Eagles could benefit hugely from newly added 17th regular-season game

NFL: OCT 06 Jets at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 06: Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Josh Sweat (94) sacks New York Jets Quarterback Luke Falk (8) in the second half during the game between the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles on October 06, 2019 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The NFL announced on Tuesday that it will feature a 17-game regular-season slate with three preseason games. For the Eagles, this means a trip down the I-95 to face the New York Jets.

That decision was confirmed today, marking the first change to the season structure since the 1978 campaign ushered in an era of 16 regular-season and four preseason games, according to the official press release.

The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the corresponding place within their division last year. The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021. This means that the Eagles will face a familiar foe.

The Eagles have never actually lost to the Jets in regular season play, with their most recent encounter ending in a dominant 31-6 blowout where the Eagles became the first team in NFL history to record 10 sacks and two defensive touchdowns in the same game. While we can’t chalk this up as an immediate win, the odds do seem to favor a rebuilding Philadelphia outfit.

New York might take a step forward next year, but it’s almost hard not to after going 2-14 in 2020. Whether or not they have a shiny new QB is anyone’s guess, but we can assume the game will at least be a tad more competitive. Either way, the Eagles could not have asked for a better setup for the first season of having a 17th game.

The good news is that the format lends itself very kindly to the Eagles. The Giants take on the Dolphins and their Madden-franchise worthy roster of first-round picks, the Cowboys will take on the Patriots and Washington faces the Bills. This really could not have gone any better if we’re to assume the division will be a fairly competitive one that could well come down to the wire again.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire