Should the Eagles be concerned about their tough schedule in 2023?

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Eagles vs. Vikings
FILE — Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts celebrates a touchdown run by Kenneth Gainwell during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts is set to sign one of the richest deals in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles, including $179.3 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The Eagles announced on Monday, April 17, “QB1 is here to stay,” but terms were not yet announced, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)

Having the toughest schedule in the NFL going into a new season is never easy. For the Philadelphia Eagles, traversing through the hardest schedule in football will be the first goal that should culminate in the team trying to get back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year.

But just because a team has the league’s toughest schedule doesn’t mean that will be the case throughout the regular season.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass as New York Giants linebacker Jihad Ward (55) tries to rush in on him during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In today’s NFL landscape, playoff teams are replaced with up-and-coming franchises every single year. In the last two seasons, seven teams have made the playoffs and missed the playoffs from year to year. So while the Eagles are set to take on nine playoff teams from last year, that doesn’t mean all nine are going to be playing the same type of good football that got them to that point.

The Eagles are scheduled to face off this season against the AFC East and NFC West along with their usual NFC East opponents. Add in games against Minnesota, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay as part of winning the division last year and you have a schedule full of marquee matchups.

But injuries and luck can turn on any team throughout the season. Minnesota went 11-0 in one-score games last season. New York and Dallas finished a combined 13-6-1 in one-score games. Luck plays a part in one-score games and clutch performance can be cruel at the worst possible times.

In short, there’s no guarantee the same teams that were good last year are going to be good this year when they take on the Eagles.

Will the Eagles be as dominant in 2023?

Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. Roseman, the once-exiled executive who was cast aside for Chip Kelly for a year, returned to lead the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title is back again after hitting rock bottom in 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Of course, the same argument could be made for Philadelphia. They were one of the healthiest teams last season due to their training regimen and went 7-1 in one-score games. Is there a guarantee that the team will be as healthy as they were last season, or play the same kind of clutch football that they played last season?

Inevitably, it will come down to Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni. Sirianni’s coaching staff has done an excellent job of keeping players healthy and prepared for the gruesome season that is the NFL. Hurts on the other hand is the franchise quarterback and could be the deciding factor in several games this year.

If both are on their game, the toughest schedule may not be residing in Philly, but whoever ends up having them on their schedule.

AP Photo/Chris Szagola, file