Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Eagles 2014 Schedule: We're Boned

The NFL released the 2014 schedule today, and while this was always going to be a harsh return to reality after the 2013 creampuff parade... this is just setting up as all kinds of problems, mostly around the three Prove It moments in the schedule. Let's dig into it, shall we?

Week 1 - Jacksonville, Sun Sept 7 at 1 pm

Well, OK, that's as close to a homecoming game as you can get. But the Jags were secretly the best team in the turrible AFC South last year, and if the Birds drop the opener, it'll be full-on crisis mode. Let's assume they don't.

Week 2 - At Indianapolis, Mon Sept 15 at 8:30 pm

Joy, a road dome game for a MNF right away, to get you off your regular schedule. It's also the Colts' home opener after a more or less automatic road loss at Denver the week before, so they'll be good and amped. Fun.

Week 3 -- Washington, Sun Sept 21 at 1:00 pm

Hey, don't you want to play Bob Griffin and DeSean Jackson in Week 3, when they are still healthy, especially when they've spent the first two weeks getting fat on Houston and Jacksonville? If you are the fatalist type, this game ends with Jackson dancing around as the first place team in the division. Oh, and DC will have an extra day of rest, too.

Week 4 -- At San Francisco, Sun Sept 28 at 4:25 pm

Pretty much an auto-loss in the new Niner yard, and they won't be sated after an at Dallas, Chicago and at Arizona slate that is likely to leave them 2-1. At least both teams are on equal rest. but man alive, I'm not liking this one at all.

Week 5 -- St. Louis, Sun Oct. 5 at 1:00 pm

A likely recovery week, but the Rams are defensive hammers, and they can't be as bad on offense as they were in 2013. Oh, and the Rams are coming off a bye. Great.

Week 6 - NY Giants, Sun Oct. 12 at 8:30 pm

Last game before the bye, and the first time they'll see a Giants team that spent a lot of money in free agency. Equal rest for both teams. The schedule gets murderous after the bye.

Week 8 - At Arizona, Sun Oct. 26 at 4:05 pm

Arizona is coming off a likely beat-down of the Raiders, but less rest is less rest, and that might be a big help in what is usually a house of horrors road trip. I think they could be 5-2 after this game, but 4-3 is more likely.

Week 9 - At Houston, Sun. Nov 2 at 1:00 pm

First back to back road game of the year, against a Texans team that will be getting their bye the next week. This one could be the high water mark.

Week 10 -- Carolina, Mon. Nov 10 at 8:30 pm

The second game of the year against a dominant and physical defense, and likely their second loss to such a beast. Maybe the defense steps up and forces turnovers, but this one will be a serious test.

Week 11 -- At Green Bay, Sun. Nov 16 at 1:00 pm

Unless there's a repeat of the Seneca Wallace / Scott Tolzein Experience, this has 2-game losing streak written all over it. Packers with the day advantage from the MNF game in Week 10, too.

Week 12-- Tennessee, Sun Nov. 23 at 1:00 pm

Critical recovery game against a Titans game that shouldn't be very good, and will be coming off a MNF week. This couldn't come at a better time.

Week 13 -- At Dallas, Th. Nov 27 at 4:30 pm

Well, at least it isn't the annual Dallas Quasi Bye Game for the Thanksgiving holiday. Dallas will have half a day less rest from a Week 12 SNF game, so this might be a fun death knell for the NFL's Greatest Pretenders. I have them at 8-5 at this point in the year.

Week 14 -- Seattle, Sun Dec. 7 at 4:25 pm

As good of a spot as you could hope against the defending champs. 10 days between games... but SEA has equal rest due to being in the late game on Thanksgiving against the Niners. If this completes an 0-3 year against the Niners, Panthers and Seahawks, it doesn't really matter if they make the playoffs or not.

Week 15 - Dallas, Sun. Dec. 14 at 8:30 pm

Dallas has 10 days of rest for the return, having a TNF date against the Bears in Week 14. I fear no Cowboys.

Week 16 - At Washington, Sat. Dec. 20 at 4:30 pm

If DC's off-season moves have worked out, this could be for the division, since they've got the 4th place schedule, and swap in Tampa for Carolina, and Minny for the Packers. But if their defense has collapsed like always, or if the offense is beat up, this might be one of those Empty Late Season Yards that have marked the Daniel Snyder Era.

Week 17 - At NY Giants, Sun Dec. 28 at 1:00 pm

Green has a spare day of rest for this one, but the Giants also have that safety schedule (Detroit instead of Green Bay, Atlanta instead of Carolina), and could also be in the mix for the division.

Early prediction: 10-6, #4 division winner or #6 wild card, first round loser

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