THE Eagles regular season record will be 11-5. Or 7-9. Or 9-7. Before we get into predicting records let’s get a look at the schedule here. It’s been out for days now and you’ve no doubt read all the predictions. But what about reading the schedule itself?
First, let’s look at what it isn’t:
There are no home-stands or road-trips of more than 2 weeks. So it should prevent players from getting too stale.
Now let’s just look at the schedule itself for what it is:
Early in the season we get 3 “punch you in the mouth” games (Redskins, 49ers, Rams) in a row, followed by a divisional home game against the Giants.
This looks like 4 straight battles followed by an early Bye Week. Normally I don’t like the Bye this early, but this year we may need it right where it is. (Thank you schedule makers.)
November has 5 games crammed into it, with it alternating home/away for all 5 weeks. It favors the road 3 to 2, but that’s nothing worth complaining about.
There is only one short week all season long (Nov 23 – Nov 27). (So far so good?)
The fatigue factor could be of some concern in the second half of the season, since the Eagles traditionally tend to play a lot of 1pm EST games. This year a number of those games don’t start in that time period. Not a big deal for most Head Coaches, but Chip Kelly likes his practices to mirror game times. Either he has to adjust his approach, or he seriously risks throwing off his own player’s circadian rhythms. (This could be the biggest hurdle of the season by the way.)
The last 5 weeks are a road straight through Hell. The emotional toll of those weeks all coming rapid fire could mentally exhaust any team. Closing out on the road for the last 2 weeks after a Cowboy/Seattle/Cowboy sandwich, has to be someone’s idea of sick joke. By then, if the Redskins game has any playoff implications whatsoever, that could end up as one of the most brutal games these two teams have ever played.
All told, I don’t like how this schedule is set up. It’s easy on the eye if you just look at the “who”, but a closer inspection of the “when” makes it look like that thing where someone gets on all fours behind you, to make it easier for another person to push you over.
Jerk the players all around the clock, then put them through a 5 week mental meat grinder vs the division and the Super Bowl Champion, all as a prelude to the playoffs IF we make it? Man, I was born in Philly, I know a set-up when I see one.