The Eagles will travel 14,272 miles to play four of their next five games on the road.
And for a team that has an 8-1 record, best in the NFL, and is looking to put a stranglehold first on the NFC East — and then they hope home field throughout the playoffs — the next stretch of games will determine if Philly really is the best team in football.
Carson Wentz is playing like an MVP, the defense is feating on opposing running games and Doug Pederson is coaching like a 12-year veteran. But can it continue?
After returning from their Week 10 bye week the Birds will fly to Texas to play the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
In what should be their best chance for a win, the Bears come to town before the Eagles fly first to Seattle in Week 13 and then to Los Angeles to play the Rams in Week 14. And finally Week 15 sees the Eagles head up I-95 to play the Giants at Metlife Stadium.
“This backstretch is really important,” Lane Johnson said, “coming off the bye week against Dallas is a big game for us.”
How will the Eagles fare during this adventure out west on the gridiron?
Well, they have gotten some great news as far as injuries and suspensions go in their upcoming opponents. The Cowboys will be without star running back Ezekiel Elliott when they play in Dallas. The Seahawks will be without shutdown corner Richard Sherman when the Birds are dealing with the Legion of Boom, and the seemingly dynamic Rams will need to tango with the Eagles — a rare quality opponent on one of the softest schedules in the NFL.
Philly also has shown it can be sturdy away from Lincoln Financial Field — where it is 5-0 this year. The season started with games in Washington, Kansas City and Los Angeles (facing the Chargers) in three of the first four games. Aside from the team’s lone hiccup against the Chiefs in Week 2, the Eagles showed it doesn’t much matter where they play.
“When the schedule came out, the early road games,” Pederson said, “That was going to be a big test for our football team because we didn’t do so well last year on the road. So wanted to make sure that we kind of got off to a fast start and we were able to do that outside of the Kansas City game.”
The travel could cause Philly to make an unusual choice — stay on the west coast between their Seahawks and Rams game. Reportedly, the Eagles requested to have back-to-back games in California, but had to settle for Seattle and L.A when the 2017 slate was announced.
However, if their Week 4 Chargers win is any indication, there will be a friendly atmosphere when they suit up against Jared Goff and the Rams.
“I was on the field when they opened up the stadium gates and it just flooded in, the sea of green,” Pederson said of the west coast Eagles fans. “It was great to see all game long. They were loud, they were noisy. Our fans travel extremely well. And it was great for our guys. Guys were able to feed off of that.”
It’s hard to imagine Philly will need anything more than an 8-1 record to feed their west coast performances. We’ll see Sunday night, when the Eagles play their first game away from the Linc since October 12.