In case you missed it, NFL teams released their schedules a couple weeks ago, which means NFL football is closer than ever. Now comes the endless speculation, the hopeful projections and analyzing every little detail that will most certainly be wrong. FlurrySports is no exception, so here we go with the Philadelphia Eagles schedule and the 2021 record prediction.
At first glance, this schedule may seem rather easy. But looking deeper, there are some real killers, especially early on.
2021 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule and Record Prediction
Week 1: @ Atlanta Falcons | Eagles Lose
The Eagles schedule starts off with a winnable game, as the Atlanta Falcons were just 4-12 in 2020. That being said, the amount of offensive weapons the Falcons have will most likely overwhelm the Eagles. Rosters can still change of course, but the duo of Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts already will be too much for the Eagles’ weak secondary to handle. Darius Slay is good, but he has trouble with guys that are physical freaks, like D.K. Metcalf. Pitts definitely fits that bill. Ridley may see Slay coverage as a result, which opens up Pitts even more.
Week 2: San Francisco 49ers | Eagles Lose
We all know that the San Francisco 49ers were only last in their division last year because of some of the worst injury luck in the league. A fully healthy team will probably be too much for the Eagles. They’ll have their vaunted defense back, and although their strength on offense is running the ball and the Eagles are good at stopping the run, George Kittle will probably feast.
Week 3: @ Dallas Cowboys | Eagles Lose
Division game away. The Dallas Cowboys defense is still bad, but their offense will be much better. Dak Prescott is back, key linemen are back and their receiver room is still one of the best in the league. I have nightmares of Michael Jacquet getting picked on by the Cowboys wide-outs on rotation last year. Still, let’s not forget that this team was just 1-3 with Prescott last year (really should’ve been 0-4 barring an epic Falcons collapse in Week 2) and they didn’t really solve the problems they had last year. I expect a split in 2021.
Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs | Eagles Lose
Week 5: @ Carolina Panthers | Eagles Win
Besides the Eagles’ Week 1 game against the Falcons, the Carolina Panthers will be their best shot of the early schedule to pick up a W. The Panthers are still a team in flux, with a brand new quarterback and a below average defense. They have some solid offensive weapons, with Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, but besides McCaffery, they really lack star power on the roster as a whole. I like Joe Brady as a coordinator, but a healthy Eagles roster is better.
Week 6: Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Eagles Lose
Week 7: @ Las Vegas Raiders | Eagles Win
Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs don’t scare me, especially since the Eagles’ strength has been run defense due to their staunch defensive line. The Raiders also have one of the worst wide receiver groups in the league, especially if Henry Ruggs can’t pick it up in year two. They also had a below-average offensive line that lost a number of key players and only replaced them with a rookie in Alex Leatherwood. They will get Richie Incognito back, but still, that’s a matchup the Eagles should handle. Philadelphia can dominate the trenches and force Carr to beat them, and I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Week 8: @ Detroit Lions | Eagles Win
The Detroit Lions are an early pick for the worst team in the league. They have a brand new coach and a new quarterback, who got dealt straight up for a different guy. They have a good offensive line, especially with the addition of Penei Sewell, but the Lions don’t have much else. T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift are solid-good players, but it’s not near enough to carry the rest of a very sub-par roster.
Eagles Schedule Halfway Report:
The Eagles could be 3-5 or 4-4 at the halfway (well, a little below halfway) mark, which isn’t bad for a team that went 4-11-1 last year. They get some unwinnable games out of the way, and they still have five division games left, meaning the NFL Playoffs are still up for grabs. Starting out potentially 0-4 could derail things however, and they’ll need to right the ship quickly to salvage the season. If they do that though, the 2021 Eagles schedule gets much easier.
Luckily (or unluckily perhaps), the Eagles away schedule is quite weak. If they can win a majority of those games and pull some home upsets off, the Eagles will be right in it for the NFC East.
Week 9: Los Angeles Chargers | Eagles Win
The Eagles can ride their momentum of winning three of their last four to take it against the Chargers. On paper, I think many would consider this an upset, but it’s not that far. The Eagles will be at home, which is nice. They also face last year’s worst offensive line. The Chargers did add Rashawn Slater, but they are more than a rookie away from being a unit that can stop Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. Herbert will be under a lot of pressure, and that will derail what is otherwise a potent offense. The defense could be improved if Derwin James can finally stay healthy, but they can be run on and that should be the focus of the Eagles offense.
Week 10: @ Denver Broncos | Eagles Win
Drew Lock will need to really take a leap in year three for the Broncos to avoid being one of the worst teams in the league. It could happen, but so far, there isn’t much indication that it will. They have some really great receiver talent there, with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant, but if Lock can’t get them the ball, it doesn’t matter. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t much better either. The Broncos also have a suspect line, so it’s a good matchup for the Eagles strengths.
