The unveiling of the 2016 NFL schedule Thursday night gave football fans something to talk about. Come October, Eagles fans might have something schedule related to complain about.
Starting in Week Seven, the Eagles play three straight opponents who are coming off bye weeks. That means those teams get extra rest, extra preparation time and often come out with improved focus and/or desperation.
It’s just a schedule quirk, and things tend to even themselves out in a season that spans 17 weeks, but that situation sticks out. The only other team set to face consecutive opponents off of bye weeks is the Jaguars, who host the Texans in Week 10 and are at the Lions in Week 11.
The off-bye games for the Eagles, whose own bye week comes in Week Four, are against the Vikings in Week Seven, at the Cowboys in Week Eight and at the Giants in Week Nine.
The Week Nine Steelers at Ravens game is the only one on the schedule in which both teams are coming off a bye. The Cardinals, Panthers and Bengals have multiple games against teams coming off of byes, but not in consecutive weeks.
Whether it’s a cross-country trip on a short week, a three-game road trip or a difficult Thursday game following a road game or division game, there’s probably something on almost every schedule that causes teams and fans to gripe. Stuff happens, and the games go on.
The Raiders have their bye week in Week 10, then get an extra day’s rest as they return to action Nov. 21 for a Monday Night Football Game in Mexico City vs. the Texans. The Raiders should make sure they get every minute of rest they can on their bye weekend; they play four games in 18 days starting with the Texans game and ending with a Dec. 8 Thursday night game in Kansas City.