The Super Bowl is now less than a week away, meaning the NFL season is almost over. It’s been about a month since the Eagles have played a game and I’ve started to finally get over it. But what better way to celebrate the soon-to-start offseason with a look at who the Eagles will play next season? Some might say it’s too early to start talking about that. But the reality is it’s never too early. Here’s who they have to play in 2015 (2014 record in parenthesis):
Home: Cowboys (12-4), Giants (6-10), Redskins (4-12), Saints (7-9), Buccaneers (2-14), Bills (9-7), Dolphins (8-8) and Cardinals (11-5)
Away: Cowboys (12-4), Giants (6-10), Redskins (4-12), Falcons (6-10), Panthers (7-8-1), Patriots (12-4), Jets (4-12) and Lions (11-5)
Obviously, the Eagles will have to play all the teams in their division twice next year, but once again it could be a very interesting division. The Cowboys clearly aren’t as bad as everyone thought they’d be, but are they really 12-4 good? The Giants should also be getting a little better once they get key some guys back from injury. The Redskins should finish last in the division once again, although one can never rule them out from stealing a division game or two, just like they did to both Dallas and Philly this past year.
The Eagles finishing second in the division might have actually been a blessing in disguise. After suffering through games against the Packers and Seahawks this year, they’ll get to avoid both of those teams next year. Also, the Eagles will get to play the NFC South next year, football’s worst division in 2014. Not a single team in that division finished with a winning record, even the Panthers, who made it to the second round of the playoffs.
Philadelphia will also have to play the AFC East division, which could easily house the Super Bowl champion if the Patriots win this year. The game will also take place in Foxborough, but the other away game against an AFC team is the Jets, which shouldn’t be too hard of a victory.
So overall, in 2015 the Eagles will play six games against teams that had winning records in 2014. Teams such as the Bills and Cardinals, who both had winning records in 2014, are likely to drop off next year though, potentially making those games easier to win.
The combined 2014 records of the teams the Eagles will face next year is 121-134-1, a losing record and a winning percentage of .473. This is just below the .479 winning percentage their opponents had going into this season. It suggests that they will have a pretty easy schedule next year, which bodes well for their playoff chances.
Just looking at the list of teams and who they play home and away, I don’t see why they can’t finish 11-5 or better. Obviously, lots of personnel changes will occur on the Eagles and every other team in the league, but some of these opponents are likely beyond hope no matter what they do. I believe there is much to be optimistic about going into next season’s schedule.