Week 11: New Orleans Saints | Eagles Lose
While I do think this is a winnable game, I can’t imagine the Eagles winning six straight in the middle of the season. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are elite of the elite at their positions, and Jameis Winston is a good QB, if you take away the turnovers. Considering the Eagles aren’t good at generating turnovers, that’s good news for Winston. The Eagles did somehow beat the 12-4 Saints late last year, and the Eagles should only be better this year, while the Saints are similar or worse. Still, that loss could be a combination of complacency on the Saints end and this was Hurts first start so they could have also been caught off-guard (and have no tape) by that.
Week 12: @ New York Giants | Eagles Lose
This is interesting timing for their first game against the New York Giants, in regards to how late it is. It’s entirely possible that the Giants will have figured out Daniel Jones is not the answer by then and could be in full on tank mode, leading to an easy Eagles win. It could also be the opposite, with Jones putting it together in year three, leading a pretty strong roster on both ends to an easy NFC East victory. Honestly, that roster alone may be enough. They have a good defense (ninth in points against last year) and their skill positions are outstanding, headlined by Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay. As long as Jones isn’t terrible (he very well could be) this division is ripe for the taking for the men in blue.
Week 13: @ New York Jets | Eagles Win
The 2020 New York Jets roster is my pick for the worst of all time. At least, among teams I’ve seen. They were so devoid of top level talent it’s incredible they managed to pull two games out of the hat. This 2021 roster isn’t much better. Zach Wilson isn’t without his question marks and, at the end of the day, he’s a rookie QB. If the Eagles want any hope of competing in the division, they have to win games like this, considering their final stretch is against all NFC East opponents.
Week 14: Bye
Very late bye, but it comes right before four straight division games (interesting scheduling there). That could be the refresher they need to pull off an NFC East win.
Week 15: Washington Football Team | Eagles Win
Just as the Giants are my early pick to win the division, WFT is my early pick to come in last. Sure, they made the NFL Playoffs and ran the Buccaneers close, but this was still a 7-9 team that needed the Eagles to literally hand them the victory in Week 17 to win the division last year. Taylor Heinicke was a nice story, but I don’t believe it. They also have Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s had a nice couple years, but he’s a journeyman for a reason. In addition, while it’s mostly been FitzMagic recently, don’t forget the FitzTragic that is the other side of that coin. The QB situation is likely the worst in the NFC East, which isn’t ideal.
They have a great defense (particularly the defensive line) but a healthy Eagles line should be a match, and their run defense was not quite as good. Antonio Gibson had a good rookie year, but doesn’t strike fear in my heart.
Week 16: New York Giants | Eagles Lose
At this point, the Giants and Eagles could be pretty much anywhere record-wise, and that does matter this late into the season. Either (or both) of these teams could be trying to tank for a new QB, or they could be locked in a tight battle for the NFL Playoffs. According to my predictions, the Birds will be 7-8 at this point, which should put them right into the thick of things, unless someone in the NFC East is much better than expected. If both teams are competing, I still think the Giants are a little too much for the Eagles to handle, but anything can happen in division games, especially since the Eagles are home.
Week 17: @ Washington Football Team | Eagles Lose.
Division game away, against a WFT team seeking revenge. It would not shock me for the Eagles offensive line to be on its last legs and Chase Young to run absolutely rampant. This will be Jalen Hurts first year as a starter and Nick Sirianni’s first year as a head coach, and they’ll be relying on a rookie wide receiver in the passing game. That’s a lot of inexperience, and even though this will be a must-win, I think that inexperience bites the Eagles here.
Week 18: Dallas Cowboys | Eagles Win
The Eagles win to give them one last shot at winning the division, but ultimately fall short. The Cowboys defense will still likely be atrocious, and the offensive line is aging and injury-prone. Prescott is going to be running for his life, and a few key turnovers will be the difference.
Final Record: 7-10
Honestly, it’s a bit of a negative projection. If the Eagles can weather the first six weeks and not go 0-6, they have a much easier schedule after that. This was a historically bad division last year, and coming in last has its benefits. Only two games on the schedule are absolutely unwinnable (TB and KC), and they face at least three teams (NYJ, DEN, DET) that will almost assuredly be at the bottom of the standings in 2021. There are a lot of 50-50 games on the list, and if the Eagles can just get a few to fall the right way, they could be over .500.
The Eagles should also be much better. Even if Carson Wentz plays better in Indianapolis, he was still one of the worst QBs last year. The QB play should be better this year, even if Hurts barely improves just by virtue of his running and it being such a low bar to clear. Not only that, but DeVonta Smith could be a massive addition and the team will hopefully be much healthier than in 2020 especially on the offensive line and in the tight end department.
I’ve said it before, but this Eagles team, especially with a relatively weak schedule and five of six division games coming in the final seven weeks, can really be anything. If Hurts and Sirianni are the truth, they could easily be in the playoffs. Or Sirianni could struggle in his first year and Hurts doesn’t improve and they are picking in the top 10 again in 2021. Hopes aren’t very high for the Eagles, as they are only scheduled two primetime games, their fewest since 2000. Betting odds also has them tied for third-worst record, with the line set at 6.5 wins. Seven wins seems about right, but really, this Eagles team is the definition of unpredictable right now.