With the NFL schedule being released on Thursday, teams and fans now know which direction these teams will be taking as they move forward. For some teams, the schedule release shows in order which teams they will lose to in the weeks ahead. For others, it shows how tough the matchups will be for their team on the quest to make the playoffs in 2017.
For the Philadelphia Eagles, 2017 is likely to be a very up and down season. While the offense will look to improve over last season, the defense remains a major question mark going forward. While fans will continue to look for a return to the playoffs this season, it is unlikely at this stage of the offseason.
Despite this, the Eagles could still have a chance if lady luck goes in their favor. Based on the schedule for this season, there are three games that will be extremely important to this pursuit. Taking a closer look, here are those three games and what they could mean for the success of Philadelphia in 2017.
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3. October 23rd vs. Washington
Following a Thursday night contest week 6 against the at Carolina, the Eagles will eleven days of rest before they next play against the visiting Washington Redskins. Hosting the second game of the season against the Redskins, Philadelphia will also be playing on Monday Night Football in the first of their two games on ESPN next season.
This game will be extremely important for two reasons. The first of which is that coming off a long rest, Philly will have a chance to prepare for the Redskins and should be able to take the victory. The second and likely most obvious is the fact that this game is a must-win against a division rival. Heck, if the Eagles want to make the playoffs, they have to beat teams from within their own division.
2. December 25th vs. Oakland
Battling against an AFC team that should not only be competing for a playoff spot in 2017 but also likely be near the top of the standings as a whole, Philly will have a tough battle against the Raiders. Given the poor status of the Eagles defense at this stage, it is not hard to think about Derek Carr throwing all over Philadelphia’s defense.
Add to the fact that this game is on Christmas day and will also be the second Monday Night Football game of the year for the Eagles and all the pressure and eyes of the world will be on these two teams. Add to this that Philadelphia hosts rival Dallas the following week and this game will be a major momentum building or losing contest.
1. November 19th at Dallas
Coming off their bye week, Philadelphia will be taking on their division rival the Dallas Cowboys for the first time this season. Facing off in Dallas for the first meeting between the two teams this season, Philadelphia will have two weeks to prepare for their contest against the Cowboys. Given the performance of Dallas last season, this game will be really important to the Eagles playoff chances.
Likely needing to win at least one of the two games against the hated Cowboys this season, Philadelphia would likely not want to wait until Week 17 to get the job done. With so much time to prepare, this game will be one to watch for fans of both the Eagles and Cowboys.