The Eagles' schedule that was released yesterday looks favorable early in the season, difficult late, and is filled with prime-time games against some familiar opponents.

For the third straight season, the Eagles will open on the road, this time traveling to Green Bay for a 1 p.m. game Sept. 9 against the Packers at historic Lambeau Field. The team's home opener at Lincoln Financial Field will be Sept. 17 against the Washington Redskins on ESPN's Monday Night Football.

The next week, coach Andy Reid's team will play the Detroit Lions at home, which means the Eagles' first three games will be against teams that went a combined 16-32 last season.

The Eagles will begin a stretch of three straight games against playoff teams with contests at the Meadowlands against the New York Giants and New York Jets. They will play the Giants in a Sept. 30 game, the first of three scheduled Sunday night games featuring the Eagles on NBC.

The other scheduled Sunday night games are Nov. 4 against the Dallas Cowboys at home and Nov. 25 at the New England Patriots in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX. The latter game will mark the first time the Eagles will have played the Patriots since losing to them in the NFL title game.

Before heading back to the Meadowlands for their Oct. 14 game against the Jets, the Eagles will have their bye during Week 5 of the season. It will be the team's earliest bye since Week 3 of the 2003 season.

The Eagles will return home after their game against the Jets to face the NFC champion Chicago Bears in a 4:15 p.m. game that is scheduled as Fox's national telecast that weekend. The Eagles' other scheduled national telecast on Fox will be the 4:15 p.m. game on Dec. 16 against the Cowboys in Dallas.

From Weeks 12 through 16, the Eagles' schedule appears to be particularly difficult based on what their opponents did a year ago. That five-game stretch starts with their road game against New England and continues with home games against Seattle and the Giants. It concludes with road games against the Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. They will close the regular season with a home game against Buffalo on Dec. 30.

The Saints, of course, beat the Eagles twice by the score of 27-24 last season at the Superdome, including the NFC divisional playoff meeting between the teams.

The Patriots, Seahawks, Giants, Cowboys and Saints all made the playoffs last season and were a combined 52-37, including the postseason. A total of nine of the Eagles' 16 games are against playoff teams from a year ago.

As for the Eagles' national profile, they are scheduled to appear in four prime-time games, including the three on Sunday night, which has become the NFL's showcase game of the week. The only teams making as many appearances as the Eagles on Sunday night are the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, the Cowboys and the Bears.

"It's always an exciting day around the NFL when the schedule is announced," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "It's exciting for the teams and for the fans alike. We have a challenging schedule ahead of us, but again, we'll take our one-game-at-a-time approach."

EAGLES 2007 SCHEDULE

PRESEASON

Monday, Aug. 13 at Baltimore 7:00 pm ETN/6ABC

Friday, August 17 Carolina 7:00 pm ETN/6ABC

Sunday, August 26 at Pittsburgh 8:00 pm NBC

Thursday, August 30 NY Jets 7:00 pm ETN/6ABC

REGULAR SEASON

Sunday, September 9 at Green Bay 1:00 pm FOX

Monday, September 17 Washington 8:30 pm ESPN*

Sunday, September 23 Detroit 1:00 pm FOX

Sunday, September 30 at NY Giants 8:15 pm NBC*

Sunday, October 7 BYE

Sunday, October 14 at NY Jets 1:00 pm FOX

Sunday, October 21 Chicago 4:15 pm FOX*

Sunday, October 28 at Minnesota 1:00 pm FOX

Sunday, November 4 Dallas 8:15 pm NBC*

Sunday, November 11 at Washington 1:00 pm FOX

Sunday, November 18 Miami 1:00 pm+ CBS

Sunday, November 25 at New England 8:15 pm+ NBC*

Sunday, December 2 Seattle 1:00 pm+ FOX

Sunday, December 9 NY Giants 1:00 pm+ FOX

Sunday, December 16 at Dallas 4:15 pm+ FOX*

Sunday, December 23 at New Orleans 1:00 pm+ FOX

Sunday, December 30 Buffalo 1:00 pm+ CBS

* nationally televised game

+ game time subject to change due to flex scheduling

PLAYOFFS

Wild Card Playoffs (NBC/CBS/FOX) . . . January 5-6

Divisional Playoff Games (CBS/FOX). . . January 12-13

AFC/NFC Championship Games (CBS/FOX). . . January 20

Super Bowl 42, Glendale, AZ (FOX) . . . February 3

AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Honolulu, HI (FOX). . . February 10

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover
at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.