Eagles (Tentatively) Set to Begin Regular Season on September 11

Eagles (Tentatively) Set to Begin Regular Season on September 11
April 22, 2011, 2:35 pm
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Over the past several years, the NFL's
popularity has increased to the point where even the release of the
schedule results in hoopla and ballyhoo. Personally, I've never much
understood the excitement over a list of games that are well over four
months away, and now more than ever it seems meaningless. The very sport
hangs in the balance as a result of the lockout, and with free agency
being delayed and the draft still a week away, it's much harder to
predict which teams will rise and fall in the coming year.

That being said, the league went ahead and produced the schedule
anyway, with the regular season tentatively slated to begin Thursday
night in Green Bay on September 8, when the Super Bowl champs will take
on New Orleans. The Eagles kickoff their 2011 campaign three days later
in St. Louis on Sunday, September 11, and then eventually open the Linc
in Week 3 against the rival New York Giants on September 25. Full schedule and analysis below.

Week 1: @ St. Louis

Week 2: @ Atlanta - Sunday Night

Week 3: v. New York Giants

Week 4: v. San Francisco

Week 5: @ Buffalo

Week 6: @ Washington

Week 7: bye

Week 8: v. Dallas - Sunday Night

Week 9: v. Chicago - Monday Night

Week 10: v. Arizona

Week 11: @ New York Giants

Week 12: v. New England

Week 13: @ Seattle - Thursday Night

Week 14: @ Miami

Week 15: v. New York Jets

Week 16: @ Dallas - 4:15 Saturday (Christmas Eve)

Week 17: v. Washington

Pros: The Eagles drew the NFC West this season. While that division
couldn't possibly be worse than it was last season (could it?), three of
the four teams might feature new starting quarterbacks in 2011, with
only the Rams currently married to sophomore Sam Bradford. Either way,
all four franchises have an upward climb to respectability after a
sub-.500 club was able to secure a division title for the first time
this past season.

In terms of travel, the Birds will only compete further west than
Dallas once, though it is a trip to Qwest Field in Seattle. That's
always an imposing environment.

Cons: The Eagles drew the AFC East this season. Buffalo and Miami
probably don't scare anybody, but New York and New England will almost
certainly be powerhouses once again. If there is anything positive to
take away from those matchups at all, it's the Birds will be home for
both.

However, they also have a pair of road games on short weeks following
those meetings with likely Super Bowl contenders. The Eagles fly to
Seattle for a Thursday nighter after doing battle with the Pats, and
will head to Dallas for a division contest six days after their duel
with the Jets. Both trips are in December, further compounding the
matter.

Of course, as was already mentioned, it's not very constructive
trying to predict which teams will be good in April, particularly in the
wake of the lockout. We'll examine the schedule as--or perhaps more
appropriately, if--we get closer to the regular season, but for
now, which games will you try to pick up tickets for, and which road
trips are the most appealing?

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