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Welcome to the gauntlet

Also: Dallas is not America

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The Eagles’ next six games, over seven weeks, are the hardest for any team this year.

  • Week 9 vs Cowboys
  • Week 10 bye
  • Week 11 at Chiefs
  • Week 12 vs Bills
  • Week 13 vs 49ers
  • Week 14 at Cowboys
  • Week 15 at Seahawks

Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks. Maybe the Chiefs continue to struggle. Maybe the Bills, plagued by injury and bad play, show up with another signature clunker game. Maybe Brock Purdy’s recent 4th quarter pumpkining blooms into full game pumpkining. Maybe Geno Smith’s bid for the Comeback To The Player You Always Were Award continues. Maybe the Cowboys, a team that lost to the Cardinals and got blown out by the 49ers, aren’t that good.

Or maybe it’s even harder than it looks.

The schedule makers were on a schedule II

The next seven weeks are even more difficult than it looks on paper. In terms of rest, in every game the Eagles are a disadvantage or at best draw even.

The Cowboys were able to rest starters late in their blowout of the Rams. The schedule makers can’t be blamed for that. But because the Eagles once again could not put away the Commanders, they had to go a full game while the Cowboys demolished the Rams and got to pull starters. It’s not a huge advantage, but you’d rather be the team that only had six total players play more than 56 snaps than the team that had 16 players play more than 56 snaps.

After the Cowboys game, the Eagles will be on their bye before facing the Chiefs. One problem…the Chiefs will also be coming off their bye. I get it, the league was gifted a Super Bowl rematch so they want both teams to be as healthy as can be. But giving a team a bye and putting them on the road against a team that also had a bye is ridiculous. And that game is Monday night-another day for recovery!-which means that…

The Eagles face the Bills on a slightly short week. Meanwhile the 49ers play on Thursday, which means…

The 49ers will be coming off a mini-bye. And the Cowboys will have been on their second straight Thursday night game (as the league usually gives them before or after Thanksgiving, the Lions are not typically afforded the same luxury) meaning that…

The Cowboys will also be coming off a mini-bye.

Then for the Seahawks game, it will be the Eagles who will be traveling across the country to play. They can’t catch a break.

One possible crumb of an upside though, none of these games are at 1pm ET, so hey they can sleep in if they keep to an EDT schedule. I say that facetiously, however the only 1pm games the Eagles have had this year have been the Commanders games… makes you think.

Dallas isn’t America

My father-in-law lives in the Dallas suburbs. The Dallas-Fort Worth area had it going pretty good this summer when I visited. The Rangers were in first place. The Stars had just played in the conference finals. TCU were coming off a Cinderella run to the national championship game. And of course the Cowboys are allegedly America’s team. There was plenty of reason to wear some team gear for any of those teams. To be sure there are a good number of transplants in the DFW metroplex, but that is true of pretty much every major city. About midway through the trip something struck me as odd:

I noticed that nobody was wearing any team apparel. Nothing. For any team. Have some pride! That’s what we do in America. Dallas, you ain’t it.

In fairness to them, maybe they all ordered from Fanatics and their stuff will be delivered next year.

College Football Week 10 Watch List

Conference title games are a month away, but this week serves as a semi-final of sorts.

SEC - Missouri at Georgia, LSU at Alabama

A Georgia win all but locks up the East, and a Bama win all but locks up the West, setting up yet another Georgia-Alabama SEC title game. But a loss by either is the first step to chaos, and losses by both is full sickos engagement. Both favorites can’t take this game for granted, Missouri nearly beat Georgia last year, while LSU beat Alabama last year.

Get a sneak peak at next year’s WR1 in Missouri’s Luther Burden, and Georgia’s Carson Beck is a potential 1st round QB next year.

Big 12 - Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, Kansas State at Texas

Another pair of eliminators. Five teams are tied for the top of the Big 12: these four teams and Iowa State. Iowa State will not win out. The winners of these games put themselves at the front of the grid and their destiny in their own hands.

This week, I don’t even care about the pro prospects. I want chaos.

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