Winning in the NFL is hardly easy, but some weeks are less difficult than others. Here's a ranking of all the games on the Philadelphia Eagles' 2016 schedule in order of most to least winnable. (Note that I have the Eagles finishing with an 8-8 record.)
Week 1 - Cleveland Browns (Sept. 11, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)
There's a pretty good chance the Eagles can start out the season with a 1-0 record. They're already 7.5 point favorites to beat the Browns in Week 1. Cleveland tied the Titans for the worst record in the NFL last year at 3-13. The Browns didn't really do anything in free agency to try to upgrade their roster. They allowed a lot of their free agents to sign elsewhere and didn't do much to replace them. The biggest move the Browns made was signing Robert Griffin III to compete for the starting quarterback job. Speaking of, here's a question for you: is this the only game on Philadelphia's schedule where you can definitively say Sam Bradford is better than the opponent's starting quarterback? Some other weeks might be up for debate, but there's no argument Bradford is better than Cleveland's starter.
Week 10 - Atlanta Falcons (Nov. 13, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
I have a hard time believing in the Falcons outside of their dome field advantage. Atlanta is 8-16 in their last 24 road games. The Falcons looked really weak down the stretch last season after getting off to such a hot start. The Eagles have won eight out of their last 10 games against the Falcons in Philadelphia. This one should be fairly winnable for the Birds in midnight green.
Week 16 - New York Giants (Dec. 22, 8:25 PM ET, NBC/NFLN)
The G-Men have been outscored 54-7 in their last two games at Lincoln Financial Field. Quite simply, the Eagles own the Giants in recent history. Maybe that will change with Chip Kelly and Tom Coughlin both gone, but for now I don't see why Eagles fans shouldn't be confident about being able to beat New York.
Week 5 - @ Detroit Lions (Oct. 9, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
A lot of people are not fans of the Eagles' early bye in Week 4, but it could come in handy while preparing for Detroit.
Week 2 - @ Chicago Bears (Sept. 19, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN)
Losing Adam Gase could hurt Jay Cutler, who finished with a passer rating over 90 for the first time in his career last season. That awful surface at Soldier Field could hurt the Birds' chances of winning, but I don't think Chicago is all that intimidating.
Week 17 - Dallas Cowboys (Jan. 1, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
This division game at the end of the year that could potentially decide the NFC East might not be easy at all depending how the Cowboys bounce back this year. The good news for the Birds is that they have a significant rest advantage in this game. Philadelphia has 10 days off to prepare for this one while Dallas only has six.
Week 14 - Washington Redskins (Dec. 11, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
I'll rank Washington as the most difficult of the Eagles' three NFC East home games.
Week 9 - @ New York Giants (Nov. 6, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Giants have a bye week before this game.
Week 8 - @ Dallas Cowboys (Oct. 30, 8:30 PM ET, NBC)
The bad news for the Eagles is that the Cowboys are coming off their bye week. The good news is that the Eagles are 6-1 in their last seven games in Dallas.
Week 6 - @ Washington Redskins (Oct. 16, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Eagles haven't wont at FedEx Field since 2013. They've lost a couple of ugly games down there in
D.C. Maryland since then. Washington was the best team in a bad NFC East last season so I'll give them the advantage here.
Week 7 - Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 23, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Vikings went from 7-9 in 2014 to winning the NFC North at 11-5 last season. Minnesota has some nice pieces in place and a good head coach in Mike Zimmer. They'll have an advantage in this game since they'll be coming off of their bye week.
Week 3 - Pittsburgh Steelers (Sept. 25, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)
Philadelphia's 8-0 all-time home record against the Steelers is in jeopardy this season. Pittsburgh's offense scored an average of 32 points per game in the second half of last season, and that was without having Le'Veon Bell. Jim Schwartz's defense will really be put to the test. This game also comes on a short week for the Birds.
Week 15 - @ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 18, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Ravens are primed to bounce back after a down year that wasn't as bad as it seemed. John Harbaugh, who was reportedly one of the Eagles' main head coaching targets, clearly has the edge over Doug Pederson here.
Week 12 - Green Bay Packers (Nov. 28, 8:30 PM ET, ESPN)
Aaron Rodgers destroyed the Eagles the last time these two teams played. He's hard to stop. The hope is that Jim Schwartz will have a better idea to stop him than Billy Davis did. For what it's worth, Schwartz does has experience facing off against Rodgers from their time together in the NFC North. Schwartz also devised a game plan that shut Rodgers down when the Packers played the Bills in 2014. Peep Rodgers' awful stat line from that Buffalo game: 17/42 (40.5%), 185 yards (4.4 y/a), 0 TD, 2 INT, 1 FUM.
Week 13 - @ Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 4, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
The Eagles have to travel to Cincinnati after playing on Monday Night Football. The short week certainly won't help Philadelphia beat a Bengals team that is 19-4-1 in their last 24 home games.
Week 11 - @ Seattle Seahawks (Nov. 20, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)
Really hard to see the Eagles walking out of Seattle with a win. The Seahawks are 27-5 in their last 32 regular season home games. Three of those losses came against divisional opponents. The Eagles' offense was really bad last season. We don't know how it'll look in 2016 but I don't like Bradford's chances against that Seattle defense.