Everybody ready for some football? Well, I'm not sure the Eagles are, but the rest of us are ready to watch them, even though there's a reasonable chance this is going to be a disaster season. Rookie head coach, rookie starting QB, significant portion of the team replaced. On the up side, most of us probably aren't expecting much, so maybe we can all just enjoy the games the Birds win and not get too fussed about the losses.
Who am I kidding? Deadspin is probably right, and we're all going to have weekly meltdowns between now and January 1, 2017.
At least the Eagles start with an easy one, the Cleveland Browns, featuring our old nemesis, RGIII. For years, I've been saying that he got a raw deal in DC under the Shanahans and that he was likely still salvageable as a very good QB. And then he got picked up be Cleveland, where QB dreams go to die. So yeah, that's probably not going to work out for him.
Meanwhile, the D was the only real bright spot of the pre-season, so it's entirely possible the Browns will be down to Josh McCown by halftime Sunday.
(Hey, remember those funny Verizon commercials Luke McCown did last year? I bet Josh is kicking himself that he didn't manage to land that gig.)
Which the Birds are going to need, because did I mention that they're starting their rookie QB on Sunday? Because that tends to go so well. At least Howie got the 2017 draft picks back in the Sam Bradford trade. That was some Draft Day-level wheeling and dealing there, Howie. One man's trash is another man's "OH SHIT! We need a QB - ANY QB - stat!" On the downside, it also seems like a pretty clear signal that the front office has completely given up on 2016. Already.
But the Birds should start the season with a win, because seriously: Cleveland. But when they're 1-0 at 4 pm Sunday, let's not get crazy, OK?
In the other matchups (and realize that I'm mostly picking based on how teams finished last year, which by now is pretty much totally irrelevant, but there you have it):
Panthers at Broncos: Panthers.
Packers at Jaguars: Packers
Bills at Ravens: Ravens
Bears at Texans: Texans
Buccaneers at Falcons: Falcons
Vikings at Titans: Vikings. Enjoy it while it lasts, Sam.
Bengals at Jets: Bengals
Raiders at Saints: Saints (the Raiders are probably a better team at this point, but it's the Superdome! I don't really see the Saints dropping their home opener.)
Chargers at Chiefs: Chiefs
Dolphins at Seahawks: Seahawks
Lions at Colts: Colts
Giants at Cowboys: Giants (Also, can we talk for a minute about the dearth of quality backup QBs? Because this is getting serious. Mark Sanchez-level serious, y'all.)
Patriots at Cardinals: Cardinals
Steelers at WFT: Steelers
Rams at 49ers: Rams (who also get the short commute for West Coast games now)