After going 7-9 a year ago and having a sound offseason, the Eagles may surprise a lot of people in 2017. They had a good free agency, a good draft and they have a good young quarterback entering his second year in the league. If Carson Wentz can avoid a sophomore slump and build off a strong finish to the 2016 season, the Eagles could be in contention for a Wild Card spot this season.
There is no true soft or tough spot in the Eagles schedule this NFL season, but they do play four of their first six games on the road, which is where the potential trouble starts. However, Weeks 7-9 are all at home and right before their bye week, which means the Eagles will be in Philly for a full month from Week 7 through 10. I’m sure they appreciate that little breather before the fun starts again.
After their bye they have another road stretch where they play four of their next five games on the road. While they get to play Weeks 16 and 17 at home, this is a very tough assignment for a young team. The latter road stretch has a ton of tough trips too with games in Dallas, Seattle and on the road against the Giants and Rams.
The Eagles also stacked up on defense early in their 2017 draft, snagging Derek Barnett at 14th. He profiles to be a starter for Philly this season and along with Sidney Jones who should become a strong corner with time, the Eagles got a lot better on defense at the draft.
With those vicious road stretches, the Eagles’ upside is somewhat limited this season. Bovada sportsbook has their season-win totals sitting at eight this year and with the over a bit juiced at -125, the under at -105 could be the better bet.
Even if their defense is improved and Wentz takes that next step, playing against the NFC and AFC West along with playing their tough divisional schedule means the Eagles could be looking at a plateau or a step back this season.
I’ve seen teams overcome worse odds but the Eagles have a look working against them this season.