Now that the 2015 NFL season is over and the Philadelphia Eagles 2016 opponents are known, it's never too easy to look ahead to next season. OK, it probably is way too early to look ahead. But we're doing it anyway.
The Eagles finished second in the NFC Least this year. They had a chance to be third but they blew it by winning a meaningless game against the Giants. The difference between second and third isn't insignificant. Instead of playing the Rams in London, the Eagles will now have to play the Seahawks in Seattle. Despite this impending matchup, the Eagles' schedule as a whole isn't looking so tough for next season. In fact, it ranks as one of the easier schedules in the NFL. Check out this table from our friends over at Blogging the Boys (click the table headers to sort columns):
|2015 Strength Of Schedule By Team
|Team||Opp W/L||Opp Win %||8+ win opponents||Point Differential|
|SF||142 - 114||0.555||9||590|
|ATL||142 - 114||0.555||7||272|
|STL||141 - 115||0.551||9||489|
|NO||140 - 116||0.547||8||340|
|TB||139 - 117||0.543||8||257|
|SEA||139 - 117||0.543||8||153|
|NYJ||136 - 120||0.531||10||365|
|ARI||136 - 120||0.531||9||173|
|NE||134 - 122||0.523||10||253|
|BUF||133 - 123||0.520||8||316|
|MIA||132 - 124||0.516||10||424|
|CAR||131 - 125||0.512||8||-44|
|SD||130 - 126||0.508||8||-161|
|DEN||129 - 127||0.504||8||88|
|OAK||128 - 128||0.500||9||-57|
|KC||127 - 129||0.496||8||-143|
|WAS||126 - 130||0.492||6||41|
|MIN||125 - 131||0.488||7||-160|
|BAL||124 - 132||0.484||8||67|
|HOU||124 - 132||0.484||8||-189|
|CLE||123 - 133||0.480||8||139|
|IND||122 - 134||0.477||8||-100|
|PIT||121 - 135||0.473||8||-132|
|JAC||121 - 135||0.473||9||-336|
|TEN||121 - 135||0.473||8||-412|
|PHI||120 - 136||0.469||8||-63|
|CIN||119 - 137||0.465||8||-162|
|DAL||119 - 137||0.465||6||-335|
|DET||119 - 137||0.465||7||-436|
|NYG||118 - 138||0.461||6||-383|
|CHI||118 - 138||0.461||7||-502|
|GB||117 - 139||0.457||7||-352|
As you can see, the Eagles have the seventh easiest schedule based on opponent winning record. For perspective, the Eagles' strength of schedule ranked 10th heading into last season. When it comes to point differential, however, things look a little tougher. The Eagles' schedules ranks 15th in that category.
As far as the Eagles' NFC East opponents go: the Giants have the third easiest ranked strength of schedule, the Dallas Cowboys are fifth, and the Washington Redskins are 16th. The Giants have the fourth easiest schedule when it comes to point differential, while the Cowboys rank seventh and Washington ranks 18th.
Of course, it's hard to tell how much this all means at this point. The Eagles don't even have a head coach so who really knows what the team is going to look like next season. Teams go from worst to first and vice versa all the time, so some teams will appear to be much tougher or much easier on paper than they will be next season.
Here are Philadelphia's opponents for next season. Keep in mind the actual game order won't be determined until the NFL releases the schedule in the spring.