Chip Kelly Faces Major Challenge in First Year With Philadelphia Eagles

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles hold a decent case for facing the most brutal pre-bye week 2013 schedule in the NFL, with a number of quirks thrown at them between their Monday night opener on the road against reigning NFC East champion Washington Redskins on Sept. 9 and the eventual rest on Nov. 24.

Any kinks new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly needs to work out in the early going must be done on the fly through an extremely challenging early slate. Their apparent change to a base 3-4 defense will face the same dilemma during this stretch.

Hosting the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs in the ensuing contests is all well and fine, but then a tough three-game road stretch hits the Eagles in weeks 3-5. At Denver Broncos, at New York Giants and at Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Denver enters the season as the AFC favorites, New York is always in some consideration as Super Bowl contenders and the Bucs are a great candidate for most improved team — and Philly is only one of two teams in the league scheduled for a three-game regular season road trip.

Whether getting this type of scheduling quirk is better early or late in the season is probably tough to consider in general, but specifically for a team with a new coach from the college level, I would like to have an early bye week to sort things out, let alone avoid dealing with a huge road stand. Philly will have played Washington and New York both twice before the bye.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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