One of the most common concerns among Eagles fans heading into the 2014 season is the early outlook of the team's schedule. The Eagles won the NFC East this year, so now they will have to play a first place schedule in 2014. This challenge will be a lot more difficult than their 2013 fourth place schedule. The Eagles will have to play the entire NFC West, which was the best division in football last year, as well as the Packers and Panthers.
On the other hand, the Eagles will play some of the teams from the two worst divisions in football last year: the AFC South and their own division rivals in the NFC East. The AFC South finished with a total point differential of -317. Two AFC South teams will be picking in the top 5 spots at the draft, and three will picking in the top 11. As for the NFC East teams, the Giants have a quarterback coming off an absolutely terrible season, the Cowboys are mediocre as they will ever be, and the Redskins have to find a way to get better despite not having a first round pick.
With that said, the combination of the first place place schedule and these aforementioned weaker teams balance out. A look at the Eagles' strength of schedule puts them near the middle of the pack, and slightly closer to the easier end of the spectrum. The Eagles have the 20th toughest strength of schedule, (or the 12th easiest).
|Rank||Team||Opponent Win Pct.|
|3||St. Louis Rams||.564|
|4||San Diego Chargers||.563|
|4||San Francisco 49ers||.563|
|7||Kansas City Chiefs||.559|
|9||New York Jets||.520|
|10||New England Patriots||.516|
|13||Green Bay Packers||.504|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||.484|
|23||New Orleans Saints||.469|
|26||New York Giants||.465|
Of course, it's unclear how much these numbers really mean at this point. There's so much time left before the season for things to change: free agency, the NFL draft, trades, injuries, player development, etc. Turnaround happens fast in the NFL, and it works both ways. Under Chip Kelly, the Eagles went from 4-12 to 10-6 and a division title. The Houston Texans, on the other hand, dropped from 12-4 to the NFL's worst 2013 record at 2-14. Still, it's interesting to see the Eagles schedule doesn't appear as tough as it may have first seemed.
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