NFL Nation: Schedule 09 NFC East

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Breakdown: All three of the Redskins' home games against division opponents will be in prime time. Washington will once again open the season on the road against the Giants. Last season, the Giants were the reigning world champs, so they were guaranteed the first game of the NFL season. I'm sure Jim Zorn's not thrilled to end up in the same spot for the '09 season opener, but there's nothing he can do about it now.

The Redskins' home opener will be Sept. 20 against the Rams. Keep in mind that the Rams walked into FedEx Field last season and knocked off a hot Redskins team. Now the Rams are coached by former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, so I wouldn't chalk this one up as a win. The Redskins have to be happy about a bye in early November. They will have just played back-to-back home games, so there's a chance they could reach the bye in good shape again.

If the Redskins can stay in the playoff race, they have back-to-back home games against the Giants and Cowboys in late December. Overall, not too much to complain about. But we'll do it anyway.

Complaint department: As we've already mentioned, the league didn't do the Redskins any favors by sending them right back to the Meadowlands for a season opener. I also think the Redskins have to hold it together during a late November road trip that sees them playing the Cowboys and Eagles back to back. No three-game road trips here and there's a nice balance to the schedule. Maybe on second glance, I'll find more to complain about.

Knee-jerk prediction: Right now, I'm seeing 9-7. That would put the Redskins a game behind the Cowboys and Eagles. That road trip in late November really worries me. If the Redskins can split one of those games, then I think they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Of course, we're sitting here talking about this on April 14th! I think best-case scenario is 10-6. Worst-case scenario is 8-8. Anyone care to disagree?

Washington Redskins regular-season schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13 at New York Giants 4:15 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20 ST. LOUIS RAMS 1 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27 at Detroit Lions 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11 at Carolina Panthers 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1 p.m.
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 26 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 8:30 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1 BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8 at Atlanta Falcons 1 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 15 DENVER BRONCOS 1 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22 at Dallas Cowboys 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29 at Philadelphia Eagles 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m.
Week 15: Monday, Dec. 21 NEW YORK GIANTS 8:30 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27 DALLAS COWBOYS 8:20 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3 at San Diego Chargers 4:15 p.m.

Eagles schedule analysis

April, 14, 2009
4/14/09
8:22
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Breakdown: Following their appearance in last season's NFC title game, the Philadelphia Eagles will appear on national television at least six times. The Eagles are scheduled to play three Sunday night games on NBC and once on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." In three of those prime-time games, the Eagles will be facing NFC East rivals.

The MNF appearance will be Oct. 26 in Washington. After opening with a road game in Carolina, the Eagles will be at the Linc for three straight weeks -- aganst the Saints, Chiefs and Bucs. Brian Dawkins' homecoming will take place Dec. 27th, when the Broncos visit Philly for the first time since 1995. Here's the entire schedule.

Complaint department: Andy Reid won't like that early bye on Oct. 4. The Eagles will be coming off three consecutive home games. Most teams prefer to have their bye week closer to midseason. On Oct. 26, the Eagles will begin a brutal three-week stretch against division opponents. They'll begin with the Redskins and then be home against the Giants and Cowboys. Beginning on Nov. 15, the Eagles will be on the road for four of five games. During that stretch, they'll play at San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta and the New York Giants. A home game against the Redskins sandwiched between the road trips won't offer much of a respite. Honestly, this is the toughest stretch I've seen in the NFC East, but I still have to break down the Redskins' schedule.

Knee-jerk prediction: Just like with the Cowboys, I see a 10-6 record. But I could be talked into an 11-5. You have to love that three-game homestand early in the season, but the stretch of four of five weeks on the road is a killer.

Philadelphia Eagles regular-season schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13 at Panthers 1:00 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1:00 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1:00 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4 BYE
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1:00 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18 at Oakland Raiders 4:05 p.m.
Week 7: Monday, Oct. 26 at Washington Redskins 8:30 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1 NEW YORK GIANTS 4:15 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8 DALLAS COWBOYS 8:20 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 15 at San Diego Chargers 4:15 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22 at Chicago Bears 8:20 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29 WASHINGTON REDSKINS 1:00 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13 at Giants 8:20 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 20 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27 DENVER BRONCOS 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3 at Dallas Cowboys 1:00 p.m.

Cowboys schedule analysis

April, 14, 2009
4/14/09
7:48
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Breakdown: It had been rumored the Cowboys would open the season on the road against the Denver Broncos, so the road game against the Bucs comes as a bit of a surprise. As the Beast had already reported, Jerry Jones and the City of Arlington will open their new stadium against the Giants in prime time in Week 2. Giants-Cowboys will be on Sunday, Sept. 20 on NBC. And the following Monday, the new stadium will once again by showcased when the Panthers visit the Cowboys on ESPN's "Monday Night Football." Jones has to love the back-to-back prime time games to start the season.

