The Eagles will open the 2014 season at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since 2010 as they host the Jacksonville Jaguarson Sept. 7. The following week, the Eagles travel to Indianapolis to battle quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts in the first of two Monday night matchups. In Week 3, the Eagles welcome the Washington Redskins and former wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Overall, the Eagles have four primetime games — two on Sunday night (Oct. 12 against the New York Giants and Dec. 14 against the Dallas Cowboys). The Eagles play on Monday, Sept. 15 at Indianapolis, and Monday, Nov. 10 against the Carolina Panthers. It’s the second consecutive season the Eagles will open their road schedule on “Monday Night Football.” The Eagles won their Monday night road opener last season at Washington. The Eagles will face six teams who held a winning record in 2013. Four of their opponents had 12 or more losses. If Philadelphia can stockpile enough wins through the first 13 games, it will help immensely with its final three games against NFC East foes.
The NFL didn’t do the Eagles any favors with an extremely difficult 11-day stretch in late November. On Nov. 16, the Eagles travel to Lambeau Field to battle the Green Bay Packers. That is never an easy task. One week later, the Eagles host theTennessee Titans — certainly a very winnable game. But Philadelphia must travel to Dallas four days later on Nov. 27 to play the rival Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. It’s the first Thanksgiving Day game for the Eagles since 2008.
Three games in 11 days is daunting, especially later in the season when injuries become a real factor. It certainly will test the team’s mettle as it pushes for a second potential playoff berth.
The Eagles will finish their season with three straight games against NFC East teams — Dec. 14 against the Cowboys, Dec. 20 at Washington and Dec. 28 at the New York Giants. These divisional games will likely decide whether the Eagles earn a playoff spot or not. It’s a fascinating subplot, especially the matchup against the Redskins. That will be the second meeting against Jackson, who will surely be anxious to perform well. Divisional games are usually mixed in a little more, so these final three games could be even more competitive than usual. It also means the NFC East title could be decided on the final week, just like last season when the Eagles defeated the Cowboys.
Eagles Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 7, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Monday, Sept. 15, at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 21, Washington, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 28, at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 5, St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 12, NY Giants, 8:30 p.m.
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 26, at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 2, at Houston, 1 p.m.
Week 10: Monday, Nov. 10, Carolina, 8:30 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 16, at Green Bay, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 23, Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 27, at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7, Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14, Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 20, at Washington, 4:30 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28, at NY Giants, 1 p.m.
Here is Eliot Shorr-Parks’ take from NJ.com:
Week 1 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Everyone remember the ‘Gus Bus’? Last time Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley was in Philadelphia, he was close to landing the head coaching job with the Eagles — before Kelly swooped in and took it. The Jaguars are rebuilding, but Bradley will definitely be looking to prove the Eagles’ front office wrong for passing him over. Still, the opener should be an easy one for the Eagles.
Prediction: Win (1-0)
Week 2 at Indianapolis Colts (Monday night)
This is another game that will give Kelly and the Eagles a chance to see where they are at — especially the secondary. The Eagles signed Malcolm Jenkins for games like this, where the defense will have to deal with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. This is a tough matchup for the Eagles, especially on the road, where the franchise has traditionally struggled.
Prediction: Loss (1-1)
Week 3 vs. Washington Redskins
Maybe the biggest game of the season, and it comes in Week 3. DeSean Jackson returns to Philadelphia, meaning the week will be filled with a re-hasing of everything that went wrong in his last few seasons with the Eagles. Hard to see the Eagles losing back-to-back games, especially one as big as this.
Prediction: Win (2-1)
Week 4 at San Francisco 49ers
This is a going to be a battle between two of the best teams in the NFC, but it is also going to be a matchup between quarterbacks who have had success early on in their career in very different ways. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is believed to be the ideal mold of quarterback for Kelly, as he is big (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), has a cannon for an arm, and is the best running quarterback in the league. This will be a game for Nick Foles to show Eagles fans and Kelly he is the guy the team should want.
