Expect Eagles to roll through soft early schedule
Mike Florio and Chris Simms think the Philadelphia Eagles will open the 2023 season with a long win streak, which they'll need with a run of marquee matchups scheduled after their Week 10 bye.
- Eagles, let's take a look at their schedule.
- They get off to a start that is manageable, but they better get some rest during the bye week. They better, you know--
- --extra time sleeping, extra time with the proper nutrition and the rest and the rehab because the gauntlet comes after that. But they should be able to get off to a pretty good start. My son saw week 2 again, just like last year, Vikings at Eagles "Monday Night Football," and his first response was "rigged." [LAUGHTER]
- It's Thursday night. They're changing the night of your butt-whopping this year.
- Oh, it's Thursday night. You're right.
- Yeah. Yeah.
- Yeah. But it's like, Alex, they still have to play there at some point. You know, I think he would rather just be a butt-whooping that doesn't get noticed as well as a primetime butt-whooping, which he fully expects it to be, as do I.
- Well, Thursday night, maybe you catch them sleeping a little bit, right? There's maybe some positives there. That can be the positive.
- Home opener?
- Yeah, but home opener is scary, right? I mean, this is the second year-- last year, we looked at the Eagles schedule and went they legitimately can go 10 and 0. Like, no doubt about it. Now, this year, I'm not going to say it's quite like that, but, I mean, the first five games they're clearly the better team on the football field. Like, it's not even-- I don't think it's really close.
I don't want to say not close, but they're clearly better, right? So you could see them going 5-0. Now they got the Jets and Dolphins in week 6 and 7. We know those teams got some talent, right? But yeah, I'm with you. It sets up for them to be sitting very pretty after the bye week and going into the gauntlet there that you're talking about of Chiefs, Bills, Niners, Cowboys, Seahawks, Giants, right? But man, they should be sitting at a great spot, and we know they're already the best team in football.
- Week 7, which quarterback are you more likely to have a snowball's chance in hell at interviewing as part of the pre-game for "Sunday Night Football?"
- Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa?
- I'd say it's a tie. Either.
- I think it's a tie either way. You're right. I don't think either one of them will want to talk to me. Probably not. And that's what stinks. I know I'm not maybe see eye to eye with the rest of the world as far as how good they are, but man, I got a lot of respect for what they've done. I get more annoyed with their following. I think that's what drives me crazy as we talk about from time to time. But yeah, they better warm up Maria Taylor for those interviews there. I don't think I'll get the invite.
- I haven't sensed the Jalen Hurts following with the same level--
- No, it's not quite that.
- --of zeal that we've seen from Tua. But the problem is you threw the curveball at the whole-- I mean, it's like there isn't some subset of the Eagles fans. You got all of them coming after you.
- I did. You're right.
- They all joined forces, pitchforks and torches, and they came after Chris last year. But there's some layers and levels to that game. It's the Alabama wrinkle. It was Hurts who was benched for Tua, and Hurts transferred to Oklahoma, and now Hurts is the better of the two so far.
This is a chance for Tua to reestablish dominance I guess. I don't know. But Jalen Hurts has been far more accomplished, in large part because he's been healthy. But Tuanon, I don't think this is cause for you to be upset when I say Jalen Hurts is clearly the better of the two right now.
- I doubt that many would disagree with me on that.
- I don't think-- I don't know how you could disagree with that right now. I mean, Jalen Hurts went into another stratosphere last year. He did. He went-- we went from a year of they went to the playoffs and there were some positives, but he was still probably the biggest question on their football team and how the playoff game against the Bucs unfolded and all of that, and he answered all those questions.
And like you said, his availability, , ability to run, that threat, all of that, yeah. I mean, he's put himself in the upper echelons of quarterbacks right now. So that that's where, yeah, I'm with you. And then you've taken Tua with the injury stuff. It's hard to say he's on Jalen Hurts playing field that way as of right now. But we'll see where that goes this year, and hopefully Tua can replicate what he did last year when he was healthy.
- One of the scheduling quirks that I really don't like that I would like to think is avoidable, we see it on the Eagles and Giants schedule. They play each other twice, and they don't play for the first time until week 16. Look at that.
- I know.
- They play twice in the final three games. We see that with the Lions and the Vikings this year as well. The Vikings and Lions don't play until week 16, then they play week 18. I would like to think there's got to be a way to work around this. I just don't like that. And I've yet to encounter a pro play twice in three weeks crowd. Oh, I love that. It feels like a baseball game. No. A football season is 17 games long.
- You play three teams twice each. There's got to be a better way to spread it out. There's got to be. And I understand that there's many factors, and there will be aberrations and quirks, but to have-- and I haven't checked the others. That's just two that I've happened to notice.
- Well, two big markets playoff-caliber teams.
- End of season.
- And end of season. Like, those are games that should be sprinkled in, the games that are attractive earlier in the year. That's the other side of it too.
- You've got good teams. This isn't Cardinals and Rams meeting twice in the final three weeks.
- This is playoff-caliber-- these are two great games from the schedule of the Eagles that shouldn't be relegated to the final three weeks of the season. Same thing for the Vikings, Lions. One of those games should have been a standalone game earlier in the year.
- Yeah. Agreed. You know, I will say, I like when teams, they have a two out of three week, like, schedule thing, I do, but not like this. Like, to your point, and if it was in the middle of the season, here's the reason I like two out of three against the same team. I do think sometimes it becomes a little more personal, right? The memorie's fresh in your head.
Like, wait, it was only 13 days ago, and that team kicked our ass. So we want to give it back to 'em here. So I do like that. But to your point, at the end of the year with playoff-caliber teams-- and here's what I don't like and what I get scared of-- is I don't want to see Giants week 16 versus Eagles, Giants-Eagles week 18, and then they have to come around and play each other in the Wild Card round or the divisional round.
- That's a good point.
- That's where that, to me, is where I would be worried, and I don't like that for the NFL, or the viewer, or anybody to go, well, we have a chance to see Giants-Eagles three out of four weeks here? Three out of five weeks? That's overkill. I don't think that's good for the NFL.
- Yeah. I mean, look, I don't like it generally, but I hate it week 16, week 18, and it's happening twice this year, which only increases the possibility of one of these weird glitches where we see teams play each other three times in four weeks between the Vikings and Lions and the Eagles and the Giants. The way it falls, we could see a rematch between these teams in the Wild Card round or the Divisional round. I mean, we just saw the Eagles and Giants play in the Divisional round for crying out loud last year.