If it feels like the Eagles have faced a lot of really good teams so far this year, you’re not wrong.
The Birds’ 2021 schedule has been brutal thus far, with tough match-ups against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs, the reigning AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs, and two Super Bowl contenders, the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. Their two wins have come against the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers, who are crashing back to earth.
Through six weeks, it’s been a meat grinder.
FPI schedule notes…— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) October 18, 2021
The Eagles have played the third-toughest schedule so far. They have the easiest schedule in the NFL from here on out.
Dolphins: 4th-toughest so far, 31st remaining
Chargers: 2nd-toughest so far, 29th remaining
According to ESPN, Philadelphia’s schedule has been the third-toughest so far this year, but within the tweet above lies some good news.
From here on out, no team in the NFL has an easier schedule, based on where teams stand right now, than the Eagles.
That sound you hear is Nick Sirianni’s huge sigh of relief.
Ah, but lest we think the Eagles are suddenly going to start piling up the wins and “taking care of business” against the “bad” teams, we must investigate whether the Eagles are themselves one of the “bad” teams. So, let’s go through the remaining schedule and see what the Birds’ final record might look like.
Week 7: Eagles @ Raiders (L)
The Raiders played surprisingly well in their 34-24 win on the road against the Broncos in light of the controversy surrounding the firing of former head coach Jon Gruden. At 4-2, they’re in good shape to stretch that mark to 5-2 and are three-point favorites over the Birds. Of course, this could be a prime letdown game for Oakland. They pulled off a big win after an emotional week against a divisional opponent and now face an out-of-conference opponent at home with a losing record.
Still, I think Nick Sirianni’s gamecalling problems are real and the Raiders have enough weapons on offense to keep Jonathan Gannon’s defense off-balance all day. Oakland will win.
Week 8: Eagles @ Lions (W)
Detroit is 0-5 and they’re not going to get their first win of the season against the Rams this Sunday, so the Eagles will likely head into the Motor City against an 0-6 Lions squad that will be hungry for a victory. Jared Goff is terrible, although this does feel like a team that is on the way up. Just not right now. The Birds will pull this one off.
Week 9: Chargers @ Eagles (L)
Justin Herbert against the Eagles’ defense is not a fair fight.
Week 10: Eagles @ Broncos (W)
This is one of the trickier games on the schedule because it’s hard to know exactly what Denver is at this point. Their three wins are against the Giants, Jags and Jets and their three losses are against the Ravens, Steelers and Raiders. The Eagles probably fall in between these three teams, so how they do the next three weeks against the Browns, Football Team and Cowboys will say a lot. I’ll pencil this in as a win, for now, but it’s likely the Eagles will not be favored as the road team in this match-up.
Week 11: Saints @ Eagles (L)
I’ll admit it, Jameis Winston has been a bit better than I thought and, at 3-2, New Orleans has played better than I anticipated. They destroyed the Packers in Week 1 and dominated the Patriots in Week 3. They’ve lost to the Giants and Panthers and beat Washington. They’re a weird team. Yeah, it’s at home, but I dunno. Sean Payton has the Birds’ number, too.
Week 12: Eagles @ Giants (L)
Nick Sirianni has certainly been one of the worst head coaches in the NFL through the season’s first six weeks, but Joe Judge is right there with him. New York has had a lot of injury issues, but despite upgrading their offensive weapons this off-season, it hasn’t translated into wins on the field. With all their flaws, the Eagles are better than the Giants but I don’t think they’ll sweep them, so I’m giving the Giants the win at the new Meadowlands (or whatever it’s called right now).
Week 13: Eagles @ Jets (W)
Unless Zach Wilson explodes at some point in the next few weeks, I just can’t see the Eagles losing to the Jets, even on the road.
Week 14: Washington @ Eagles (W)
What a fraud the WFT has been this year. Their vaunted defense was supposed to be one of the best in the NFL, but they’ve been awful, and they are a mess at quarterback with Taylor Heinicke, who probably won’t be the starter by the time Week 14 rolls around. I’ll give the Eagles the home win here, but I feel like Washington will return the favor in two weeks.
Week 15: Giants @ Eagles (W)
Eagles will get payback at home.
Week 16: Eagles @ Washington (L)
Washington will get payback at home.
Week 17: Cowboys @ Eagles (L)
The Cowboys could very well be fighting for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and the Eagles could very well be fighting for a top-10 draft pick (if some of my predictions above are incorrect). All signs point to Dallas smoking the Eagles in the final game of the season.
So at the end of the day, I have the Birds finishing 7-10 with the easiest schedule in the NFL. Would that be enough for Nick Sirianni to avoid being a one-and-done coach? We’ll see!