Philadelphia Eagles Schedule Breakdown: Ranking Every Game by Difficulty

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Based on records from 2020, the Philadelphia Eagles will face the easiest schedule of any team in 2021. The Eagles are the only team in the league to have their opponents’ average win percentage below 45 percent, coming in at a whopping 43 percent. That being said, second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts and new Head Coach Nick Sirianni have yet to prove themselves to a very tough fanbase. The Eagles will have their work cut out for them in an always-competitive NFC East, despite the easy schedule. 

Philadelphia Eagles Schedule Breakdown

  1. Week 6 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely the toughest opponent any team will face all season; and for the Eagles that is no different. While the Eagles have the luxury of facing the Bucs at Lincoln Financial Field, Eagles fans can be even more brutal than the fans of their opponents in the face of on-field struggles. This is specifically a tough matchup for Hurts, who will likely be asked to face off against a defense that managed to shut down former MVP Patrick Mahomes on football’s biggest stage. 

2. Week 4 – vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Speaking of Mahomes, the Eagles second-toughest matchup will be another league finalist in the Kansas City Chiefs. Once again the Eagles will take on a tough opponent at home, but this time it’ll be against the league’s most potent passing offense. The Eagles secondary has struggled over the past few seasons, and Mahomes is known for taking full advantage of any weakness he sees in the defense of his opponents. The Eagles will have to hope the additions of free agent safety Anthony Harris and 2021 fourth-round cornerback Zech McPhearson are enough to help contain the Chiefs offense.

3. Week 2 – vs. San Francisco 49ers

The dominance of the San Francisco 49ers relies heavily on the play of rookie quarterback Trey Lance. If Lance plays well, this game could get ugly for the Eagles. The secondary of the Eagles will face another tough skill group, led by superstar tight end George Kittle. The 49ers, by far the NFL’s most injured team during the 2020 season, are one the league’s most complete squads when healthy. The Eagles will have their hands full on both ends. 

4. Week 11 – vs. New Orleans Saints

The Eagles are lucky enough that their four toughest matchups of the year all take place at home. The New Orleans Saints suffered the third loss of their 2020 season against the Eagles in mid-December. In that game, Taysom Hill started his final game of 2020 at quarterback for New Orleans. Unless Jameis Winston ends up hurt, it seems unlikely the Eagles will have the luxury of Hill starting at quarterback again. They will instead have to deal with the prolific passing of Winston at quarterback, while attempting to contain Hill in several different positions. Forcing turnovers will be a key for Philadelphia in this game. 

5. Week 17 – at Washington Football Team

Chase Young and the Washington Football Team will pose the biggest road threat to the Eagles in the 2021 NFL season. Washington has yet to find their franchise quarterback, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is no slouch. This game will likely have big implications in the NFC East playoff picture and could be the difference between one or both of these teams making the playoffs. 

6. Week 3 – at Dallas Cowboys 

This Monday night game will be the first time the Eagles face off against a division opponent in their first primetime game of the season. The Dallas Cowboys had a historically-bad defense at times and only five games of Dak Prescott in 2020. With Prescott slated to be good to go by training camp, and the defensive additions of first-round linebacker Micah Parsons and free agent safety Keanu Neal, the Cowboys should be a much better team in 2021. The teams blew each other out at home in 2020, but expect this outing to be a much closer matchup than the 37-17 beating the Cowboys dolled out at home in Week 16. 

7. Week 15 – vs. Washington Football Team

Both matchups against Washington fall in the top seven toughest matchups for Eagles. The Football Team added two solid wide receiver options behind budding star Terry McLaurin in Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries in the off-season. The Football Team took both games in 2020 and have a good shot at doing so again, if Fitzpatrick plays well. 

8. Week 7 – at Las Vegas Raiders 

The Eagles will take on the Las Vegas Raiders in their first ever visit to Allegiant Stadium in their quadrennial matchup against the AFC West member. The Raiders once again made a questionable choice by reaching for Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood in the draft, but still had an outstanding three days in Cleveland. Quarterback Derek Carr is also coming off his best season under head coach Jon Gruden, as the Raiders were .500 or better for the first time under Gruden and the first time since 2016. 

