The Eagles’ 2021 schedule is out and now it’s time to take a closer looks at the pros and cons!
- The Eagles don’t play a single team coming off extended extra rest. No teams coming directly off bye weeks. No teams coming directly off Thursday Night Football. That’s pretty nice!
- The Eagles will have extra rest heading into their Week 7 game against the Las Vegas Raiders thanks to playing on Thursday night in Week 6. The Eagles’ Week 14 bye gives them rest before facing the Washington Football Team in Week 15.
- The Giants play the Eagles on short rest in Week 12 with New York coming off a Monday night game in Tampa. The Eagles might also have extra rest against the Giants in Week 16 if Philly’s Week 15 game takes place on the 18th (Saturday) instead of the 19th. The exact date for that game is still TBD.
- The Eagles don’t need to get on a plane for the final eight weeks of their regular season. That stretch includes seven close games and their bye. Historically favorable:
It looks like the Eagles' stretch of playing seven consecutive regular games in one season without getting on a plane would be the longest by the team in the Super Bowl era (1966-) . . .— Bob Vetrone Jr. (@BoopStats) May 12, 2021
We found a handful of six-game stretches, but none of seven . . .
- The Eagles don’t have to play a Thursday night game on the road. The short week can be especially tough on the traveling team. (Which is why it’s unfair the Cowboys literally never have to do this.)
- Potentially getting Trey Lance in either his first or second NFL start in Week 2 could be favorable. The Eagles won’t have a ton of tape on him, no, but he’s extremely inexperienced with just 318 college attempts at the FCS (as opposed to FBS) level. Even if it’s Jimmy G starting for San Fran, they’re still a West Coast team making a 1:00 PM Eastern start. Those situations tend to favor the home team.
- The Eagles’ schedule looks most difficult early on. The team could get into a rut that might be hard to break out of.
- The Eagles have to play the Chiefs on short rest coming off Monday Night Football. Then again, if you’re chalking up the Chiefs game as an automatic loss anyway, it’s preferable to have short rest here as opposed to before a more winnable game.
- The Eagles getting extra rest from Thursday Night Football before playing the Raiders isn’t the most optimized advantage since AFC games are the least important ones.
For items that didn’t clearly fit in either of the first two categories ...
- There's been a lot of “The Eagles have the easiest strength of schedule in the league!” talk. And that’s true based on last year’s records. But that’s not really the best way to measure SOS, which I’ll be talking about more in an upcoming article here at BGN.
- The Eagles only play one NFC East matchup in their first 11 games and then five in their last six games. Including four out of their last four. On the latest BGN Radio podcast episode, Jimmy Kempski argued it’s better to face the toughest opponents late in the season since their quarterbacks/rosters might get banged up. In that vein, he said it was bad for Philly to get the 49ers/Chiefs/Bucs early on. But what if we apply his logic to the rest of the division opponents being more banged up and beatable later in the year? Just a thought. In any case, there’s potential for the Birds to go on a run late. Or for those games not to matter much if one team just runs away with the NFC East.
- The Eagles only have two primetime games. With a hat tip to r/Eagles, the last time they had two or fewer was 2000. The last time they did not have a Sunday Night Football game was 2003. The schedule reflects the fact that this team just isn’t particularly compelling. That could always change once the games start. Heading into the season, though, the juice simply isn’t there.
- Not exactly sure what to make of the late bye week in terms of it being a pro or con. The Eagles took advantage of a late bye in 2013 to make the playoffs. Ditto for the Bucs en route to the Super Bowl last year. But what if the Eagles are bad to the point where they can’t take advantage of the extra rest late in the season?
This year’s schedule is significantly more favorable than not! But maybe not the best timing for a team that’s not really all in this year.
What say you?
How do you feel about the Eagles’ schedule?
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