Games at the Lincoln Financial Field will be crucial for the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles. As well as the annual games against NFC East rivals Washington Redskins, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles have to face off against some pretty decent football teams next year.
However, after taking a closer look at the schedule, the games scheduled for Lincoln Financial Field appear to be a little easier on paper.
Home games against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and St Louis Rams look to be three of the easier games facing the Eagles in 2014. The Jaguars were dreadful last year and, although I expect them to improve by the end of 2014, playing them in week one gives the Eagles a great opportunity to get off to a flying start to the campaign.
The Tennessee Titans are the NFL’s definition of mediocrity at this point of time, average players throughout their roster who will, at best, challenge for a wild card spot in the play offs. This should be a winnable game for the Eagles.
The St Louis Rams are a bit of an unknown quantity. Their fan base haven’t really thrown their weight behind former number one pick quarterback Sam Bradford. This has led to a little bit of uncertainty around the team, which should give the Eagles an opportunity to capitalise and take the win.
Playing the Redskins and Giants at Lincoln Financial Field first provides benefits for the Eagles too. The return of former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will guarantee a huge atmosphere for the week three game against the Redskins. Hopefully, this can be enough to get under his skin and spur the Eagles on to victory. The Giants, meanwhile, always seem to perform better in New York than in Philadelphia, giving the Eagles a great chance at recording two wins from their first two division games.
The other home games are against the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks are the defending Superbowl champions, renowned for fanatical support in their home stadium. Any game against them will be tough, but I’d much rather face them in Philadelphia than Seattle. Same goes for Carolina. Philadelphia in early November can be a pretty cold place. The conditions will suit the Eagles better and will see the Eagles on their way to victory.
Road games against the Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers look like very difficult propositions. The only road trip that I would be confident winning is a trip to the Houston Texans. This places huge importance on our home games. Pick up wins in all of our home games, beat the Texans and perhaps two of our division rivals on the road and the Eagles are staring at a 11-5 season. Given the tough schedule that the NFC East faces this year, I think an 11-5 season will be enough to win the division once more.