The Philadelphia Eagles knew their opponents on their 2014 NFL schedule. Yet on April 23, the Eagles found out the order of their schedule, as well as what time the NFL expects them to start playing. Since Philadelphia won the NFC East last season, it received some breaks on this year's slate, but time will tell how daunting it really is.
The Eagles only have five games against teams who made the playoffs last season, to go along with their six games against the NFC East. Yet Philadelphia is facing every NFC playoff team from last year, except the New Orleans Saints club that knocked it out this past January.
Nevertheless, the NFL schedule offers a presumed break at the very start. The season will open at home for Philadelphia, against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and former Eagles coaching candidate Gus Bradley. However, the Eagles then have to go on Monday Night Football in Week 2 to visit the more formidable Indianapolis Colts -- and then comes the most hype worthy game of the season.
DeSean Jackson won't take long to return to Philadelphia, as he and the Washington Redskins will be welcomed back in Week 3 on Sept. 22. With a visit to the San Francisco 49ers then looming in Week 4, these three early games with the Colts, Redskins and 49ers should set a revealing tone for the Eagles' season.
Yet since the Colts, 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks are the only 2013 playoff teams the Eagles face this year, not every week will be a gauntlet. However, the end of the season will be, since it consists of a Thanksgiving visit to Dallas, hosting the world champion Seattle Seahawks and then closing out with three straight games against the NFC East.
At this time last year, the Eagles couldn't foresee the breaks they'd get on their schedule, or how some games looked more or less daunting than they turned out to be -- or that the 2013 season finale with the Cowboys would actually be a divisional title game. Therefore, projecting the difficulty of the 2014 schedule in April may be a fool's errand for Philadelphia and the rest of the NFL.
Regardless, the accompanying list breaks down the order of games for the Eagles this fall, no matter how grueling they turn out to be or not.