9. Week 10 – at Denver Broncos 

Obviously this matchup skyrockets into the top three if Aaron Rodgers is traded to Denver, but as it currently stands the Denver Broncos are a likely mediocre football team at best. Most of this mediocrity comes from the uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Broncos. Denver’s decision to pass on a quarterback and choose cornerback Patrick Surtain II at no. 9 in the draft could prove brutal in the future, yet it will likely make the Broncos secondary one of the best in the NFL in 2021. Devonta Smith versus Surtain will be a fun matchup to watch in this game. Smith was taken just one spot after Surtain in April’s draft and the two were teammates at Alabama. Mile High is a remarkably tough place to play at, especially when you typically only do it once every eight years. 

10. Week 18 – vs. Dallas Cowboys 

This is yet another late-season matchup that could have big division and playoff implications. While the Washington Football Team is probably the favorite to win the NFC East, both the Eagles and Cowboys will not make the race for the title easy. Hurts and former college teammate Smith will look to overcome a lot of the off-season chatter that surrounded both of them individually. 

11. Week 9 – vs. Los Angeles Chargers 

The Los Angeles Chargers are not an easy team to beat, but they are notorious for blowing games late. The Chargers hope the firing of Anthony Lynn will change that, though they also hoped hiring him a few years ago would accomplish the same goal. Justin Herbert will look to build on an outstanding rookie season, and the team aspires to get another full season out of talented young safety Derwin James. Expect a good battle at Lincoln Financial. 

12. Week 12 – at New York Giants 

Despite running back Saquon Barkley returning from injury, wide receiver Kenny Golladay signing in free agency and wide receiver Kadarius Toney being drafted in the first round, the New York Giants still have Daniel Jones at quarterback. The Giants still have a shot at winning an unpredictable NFC East, but Jones would have to make an incredible leap for it to happen in an extremely-competitive division. While quarterback play is far from the division’s strong suit, Jones takes the cake as the division’s weakest signal caller. The Eagles can realistically shut down the Giants offense if Barkley is contained. 

13. Week 1 – at Atlanta Falcons 

If Julio Jones is on the roster come September, the Atlanta Falcons might have the best skill group the Eagles will face all season. The addition of Kyle Pitts bought Matt Ryan at least one more year at the helm of the Falcons offense, as they passed on a couple quarterbacks to take Pitts at no. 4 overall. New head coach Arthur Smith will be tasked with leading a team that has only made the playoffs once since their Super Bowl appearance in 2017. Despite their offensive potential, the Falcons already had one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and the loss of Keanu Neal to the Cowboys will make this an even more attractive matchup for Hurts and the Eagles. 

14. Week 5 – at Carolina Panthers

Young talent aside, the Carolina Panthers have a lot of holes throughout their roster that are still unfilled. While this will be Sam Darnold’s best offensive group by far, the Panthers have few names that stand out defensively outside of first-round corner Jaycee Horn. Christian McCaffery gives every team he plays trouble, but the Eagles might especially struggle with the versatile running back. The Eagles defense gave up the 10th-most rushing yards and eighth-most rushing touchdowns in 2020. If Darnold finally breaks out in Carolina, this could be a much more difficult matchup come game day than on paper. 

15. Week 16 – vs. New York Giants 

The Eagles have a good shot at sweeping the Giants in 2021 after splitting their meetings in 2020. For the Eagles, establishing the run could be key against a Giants defense that ranked top 10 in rushing yards allowed, rushing yards per attempt and rushing touchdowns allowed. This responsibility will fall on the shoulders of not only dual-threat quarterback Hurts but also heavily on starting running back Miles Sanders, who has recorded 800-plus rushing yards in both of his seasons in the NFL. 

16. Week 13 – at New York Jets 

A healthy Eagles team should not struggle to beat the New York Jets. The Jets are a bad team on both sides of the ball, despite the additions of no. 2 overall pick quarterback Zach Wilson and fifth-year linebacker Jarrad Davis. If the Eagles struggle against the Jets, it is likely that they are underachieving in general on the season. The biggest advantage for the Jets in this game is the Eagles road record in 2020, which was 1-7. 

17. Week 8 – at Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions are arguably the worst team in the NFL, and the additions of quarterback Jared Goff and offensive lineman Penei Sewell do not change that much. New Head Coach Dan Campbell looks to turn around one of the historically bad franchises in the history of the NFL, but it is unlikely that he will have much success in year one, even against an iffy Eagles squad. Goff will be playing for his job for much of the season, but expect him to struggle with little help around him outside of tight end T.J. Hockenson.

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