After trips to Denver and Kansas City, the Cowboys will have an early bye before hosting the Falcons and Seahawks. Right now, the Cowboys are scheduled to play three games on Sunday nights. Of course, Weeks 11-17 have flexed scheduling, but it's hard to imagine NBC opting out of a Cowboys game. The Cowboys finish with a tough stretch with road games in New Orleans and Washington before finishing up at home against the Eagles. After last year's 44-6 loss to end the season in Philly, the Cowboys will have revenge on their minds. Here's a link to the '09 schedule.

"We're very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the stadium to national and international audiences in our first two regular season home games," said Jones in a release. "Including the preseason opener (Tennessee on FOX, Aug. 21), three of our first four games in the new stadium will be national broadcasts. I know the networks are eager to show the world our new venue, and we can't wait to open the doors."

Complaint department: I don't initially see a lot to complain about for Cowboys fans -- other than having such an early bye. I don't think having an Oct. 18 bye is particularly a good thing -- especially since the Giants will take their bye week almost a month later. The Cowboys will have back-to-back home games on three different occasions. I think that sets up pretty well. The back-to-back home games against the Giants and Panthers will be tough, but the AFC West games don't look ridiculously tough to me.

Knee-jerk prediction: Let's go with 10-6. I think the Cowboys get off to a fast start with two early road games. Having all those days off after the Thanksgiving game against the Raiders should help them prepare for the Giants. They've always had the Thanksgiving advantage -- and it won't be any different this season.

Dallas Cowboys regular-season schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20 NEW YORK GIANTS 8:15 p.m.
Week 3: Monday, Sept. 28 CAROLINA 8:30 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4 at Denver Broncos 4:15 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11 at Kansas City Chiefs 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18 BYE
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 25 ATLANTA FALCONS 4:15 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8 at Philadelphia Eagles 8:15 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 15 at Green Bay Packers 4:15 p.m.
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22 WASHINGTON REDSKINS 1 p.m.
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 26 OAKLAND RAIDERS 4:15 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6 at New York Giants 4:15 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 4:15 p.m.
Week 15: Saturday, Dec. 19 at New Orleans Saints 8:15 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27 at Washington Redskins 8:15 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 1 p.m.  

Giants schedule analysis

April, 14, 2009
4/14/09
7:18
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Breakdown: The New York Giants' 2009 schedule will begin the same way it did in 2008 -- with a home game in the Meadowlands against the Washington Redskins. The Giants will then travel to Arlington, Texas, where they will christen the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. That will be an NBC game at 8:20 p.m. The game against the Cowboys kicks off a three-week road trip on which the Giants will play the Bucs and Chiefs.

Beginning Dec. 6, the Giants will begin a three-game stretch against its NFC East opponents. The good news is that the first two games are at home -- against the Cowboys and Eagles. The schedule finishes up with a home against the Panthers and a trip to Minnesota, which sounds much like last season.

Complaint department: After the home opener against the Redskins on Sept. 13, the Giants will play three straight road games. In '08, the schedule was back-loaded. This season, the Giants will be tested early. The only back-to-back home games come in December when the Giants stay home to face division rivals Dallas and Philadelphia. The Giants will play a home game against the Falcons on Sunday, Nov. 22 before having to travel to Denver for a Thanksgiving night game. Head coach Tom Coughlin won't like that scenario, but he will like the fact that the Giants have a later bye week this season (Nov. 15).

My knee-jerk reaction to this schedule: At first glance, I see the Giants going 11-5. I think they survive the tough early stretch to go 4-1, but they'll run into trouble in New Orleans and in Philly. But in this rugged division, an 11-5 record might get it done. OK, let's change it to 12-4. I'll be back later to explain why.

New York Giants regular-season schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13 WASHINGTON REDSKINS 4:15 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20 at Dallas Cowboys 8:20 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4 at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11 OAKLAND RAIDERS 1:00 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 1:00 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 25 ARIZONA CARDINALS 8:20 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1 at Philadelphia Eagles 4:15 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 4:15 p.m.
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 15 BYE
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22 ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 26 at Denver Broncos 8:20 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6 DALLAS COWBOYS 4:15 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 13 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 4:15 p.m.
Week 15: Monday, Dec. 21 at Washington Redskins 8:30 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27 CAROLINA PANTHERS 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 p.m.

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