The Eagles have three big advantages hidden in their 2021 schedule

NFL: JAN 03 Washington Football Team at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 03: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) celebrates a touchdown in the first half during the game between the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles on January 03, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles’ 2021 schedule is officially set, so we’ll look at 3 advantages to this season’s slate of games.

Eagles face weak opposing QB’s

The Eagles schedule features only a few elite QB’s with games against Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Matt Ryan. On a tier below that, the Eagles will face Dak Prescott, Derek Carr, and Justin Herbert. It’s important to note that Prescott may not pick up where he left off last season because of a nasty injury. I think that storyline has not gotten nearly enough attention. Dak has to play at a very high level for the cowboys to put together a winning season.

Outside of that the Eagles have favorable QB matchups against:

  • Jameis Winston/Tayson Hill
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Zach Wilson
  • Daniel Jones
  • Sam Darnold
  • Drew Lock/Teddy Bridgewater
  • Jimmy Garapalo/Trey Lance
  • Jared Goff

Over the course of the offseason, it has become quite clear to me that everyone has forgotten that Daniel Jones and Ryan Fitzpatrick are not good quarterbacks. Jones is arguably the worst QB in the division, he has a mind-boggling 39 turnovers in 27 games which is not a winning formula.

The Giants made a few splashy free agency signings, but I do not see them taking a major step forward with Jones at the helm.

Speaking of free-agent signings, the Washington Football Team brought in Ryan Fitzpatrick to the dismay of many Eagles fans. Fitzpatrick has been an Eagles killer over the years, but he is wildly inconsistent and has been a backup for most of his career. The NFC East is one of the worst divisions in the NFL, I doubt Jones or Fitzpatrick will change that in 2021.

Overall, the Eagles and new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will have a good opportunity to take advantage of weak opposing quarterbacks. Given the current outlook of the Eagles’ opponents, I would not be shocked if the defense plays above expectations.

Grounded for the last 8 weeks

The Eagles will not be getting on a flight after their November 14th game against the Broncos. This is a legitimate advantage for the birds who will be able to gain valuable rest in the first year of an 18-week season. It would not be shocking if Philly is more refreshed and healthier than their opponents in the last 7 weeks of the season.

In 2019, the Eagles’ schedule helped them save what could have been a disastrous season. The Eagles did not have to get on a flight after December 1st which certainly aided their last season run to a playoff berth. There will be plenty of issues to face over the 2021 season, but the rest will not be one of them.

Eagles have a late bye week

The late-season bye week has been met with mixed feelings from fans and reporters, but if the Eagles are still in the hunt for the NFC East title, that late bye week could be really helpful. As previously noted, the eagles will not be traveling much down the stretch, so a bye week before 4 straight divisional games is a massive advantage over the Giants, Cowboys, and Football Team (Washington, please get a real mascot).

The Eagles will need to make it through the first 8 games of the schedule which look difficult, but if they can stay within reach of their NFC East opponents a late-season bye week may propel them on another run.

Final thoughts

The 2021 season is filled with unknowns as the franchise transitions to unfamiliar coaches, new schemes, a new starting QB, and a young wide receiver room. It is a rebuilding year for a franchise in desperate need of a jump start. The Eagles have faced difficult schedules for a few years now, so it’s great to not start out at a slight disadvantage. The birds will have plenty of battles to face in 2021, but the schedule will not be one of them.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire