they played in Miami last time. There were 35,000 Eagles fans there (I was one of them), and it felt like a home game.
The Eagles will feel right at home and be in a bad mood after a bad loss in Seattle. Eagles romp the Dolphins here. Record 10-3
The Eagles return home to host the Jets, and this is a dangerous game for the Eagles. Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind, and I think he bottles up the Eagles offense, as the Eagles lose at home to the Jets in what could be a Super Bowl preview. Record 10-4
The Eagles go down to Dallas to play the Cowboys. I think the Eagles sweep Dallas this season, so I like another win here for the Eagles. Record 11-4
The season closes home against Washington, a game the Eagles should win. That makes them finish the season strong and the NFC East Champions again. Record 12-4
Twelve wins should be enough to get a first-round bye and have a chance at homefield advantage. The reality is with the Eagles schedule looking fairly soft (granted, you never know, it could end up being really tough), the Eagles should win anywhere from 11 to 14 games.
I think anything less than 11 wins with this schedule would be disappointing.
Of course, that is assuming the Eagles stay relatively healthy and the teams who stunk last year stink again this year. The way it looks now, if they go 4-2 in the division at the worst, there is no reason to think they can't go 6-2 combined against the NFC West and AFC East and then beat the Bears and Falcons to go 12-4. That's how I see it happening.
What do you think? Post on the board and let me know!