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September 12, 2023

After one week, does the Eagles schedule look easier or harder?

Has the Eagles strength of schedule improved or gotten worse after Week 1?

Eagles NFL
AJ-Brown-Eagles-Vikings-Week-2-2022-NFL.jpg Kate Frese/For PhillyVoice

Eagles WR A.J. Brown celebrates QB Jalen Hurts' rushing touchdown during the first half of Monday night's 24-7 win over the Vikings.

It's really fun to overreact to the first week of NFL games.

And so we thought it might be interesting to look at the Eagles remaining schedule, and based on the first actual empirical evidence we have this season try, and determine whether their strength of schedule looks better or worse now.

Let's go opponent by opponent.

Week 2: vs. Vikings — easier

Minnesota wasn't all that intimidating to begin with, but a Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers definitely makes this one look easier on paper. 

Week 3: at Buccaneers — no change

The Bucs have some talented receivers and a decent defense, but Baker Mayfield should make this one easy for the Eagles.

Weeks 4, 8: Commanders — harder

A Week 1 win over the Cardinals isn't much in theory, but Washington didn't look bad, combining a solid defense with surprisingly coherent quarterback play from Sam Howell. This is still an easy matchup for Philly, but the Commanders are on the rise very early.

Week 5: at Rams — harder

The Rams pummeled the Seahawks, a team many expected to be a no-brainer playoff team. Meanwhile the Rams were thought of as a bottom feeder. Who knows what might happen a month from now but L.A. might not be a cakewalk.

Week 6: at Jets — easier

Aaron Rodgers is probably done for the year after three snaps with New York. The Birds have to like their chances against Zach Wilson a little better.

Week 7: vs. Dolphins — harder

Oh, man, the Dolphins looked incredible in Week 1. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 466 yards. The Eagles secondary will have its hands full in this one if the passing game stays healthy in Miami.

Weeks 9, 14: Cowboys — harder

Beating any NFL team 40-0 is impressive. Doing it with the total dominating defense that Dallas did is even more impressive. After a back-to-back stretch at home the Eagles will be thankful to have their Week 10 bye, and their Week 14 game in Dallas could be one of the most anticipated of the year.

Week 11: at Chiefs — easier

Are the Chiefs going to be good again by Week 11? Because they weren't good in Week 1. Chances are they figure it out and have Travis Kelce fully back and contributing by then. But they showed last Thursday that every team in the NFL is beatable.

Week 12: vs. Bills — easier

The Bills had the opportunity of a lifetime to kick the Jets while they were down Monday night, with Rodgers done and the rowdy New York crowd sedated. Instead they barely mustered 16 points and Josh Allen looked pretty bad. The Bills might not be as tough a test as Eagles fans may have expected.

Week 13: vs. 49ers — harder

The Niners absolutely dominated the Steelers, a team many expected to have playoff aspirations. If San Fran stays healthy to Week 13, this could be the game of the year in the NFC.

Week 15: at Seahawks — easier

As we mentioned with the Rams, Seattle's defense was awful in Week 1. By mid December the Seahawks could be packing things up for the season.

Weeks 16, 18: Giants — easier

This was never a really intimidating pair of games at the end of the year but it seems very unlikely New York will have anything to play for in January, which could be a good development for the Eagles' playoff seeding.

Week 17: vs. Cardinals — no change

Their win in Week 1 over the Giants was pretty absent of implications. Will the Cards welcome Kyler Murray back? Will they be in full tank mode? Either way this game should be the easiest of win for Philly.

Final tally

Easier: 7 games

Harder: 7 games

No change: 2 games

I guess after all that analysis, the schedule has about the same difficulty as the tougher tests and easier matchups even out. 

Follow Evan on Twitter:@evan_macy

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