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.
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