We knew who the opponents were going to be. We knew where we were going to play them. What we didn’t know was when.
And now, the final piece of the Philadelphia Eagles 2021 schedule has been revealed to the masses, and their joy is made complete in it.
The Eagles’ 17-game, 18-week season lies above, a last place schedule that still features the reigning world champions, one of their former head coaches headed to the Hall of Fame, their three division rivals, and... the Jets.
Obviously, some of these games are going to be better than others and, with that in mind, here are the five games I’m most looking forward to this year.
Week 2 - Sunday, Sept. 19 vs. San Francisco 49ers (1:00pm ET)
I know, I know, you’re all excited to see Nate Sudfeld return to Lincoln Financial Field, too. It’s an easy game to pick for that reason, sure, but there’s more to this match-up than just reminiscing with last year’s Week 17 starter.
San Francisco is a fun offensive team to watch. Jimmy Garoppolo ain’t great, and it’ll be too early in the season for Trey Lance to get any run, but between tight end George Kittle, wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, and running back Raheem Mostert, Kyle Shanahan will have his ponies ready to run. The defense, led by Nick Bosa, should also be strong once again, and the 49ers should be a Super Bowl contender, if their starting QB isn’t subpar.
The Eagles won’t win this game, but there will be lots to see.
Week 3 - Monday, Sept. 27 at Dallas Cowboys (8:15pm ET, ESPN)
Remember last year when the NFL’s schedule makers and TV executives believed the Eagles would be postseason contenders and scheduled them four times in prime time? A similar mistake was not to be made again.
In 2021, the Eagles play just twice in prime time, the first of which is their Week 3 Monday Night tilt against the Cowboys in Dallas. Dak Prescott should be back and Birds fans will get their first look at Dallas’ potent offense with their star QB at the helm.
Hey, you knew one of the Dallas games would be on this list.
Week 4 - Sunday, Oct. 3 vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1:00pm ET)
I love the early Sunday games. It just feels right to play football at one o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, with a Wawa hoagie still fresh in your gullet and a cooler of Yeunglings sitting by your EZBoy recliner. This year, 11 out of their 17 games are scheduled to start at 1pm. Noice.
On this day, former head coach Andy Reid returns to his old stomping grounds, which is enough of a storyline to be sure, but he brings along the best QB in the business, Patrick Mahomes, and his high-flying offense along as well.
Kansas City is either going to be hungry coming off their Super Bowl loss to the Buccaneers last year, or they’re at a crossroads where things start to go downhill a bit for them. Their offensive line has taken a small hit, but there is still talent all over the place, and Mahomes should have no trouble carving up Philly’s defense. Reid will get another win here, Eagles fans will boo him, and by 4pm, we’ll be ready to watch the national game unfettered.
Week 6 - Thursday, Oct. 14 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:20pm ET, NFL Network)
There’s nothing like playing the defending world champions, with the greatest QB to ever play the game, on a short week on national television!
Tom Brady has beaten the Eagles since his Super Bowl 52 loss, a 17-10 victory in November of 2019 when he was still with the New England Patriots. While Brady is now a Buc and a member of the reigning world champions, you can bet he still has a sore spot in his heart from the crushing defeat he suffered at the hands of the Birds. Just in case you forgot...
This could be the last time we see Tom Brady in Philadelphia. Or, he might play another 20 years. Either way, when the GOAT comes to town, it’s must-watch stuff.
Week 12 - Sunday, Nov. 28 at New York Giants (1:00pm ET)
So... the New York Giants hold grudges.
OK, we’ll circle it, too.
The Eagles tank job against Washington cost the Giants a playoff berth last year, and then the Eagles traded with the Dallas Cowboys to land the No. 10 pick in this past April’s draft and stole DeVonta Smith out from under Joe Judge’s G-Men.
Remember, prior to New York’s 27-17 win over the Eagles last November, the Birds had won eight straight agains them and 13 of the previous 14. Has the tide turned?
The Giants certainly want a little payback for the Eagles giving away a postseason spot they didn’t deserve to Washington, so wouldn’t it be fun to beat them on their home turf and get about, oh I don’t know, a millionty Daniel Jones turnovers? Could be fun.
Overall, this isn’t a crazy-hard schedule, and I have no idea how the NFC East is going to shake out. So, let’s call it 6-11.