Philadelphia Eagles training camp begins in a little over two weeks. With nothing else better to do, let's look ahead to the upcoming season. I'm going to spend the next couple of days breaking down the team's 2015 schedule into four quarters. As a reminder, here's the entire 2015 Eagles schedule. Today we'll focus on the first four games.
1) at Atlanta Falcons (Sept. 14, 7:30 PM)
For the second time in three years of the Chip Kelly era, the Eagles will open their season on Monday Night Football. Kelly made his unforgettable NFL debut back in 2013 against Washington. Will his team have the same kind of success this time around?
I have this Eagles-Falcons game ranked as the best on Philadelphia's schedule. The excitement doesn't have to do with the matchup as much as it does the fact this is the first time everyone will get to see the new Eagles in real competitive action. The Eagles have gone through so many changes this offseason. There are so many questions marks on this roster. A strong debut could have everyone feeling good about the rest of the season. Conversely, a slow start will make everyone nervous.
The Eagles are already favored to beat the Falcons in Week 1. I think the Eagles get the job done here.
2) Dallas Cowboys (Sept. 20, 4:25 PM)
This one's going to be good. The last time the Eagles and Cowboys played at Lincoln Financial Field, it was Dallas who left with the victory. The big angle heading into this week will obviously be centered around 2014 NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray squaring off against his former team. Can you imagine if Murray scores a few touchdowns against the Cowboys in an Eagles win while Joseph Randle and/or Darren McFadden do nothing? And if Miles Austin records a touchdown pass, it won't be long before people point out how the Cowboys are still paying him over $5 million this year.
Philadelphia has an early opportunity to stick it to Dallas and prove they're the best team in the NFC East. This should be a great game that sets up an even better rematch later on in the season.
3) at New York Jets (Sept. 27, 1:00 PM)
If Sam Bradford isn't starting this week for some reason, the major angle will be all about how Mark Sanchez is playing against his former team. The NFL narrative gods are just praying for that to happen. If Bradford's healthy, the angle will be more about how Todd Bowles is coaching against the team where he used to be a defensive coordinator.
The Jets have gotten a lot of credit for having a strong offseason. They've improved their secondary by bringing back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Adding Leonard Williams to their already-stacked defensive line just doesn't seem fair. Despite their strong defense, however, the Jets are still likely trotting out Geno Smith at quarterback.
The Eagles are 9-0 all-time against the New York Jets. Going 10-0 is definitely a possibility.
4) at Washington Redskins (Oct 4., 1:00 PM)
Philadelphia's last game at FedEx Field was not very pretty for them. Washington doesn't appear to be a very good team yet again, but division games can also be tougher than they appear on paper. It's hard not to think Byron Maxwell might have better luck covering DeSean Jackson than Bradley Fletcher had.
Is a 4-0 record possible?
Sure, though a 3-1 record is probably more likely. There are no elite teams in this group. I think the Eagles definitely win at least two of these games.
Tomorrow I'll preview the second quarter of the Eagles schedule. For now, what say you about these four games? Where will the Eagles stand after the first quarter?