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Spadaro: Looking at a rugged second half of 2023 regular season

Nick Sirianni
Nick Sirianni

Now, they rest. They have time with their families. They can kick back and watch the rest of the NFL this weekend. And when they return to the NovaCare Complex in the week ahead, the Philadelphia Eagles will do so with energy, an understanding of what is ahead, and a league-best 8-1 record.

And what is ahead, everyone knows, is extremely challenging.

"The big thing is finding a way to win games. That's what we are all about," center Jason Kelce said. "We've done the right thing at crucial situations and that's what we have to do moving forward. We have a tough stretch coming up, no doubt about it, but we've put ourselves in a good position so far."

The tough stretch begins in prime time at Kansas City against the Super Bowl Champions. Here is a look at the road ahead for the Eagles.

Monday, November 20 at Kansas City (7-2), 8:15 PM

This is going to be another huge-hype game (for obvious reasons) on Monday Night Football and the Chiefs are, once again, serious contenders for the championship. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce key the offense, while the defense has shown improvement from last season and has been strong throughout the season. The Chiefs will be coming off their bye week as well.

Sunday, November 26 vs. Buffalo (5-4), 4:25 PM

The first nine weeks of the season have been up and down for Buffalo, which has suffered some devasting injuries on defense. Despite some inconsistencies offensively, they are always dangerous with quarterback Josh Allen. There have been some highs for Buffalo this season – the 48-20 win over Miami in Week 4 was huge – but the Bills have been unable to sustain momentum since that victory.

Sunday, December 3 vs. San Francisco (5-3), 4:25 PM

Injuries have played a big part in San Francisco's three-game losing streak heading into this Sunday's game at Jacksonville, but the 49ers are coming off of their bye, are healthy, and are excited to introduce end Chase Young to the defense to team with Nick Bosa. This game is a rematch of the 2022 NFC Championship, so obviously there will be so much focus on the game as two of the best teams in the conference play.

Sunday, December 10 at Dallas (5-3), 8:20 PM

The teams just played and Dallas expects to be on roll heading into this one, so December 10 and a prime-time television audience will again be huge. Not much more to say here, other than if it equals what happened on Sunday, we will all need to be revived.

Sunday, December 17 at Seattle (5-3), 4:25 PM

Seattle is off to another good start after its 2022 playoff appearance, despite their loss to Baltimore this past week. The key is quarterback Geno Smith, who has thrown six interceptions in the team's last four games. The defense is stout, buoyed by the acquisition of defensive tackle Leonard Williams, and Seattle is battle-tested heading into the playoff season.

Monday, December 25 vs. Giants (2-7), 4:30 pm.

Tough year so far for the Giants, who lost quarterback Daniel Jones last week for the season with a torn ACL. The Giants expected to contend for the NFC East after reaching the postseason and winning a game last year, but their performance has gone the other way so far this year. But as we have seen in the past, every NFC East game can be a challenge given the familiarity between the two squads, who will square off on Christmas day in their first of two matchups in three weeks.

Sunday, December 31 vs. Cardinals (1-8), 1 PM

Arizona has played hard under Head Coach Jonathan Gannon, the former Eagles' defensive coordinator, but the Cardinals just haven't been able to get things together offensively. That storyline could be drastically different by the time these teams play on New Year's Eve, as Kyler Murray returns from a knee injury last year and starts his first game this weekend for Arizona. Can he breathe life into the Cardinals' offense? Oh, and don't forget that former Eagles tight end Zach Ertz plays for Arizona and returns to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since his trade a couple of seasons ago.

Week 18, Date/Time TBD at Giants (2-7)

The season finale, with the game time and date to be determined. After not seeing the Giants all season until Christmas Day, the Eagles play them twice in three weeks. Tough to beat a team twice in that short window of time.

That's the second half of the season and, as you can see, there are challenges all over the map. The Eagles have won 8 of their first 9 games and aim to finish as strong as they've started in this 2023 regular season.

Photography Director Kiel Leggere takes you behind the scenes of the Eagles' wild rivalry win over the Cowboys. Check out the best photos from the locker room, warmups, and the sideline.

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