Sizing up the Eagles' schedule

Posted: September 06, 2012

Week 1, Sept. 9 at CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

The opener is teed up for the Eagles. Brandon Weeden will be making his first career start at quarterback.

Week 2, Sept. 16 vs. BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 p.m. (CBS3)

The Ravens will be a potential barometer of the Eagles' prospects. Michael Vick will see it all against one of the best defenses in the NFL over the last decade.

Week 3, Sept. 23 at ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:05 p.m. (Fox29)

Who would have thought that when the Eagles traded Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals last July that he wouldn't be the starting quarterback the next two times the teams met? John Skelton is slated to open the season as Arizona's starter under center.

Week 4, Sept. 30 vs. NEW YORK GIANTS, 8:20 p.m. (NBC10)

The Super Bowl champions come to town for this Sunday night showdown. They could be walking into a hailstorm. Brian Dawkins will be honored at halftime, and the Linc will be full of emotion.

Week 5, Oct. 7 at PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

The Steelers' power offense has given the Eagles speed defense fits during the last two preseasons.

Week 6, Oct. 14 vs. DETROIT LIONS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

It's a battle of the wide-nine defenses. The Lions are one of the few teams in the NFL that, like the Eagles, employs a defensive front that splits its ends out wide and has its linemen think pass-rush first.

Week 7, Oct. 21 BYE Week 8, Oct. 28 vs. ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

Andy Reid is a remarkable 12-0 the week after the bye. Will 13 be unlucky? This game will have added intrigued because Asante Samuel was traded to Atlanta in the offseason.

Week 9, Nov. 5 at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The bountiful Saints will be without coach Sean Payton for the season, but they still have Drew Brees and enough talent on the offensive side of the ball to light up the scoreboard.

Week 10, Nov. 11 vs. DALLAS COWBOYS, 4:25 p.m. (Fox29)

Like the Eagles, the Cowboys have quarterback fatigue. Tony Romo has been on the job for six seasons and has only one playoff victory. He, like Vick, may need at least one to last beyond 2012.

Week 11, Nov. 18 at WASHINGTON REDSKINS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

The Eagles will get their first glimpse of phenom QB Robert Griffin III. The Birds have owned Washington, winning five of the last six meetings.

Week 12, Nov. 26 vs. CAROLINA PANTHERS, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Cam Newton Experience comes to the Linc. Will the second-year quarterback be taking another step toward greatness, or will there be a sophomore slump?

Week 13, Dec. 2 at DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:20 p.m. (NBC10)

There once was a stretch of games when DeSean Jackson couldn't do squat against the Cowboys. But the big-play receiver has delivered a couple of knockouts to Dallas over the last couple of seasons.

Week 14, Dec. 9 at TAMPA BUCCANEERS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

A trip to Florida should come at the right time. It's December, when Reid's teams typically heat up.

Week 15, Dec. 13 vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS, 8:30 p.m. (NFLN)

The Bengals and quarterback Andy Dalton could be a test, but at least the Eagles don't have to fly to Seattle on a Thursday like they did last season.

Week 16, Dec. 23 vs. WASHINGTON REDSKINS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

Reid's return won't be decided at this time, but if the Eagles have seven or eight losses by Christmas, it's safe to say the coach's stocking will be full of coal.

Week 17, Dec. 30 at NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 p.m. (Fox29)

On the bright side, what if the Eagles are putting the finishing touches on a rebound season for Reid? The coach may still have to win one or two playoff games to survive.

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