We won't know the real schedule until the league announces it tonight at 7 p.m. on the NFL Network -- hoo boy! -- but what would the Eagles request if they could put together the schedule themselves?
Here's what I think they would prefer, or at least one version of it, and I'll tell you why. For short-attention span visitors, THIS IS NOT THE REAL SCHEDULE. Just a mock-up.
Week 1 -- Kansas City @ Eagles
Week 2 -- Eagles @ Washington
Week 3 -- New Orleans @ Eagles
Week 4 -- Eagles @ Oakland
Week 5 -- Eagles @ San Diego
Week 6 -- BYE
Week 7 -- Dallas @ Eagles
Week 8 -- San Francisco @ Eagles
Week 9 -- Eagles @ N.Y. Giants
Week 10 -- Denver @ Eagles
Week 11 -- Eagles @ Chicago
Week 12 -- Washington @ Eagles
Week 13 -- Eagles @ Dallas
Week 14 -- Tampa Bay @ Eagles
Week 15 -- Eagles @ Atlanta
Week 16 -- Eagles @ Carolina
Week 17 -- N.Y. Giants @ Eagles
The Eagles are going to have a fair number of changes on the roster and among the starters for next season. As Tom Heckert said today during a pre-draft media Q&A, it is feasible the offensive line could have a different starter at every position from last season.
I think it's likely the team would like an easier start to the schedule while the kinks are worked out. In the past with a more veteran, more aging team, it always seemed like getting some tough games in early, before the grind of the season wore them down, was a good idea. Not so much this time, which is why getting poor road teams like Kansas City, New Orleans and San Francisco here relatively early might be nice.
Conversely, avoiding Atlanta and Carolina on the road (a combined 15-1 last year) might be better left until the end, although the back end of this schedule is admittedly very difficult.
Bunching the two west coast games would be a bonus they probably won't get. It would allow them to stay out there and train, rather than put two separate cross-country trips on their personal odometers. Following that with a bye before Dallas would probably suit them, too. Chicago in November is dicey, but the Bears can't run the ball, or at least couldn't last season, so that might work out.
Anyway, what's your perfect schedule for the Eagles as we count down the hours until seeing the real one?