THANK you Schedule Makers! According to our opponent 2022 win percentage of .566 (which is the tool used to make this measurement every year), the Eagles 2023 schedule is the toughest in the NFL this year. That means, no one can claim that our winning the East again this year, was an easy road.
I want to thank the Schedule Makers for such a tough road. No sarcasm, I’m being serious. The NFC East hasn’t had a repeat winner since we last did it in 2003 and 2004. To do it vs the NFL’s toughest schedule, builds validation even from rivals, directly into every “W” that we earn.
I want that.
Now lets discuss Our 2023 Schedule itself. As with any year, there are things I love about the schedule, and things I hate about it. Let’s start with the good news.
Our Bye hits on Week 10. It’s after nine games played, leaving eight on the schedule’s back-end. It’s also right after our first meeting with the Cowboys, which will be a home game. No post-game travel means, one less plane ride for any of our guys leaving Philadelphia during the Bye.
Speaking of planes, our players won’t have to get on one from Weeks 6 – 10, or Weeks 16 – 18. That’s no jet lag, and we’re either playing home games, or in places (NY and DC) where our fans already have very healthy representation. In fact, we finish the season practically on a three game home-stand.
I also happen to love that our division games have quick turnarounds for each second match-up. We play Washington in Week Four, and again four weeks later. Then a Dallas game, with a re-match four weeks later. At season’s end, both giants games have just one game between them. Sweeps, splits… We’ll know pretty quickly where we stand vs each team.
The bad news?
Kansas City has the same Bye Week that we do. So we get Andy Reid after a bye. Andy is damned near invincible with an extra week of prep time. (He’s practically Batman.) Then on a short week, after the KC game, we get Buffalo (but at least it’s a home game.) And then the Forty Whiners come to town. (Probably with 6 QB’s and JUGS machine wearing a jersey.)
I’m also personally not a fan of us playing just three 1:00 games. First, the Eagles have traditionally played well in that slot. Second, I have a whole routine based around early games. The earlier we play, the easier it is for me to get the Four Things Reviewed articles out, on time on Mondays. Those articles can take two to six hours to complete, depending on other games that impact us.
This is partly why I’m irritated with us having at least FIVE prime time games this year. I say at least, because that last giants game is “To Be Determined”. For Sunday night games, I can’t even start my articles until around midnight, while still having to be at work on Monday morning. So night games don’t exactly thrill me.
Thankfully we only have one Thursday Night game, and it’s a four day turnaround not just for us, but Minnesota as well. However for us, it’s a home game. The Vikes have to get in a short week of practice, then get on a plane, while also losing an hour.
On the whole, I’m happy with how the schedule works out for the Eagles. It’s an undeniably tough road, with validation built in. However, due to our geographical location and the way the division is laid out, travel fatigue should be about as light on us, as any team in the league.