The NFL schedule release is more than a week away but speculation has begun about some of the marquee matchups likely to dot the calendar. One trending rumor, via NBC Sports’ Peter King, has the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants playing on November 24 at 3 p.m. in the NFL’s first-ever Black Friday game, which will stream exclusively on Prime Video.
Eagles vs Giants headed for a new NFL Timeslot?
The league is expected to announce its full slate of games for the 2023 campaign on Thursday, May 11. King was admittedly “spit-balling” with his prediction of Eagles-Giants but an old-school NFC East showdown sure would be a fun way to kick off a new tradition.
King wrote: “The first game ever on Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving is a very big deal for Amazon on the biggest shopping day of the year. I think the leader in the clubhouse for that game is Eagles-Giants. Absolutely not set in stone, though.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Hands Out NFC East Draft Grades
Speaking of the NFC East, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. doled out grades for all 32 NFL teams following the completion of the 2023 draft. No surprise, the Eagles topped the list with the Worldwide Leader’s draft expert saying Howie Roseman “crushed Round 1.” He traded up one spot in the first round to grab Jalen Carter at No. 9, then watched Nolan Smith fall into his lap at No. 30. Kiper Jr. complimented all of Roseman’s moves, including the blockbuster trade for running back D’Andre Swift.
The only slight criticism he had was on safety Sydney Brown, but it was a nit-picky one. He preferred Ji’Ayir Brown or Riley Moss at No. 66: “I don’t have a huge issue with the Eagles preferring Brown. He is undersized, but he tested well during combine workouts and had six interceptions last season.”
Meanwhile, the New York Giants received an A- grade after they took three of Kiper’s top 45 prospects in the first two days of the draft: CB Deonte Banks (24), C John Michael Schmitz (57), WR Jalin Hyatt (73). The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders took home B grades. He praised Dallas for taking Mazi Smith at No. 26 — the “best run-stuffing defensive tackle in this class” — and credited Washington for taking the “Splendid Splinter” in Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16. Forbes has already called out DeVonta Smith, so the first Eagles-Commanders matchup should have extra juice.
Howie Roseman Admits to ‘Predictable Draft’
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman stuck to his guns by fortifying the trenches. He drafted two potential starters on the defensive line in Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, plus a guy who could compete for a starting spot on the offensive line in Tyler Steen. Predictable? Sure. Then again, Roseman’s philosophy has never been a secret and he let everyone know it heading into the draft.
“Yeah, it just represents how we feel,” Roseman told reporters on April 29. “We want to build a team with an O-line and D-line, and it was important for us to make a statement in this draft in this off-season that this is how we believe we’re going to win.
“I think we had a press conference, and I said it’s probably going to be a little bit predictable of an off-season, we’re probably going to go O-line and D-line, you guys know how we try to build it, and I think every opportunity we had in this draft were the grades were the same, so we weren’t going off the draft board, and we saw a lineman, we wanted to pick that lineman. I think it worked out.”
AP Photo/Matt Rourke