Prediction: Win (3-1)
Week 5 vs. St. Louis Rams
This is a game the Eagles have to win, given how tough the rest of their schedule looks. The Rams were slightly better than their 7-9 record indicates, but the Eagles should have the major edge since the game is in Philadelphia. Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin will be a good test for the Eagles’ secondary. It feels like a trap game coming off of a big win in San Francisco, but the Eagles take care of business.
Prediction: Win (4-1)
Week 6 vs. New York Giants
Last year the Eagles took on the Giants in Week 5, and it was one of the ugliest games of the season. The two teams meet early on once again, and it comes right before the Eagles’ Bye Week. The Giants will be an improved team this year, and this will be a win for New York that sends a message they are going to compete in the NFC East.
Prediction: Loss (4-2)
Week 7: BYE WEEK Record at Bye Week is 4-2
Week 8 at Arizona Cardinals
Last season, the Eagles won a crucial late season game against the Cardinals, helping to propel them to the playoffs. This year, however, the Eagles have to head out to Arizona. Coming off of a Bye Week, the rust will show — and the panic will set in after two straight losses.
Prediction: Loss (4-3)
Week 9 at Houston Texans
The Eagles are going to get a good look at whether or not new Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is casting the same magic over his team that Kelly did in his first season in the NFL. O’Brien will not be the only headline, however, as the Texans should have the No. 1 pick playing. This will also be a homecoming for a number of Eagles, including linebacker Connor Barwin. Eagles won’t lose three in a row.
Prediction: Win (5-3)
Week 10 vs. Carolina Panthers (Monday Night Football)
A good test for the Eagles offense, and a game that the Eagles defense has to dominate. The Panthers lost wide receiver Steve Smith on offense, and don’t have much besides quarterback Cam Newton that should scare Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis. This is a game where the Eagles defense has to win it for them.
Prediction: Win (6-3)
Week 11 at Green Bay Packers
This could be a game between two division leaders, or two teams fighting for a wild card spot. Either way, this game should have plenty of playoff implications — and this year, chances are Aaron Rodgers will be starting for the Packers, unlike last year, when the Eagles faced backups.
Prediction: Loss (6-4)
Week 12 vs. Tennessee Titans
Besides maybe the Eagles matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Eagles home game against the Titans might be the easiest game on the schedule. The Titans simply should not have enough on offense to hang with the Eagles, even if the team is looking ahead to their Thanksgiving day matchup with the Cowboys.
Prediction: Win (7-4)
Week 13 at Dallas Cowboys (Thanksgiving):
This is going to be a big one, as the Eagles will head to Texas for Thanksgiving for the first time since 1989. This is going to be an especially huge game for Nick Foles, as he heads back to his home state of Texas on a national stage.
Prediction: Win (8-4)
Week 14 vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Eagles get a shot at the defending Super Bowl champions, and at Lincoln Financial Field. This will be a good game to gauge where the team is at, and how realistic a deep playoff run is. A win could be a major statement by Kelly and his team — but they will fall short.
Prediction: Loss (8-5)
Week 15 vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)
For the second time in two weeks, the Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys in prime time. After ruining their Thanksgiving, this will be a big game for the Cowboys — and the Eagles, with only two weeks left to play.
Prediction: Win (9-5)
Week 16 at Washington Redskins (Saturday night):
With the bad blood between Chip Kelly and DeSean Jackson, it’s safe to say that the games between the two will be personal. Kelly will make it his mission to shut down Jackson, and if Jackson isn’t a factor, the Eagles will win. This game will knock the Redskins out of playoff contention, if they aren’t gone already.
Prediction: Win (10-5)
Week 17 at New York Giants:
This game could potentially be for all the marbles. The NFC East champion has been decided in the last week of the season the last two years, meaning the division title could be on the line. The Eagles finish the season with three straight division wins and enter the playoffs on a roll.
Prediction: Win (11-5)