The Eagles’ schedule has a few quirks in it (like three straight road games in October as the powers that be seem to be anticipating a deep playoff run by the city’s baseball team), but overall it is not a hardship.
One of my neighbors is Vinny Cerrato, former GM of the 49ers and the Redskins. He used to advise his teams not to think twice about their schedules and certainly not to over-analyze them. “You have no control over the schedule the league gives you, so why sweat it?”, said Vinny. “You play the schedule you’re given. Schedules don’t determine wins or losses.”
That’s the classic NFL stoic approach, but these days analysts tend to look for the drama in everything.
Looking at some of the sheer entertainment value of the schedule:
Philadelphia will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons on Sunday Night Football in Week 2, marking the fifth year in a row that the Eagles have played the Falcons, including the 2017 postseason contest. This year’s matchup will mark the third primetime game between the two clubs since the 2015 regular-season opener.
In Week 3, the Eagles will host the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since 2013. The last time these two teams faced off in Philadelphia, the Eagles defeated the Lions 34-20 in a contest dubbed the “Snow Bowl.” During that contest, snowy conditions limited the two teams to just 21 total completions, but Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy logged a career-high 217 rushing yards and two touchdowns to pace the Eagles offense.
The Eagles will travel to Green Bay in Week 4 to face the Packers on Thursday Night Football, marking the first time that Philadelphia has played at Lambeau Field on a Thursday night and just the third instance ever that Philadelphia has played in the historic stadium in a primetime contest.
Philadelphia will return to the site of Super Bowl LII when they travel to Minnesota in Week 6 to take on the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The last time the Eagles played in Minnesota, Philadelphia capped off its 2017 Super Bowl run with a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots to secure the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. In Week 11, the Eagles will face the Patriots for the first time since Super Bowl LII (excluding a 2018 preseason contest) and will play host to New England for the first time since 2011.
A national audience will once again be treated to an Eagles-Cowboys matchup in Week 7 on Sunday Night Football. With the exception of a nationally-televised 2014 Thanksgiving afternoon contest, the division rivals have squared off in primetime every season dating back to 2007. Also, of note, three of Philadelphia’s last four games at Dallas have been decided in overtime.
In Week 12, the Eagles will host the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, marking the first primetime matchup between the two teams in Philadelphia since 2005.
Philadelphia will close out the regular season with four-straight games against NFC East opponents: vs. NYG (Dec. 9), at Was. (Dec. 15), vs. Dal. (Dec. 22) and at NYG (Dec. 29). This will be the first time since 1988 that the Eagles have closed the regular season with four consecutive divisional games. That year, Philadelphia went 3-1 in its final four games, defeating the Phoenix Cardinals (twice) and the Dallas Cowboys, while suffering a 20-19 loss against the Washington Redskins. Philadelphia’s success in the final month of the season helped the Eagles finish with a 10-6 record and win the NFC East.