It's finally here! See who the Eagles will be matching up against each week throughout the 2016 season...
At first glance ... that's what this 2016 Eagles regular season schedule is all about. It's here, it's live and we can start planning our Eagles season. As for what it means? It's first-glance time ...
At first glance, there aren't any killer, three-games-on-the-road kind of stretches in this schedule. There are back-to-back road games twice – at Detroit and then at Washington in early October and then at Dallas and at the Giants on October 30 and November 6. OK, fine. Midseason NFC East games on the road. Love it. Bring 'em on. Otherwise, the road is pretty darn kind for the Eagles.
At first glance, the Eagles have a good chance to get off the right way in the regular season. They host Cleveland to open the regular season, and the Browns have a new head coach in Hue Jackson and a lot of work to do to get into the playoff picture. Then the Eagles make their first prime-time (of four) appearance when they play at Chicago on Monday Night Football on September 19.
At first glance, my favorite game might be the September 25 game at Lincoln Financial Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh is an outstanding team, loaded on offense, and the rivalry is renewed. But the Steelers will also be missing wide receiver Martavis Bryant and his explosiveness as Bryant is suspended for the season after violating the NFL's Substance Abuse Policy. Expect a nasty, physical and extremely entertaining game. It's going to be a great test to see how the Eagles stack up against one of the best teams in the league.
At first glance, it is hard not to be jazzed about the end of the regular season. The Eagles have a road game at Baltimore on December 18 at 1 PM and then return to Lincoln Financial Field for an NFC East game against the Giants on Thursday, December 22 (on NBC, NFL Network and Twitter!) Then the Eagles have what could be a critical mini-bye weekend before hosting Dallas to close out the regular season on January 1 at 1 PM. What a cure for a rough New Year's Eve!
At first glance, the prime-time games are pretty awesome. At Chicago in Week 2 on Monday Night Football, going to Dallas on October 30 for Sunday Night Football, hosting Green Bay on November 28 on a Monday night and then the Giants game in Week 16 ... those games are huge and against hugely popular teams and they come strategically placed in the schedule.
At first glance, having the bye week after just three games is not exactly ideal for the second half of the season, but what can you do? It's got to be that way. The Eagles have their bye week and then play the first of their road back-to-back games at Detroit and then at Washington.
At first glance, there are no awful, we've got-six-inches-of-snow-coming games obvious on the schedule. After playing at Seattle on November 20 – talk about a litmus test – the Eagles don't travel past Cincinnati (December 4). Three of the final four games are at Lincoln Financial Field. Maybe the Eagles can do something that they did not do well in either 2014 or 2015, and that's close out a season the right way and win the NFC East. It was there for the taking in each of the last two seasons and the Eagles stubbed their toes down the stretch.
At first glance, this is anything but an easy schedule. Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Green Bay are three of the non-NFC East teams that visit Lincoln Financial Field, and 2015 playoff teams Seattle and Cincinnati are waiting on the road. Baltimore, you've got to figure, is going to be a playoff-contending team.
At first glance, it's going to be cool to see the Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. They haven't been in Philly since 2010, and it was a significant game. It was the game that was played on a Tuesday, following the snowstorm that KO'd the game on Sunday, and Minnesota smoked the Eagles 24-14 and exposed quarterback Michael Vick with the blitzes off the edge. The game was played on the heels of DeSean Jackson's remarkable punt return to beat the Giants and it was a bummer. A huge one. Really, it was the beginning of the end for head coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia. The Eagles lost the following game at Dallas and then lost at home in the first round of the playoffs to eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay. Ugh.
At first glance, maybe the most overlooked game on the roster is the one on November 13 against Atlanta at Lincoln Financial Field. Atlanta showed significant improvement throughout the course of the 2015 season. The Falcons could be a really good team this season. This is going to be a critical game.
At first glance, I see wins. Lots of 'em. How many? Hey's it's April and I'm going in thinking the Eagles are going to win big. Really big. Why not? Let's call it 16-0 and work from there. Welcome to the 2016 season, Eagles fans!
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