The TV networks apparently aren’t as excited about Chip Kelly’s offense as the Eagles are.
The Eagles, who commonly played a handful of prime-time games each year under former head coach Andy Reid, are slated for just two nationally televised showdowns this season (see schedule), and both are scheduled in the first three weeks.
That’s what happens when you haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, haven’t made the playoffs in the past two years and come off a 4-12 season.
The Eagles will play in the first Monday night game of the season, a road matchup against the defending NFC East champion Redskins that pits Robert Griffin III (assuming he’s healthy) and Washington’s pistol offense against Kelly’s fast-paced spread attack.
After a home opener Week 2 against the Chargers, the Eagles then welcome back Reid and his new team, the Kansas City Chiefs, for a Thursday night showdown at Lincoln Financial Field, pitting Kelly against the coach he replaced.
The Eagles expect to be in top shape and well conditioned under Kelly (see story), an offensive mastermind who plans to incorporate no-huddle concepts into his attack, and that should serve them well for the first month. By opening on Monday night and playing a Week 3 game Thursday, the Eagles will play three games within the first 11 days of their season.
By the way, history suggests that the Chargers will be the next Super Bowl champions, given that the last three title-winners have each opposed the Eagles in the Lincoln Financial Field opener.
The Eagles have a 10-day break between their showdown against the Chiefs and a road battle with the Broncos in Denver, where they haven’t played since the 2005 season. That game marked the final one of Terrell Owens’ career with the Eagles.
After Denver, they hit the road twice again, with the Giants and Bucs on the slate. The Eagles actually went 2-1 against those teams last year, which accounted for 50 percent of their yearly win total.
The Eagles then come home for consecutive division battles against the Cowboys and Giants before they hit the road for two straight weeks, flying cross country to the Bay Area to grapple with the Raiders and then heading to the Heartland to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. They come back home to play the Redskins before heading into the bye.
Their next four opponents coming out of the bye are all out of division or conference: home for the Cardinals and Lions, then at Minnesota and then back home for the Bears. They finish their regular-season slate in Arlington, Texas, for a division showdown against the Cowboys.