The 2022 NFL schedule is here. For Eagles fans, an exciting offseason is met by the understanding that the team will see a fairly light schedule in terms of difficulty, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. What are the five most appealing matchups to look forward to this year?
Even with a pretty easy schedule, the Eagles have quite a few matchups that will excite the fanbase. With increased expectations, these are the top five matchups to look out for this season.
5. Week 4: Vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Seeing one of the brightest young QB’s in Trevor Lawrence would certainly be a treat. Add in the fact that Doug Pederson returns to the place where he won the Lombardi Trophy, and the game becomes an instant must-watch. The Jaguars spent a boatload of money on free agents to improve the roster around Lawrence and the Jags offense should be a lot better than it was with Urban Meyer leading it. Will Doug have changed some of his offensive systems? Will it even matter? I think it is clear though that the ovation Doug will get will be even larger than Andy Reid’s return.
4. Week 13: Vs Tennessee Titans
The Titans may have gotten worse by trading away AJ Brown and replacing him with a solid rookie in Treylon Burks, but they are still one of the most physical teams in the NFL. The Titans lost their first playoff game last year not because of their defense. When you give up under 20 points in a playoff game, you should win every time. The Titans didn’t but that doesn’t take away who they are as a physical team. This matchup could be a similar test to what the Panthers were in 2017 for the Eagles: a litmus test against one of the NFL’s best.
3. Week 12: Vs Green Bay Packers
The Eagles do not play a lot of great NFL offenses next year. Depending on when they see them, the Cardinals will significantly less of a juggernaut, the Bears, Texans, Lions and Steelers all have major offensive questions, and the Vikings are….well…the Vikings. Facing off against the Packers will be an excellent test for the Eagles defense. The unit is expected to be much improved next year but the true test will be against the back-to-back MVP. Jonathan Gannon’s unit was excellent against bad QB’s last year and awful against good ones. This year we will see if the issue was talent last year, or Gannon as a coordinator.
2. Week 17: Vs New Orleans Saints
I don’t think there’s been a better non-divisional rivalry for the Eagles than the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have improved their roster tremendously in the draft and free agency. The biggest question will rest on their QB. Is Jameis Winston able to lead the Saints to the playoffs without Sean Payton as his coach? Will Dennis Allen be able to move past what was an awful first go around as Head Coach? The fact this game is in Philadelphia is a big plus. Add in the reality that an Eagles win will only help the team’s draft status and this is a game that could very well determine if Philadelphia plays in a playoff game at home or on the road.
1. Week 6: Vs Dallas Cowboys
You may think this is a cop out, but here me out. There is no bigger matchup next season than either game against the Dallas Cowboys for a couple of reasons. First, the Eagles should look to get as many home playoff games as possible this year. Forcing Tampa Bay, Los Angeles or even Arizona to have to come into the Philly cold of January is a huge play.
The only way to do that though is to unseat the defending division champions. The Cowboys have seemed to have gotten much worse this past offseason. The Eagles have gotten much better. The most obvious fact from last year was that the Eagles did not have enough weapons offensively or defensively to match up with Dallas. This year, for the first time in at least five years, the Eagles can match up with Dallas at a skill position level. It’ll only come down to Hurts putting the team in the right position to win. Buckle up.