The 2020 season for the Philadelphia Eagles was one of the team’s poorest performances to date.
But as the saying goes, with tragedy comes triumph.
The Birds’ 4-11-1 record has now determined the strength of their schedule moving forward, and the Eagles have the easiest schedule in the NFL for the 2021 season. The question now is, can they make something out of it?
[UNLIKELY] HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Philadelphia’s home-game schedule actually isn’t the easiest; it’s the ninth-hardest in the league. This is all thanks to the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kansas City Chiefs, who will visit Lincoln Financial Field in 2021.
Out of these teams, the Saints are the only team second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has played against. After taking over for former quarterback Carson Wentz in Week 14, Hurts made his debut as a starter against the Saints, winning 24-21.
However, the Bucs and the Chiefs are a different story. A matchup against either team would be a challenge for an opponent who knew what to expect, but for a team in a rebuild phase, it could be catastrophic. Both teams are coming off of Super Bowl LV and are favorites to win Super Bowl 2022 with +1000 and +600 odds accordingly.
Philadelphia will also host the Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, and their NFC East opponents, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Football Team.
PHILADELPHIA’S AWAY GAMES
The ease of Philadelphia’s schedule exists in their away games.
Though the Eagles will host their NFC East opponents at The Linc, they will also face all three teams away, similar to previous years. Last season, the Cowboys, Giants, and Washington Football Team won a combined 19 of their 48 games.
Strength of schedule based on 2020 season
- Rank 15: Washington Football Team – Opponent Win Pct. 0.504
- Rank 25: New York Giants – Opponent Win Pct. 0.474
- Rank 31: Dallas Cowboys – Opponent Win Pct. 0.452
- Rank 32: Philadelphia Eagles – Opponent Win Pct. 0.43
Also, in the NFC, the Eagles will visit the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and the Detroit Lions. All three teams ranked at the bottom of their division, winning 14 games combined. From the AFC will be games against the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos.
As of last week, the NFL approved a 17-game schedule for the 2021 season — the first schedule change since 1978. The 17th game will be an interconference matchup based on divisional standings from the previous season. Every year after that will have a rotating interdivisional plan. Based on this plan, Philadelphia will play the New York Jets at the Meadowlands, and fans couldn’t have asked for much better.
WILL EASE EQUATE TO WINS?
Overall, Philadelphia’s opponent win percentage is 0.43, but labeling their schedule as the “easiest” is relative.
At the end of the day, their future opponents won an average of 6.9 games during the 2020 season; the Eagles won four.
Philadelphia has a new coaching staff and a new starting quarterback. They must also be creative when filling in their roster gaps due to ongoing salary cap issues. The bottom line is, no one knows what the Eagles will look when the season kicks off in five months.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most difficult schedule with an opponent win percentage of 0.574.