One of the most exciting days on the NFL calendar is coming — the release of the 2021 schedule.
The NFL will release their full 2021 schedule next Wednesday, May 12th, giving us the first chance to go through their 17-game schedule and mark each as a win or a loss.
Although the Eagles enter the 2021 with the easiest slate of opponents in the NFL based off of the team’s record in 2020, there is no question that they could use some favors from the schedule makers.
With a new coaching staff and a new starting quarterback, the Eagles could really benefit from a soft opening to the schedule and a chance to start the season on a high note. Nick Sirianni needs to gain the trust of his players and there is no better way to do that than collecting a few wins early on.
So while we wait for the final schedule to come out, here is how I would put together the perfect schedule for the Eagles:
Week 1: Home vs. New York Giants
Starting against a division rival is a bit tricky, but it could be the first game with a full crowd at Lincoln Financial Field since the 2019 season. Having the edge of playing in front of a home crowd should give the Eagles the boost they need to get a win over a team they were able to beat at home last season.
Week 2: At New York Jets
Getting rookie Zach Wilson in what should be his second-career start gives the Eagles a chance to have one game of film to watch on him. The Jets project as probably the easiest opponent on the Eagles’ schedule.
Week 3: Home vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Eagles should hope to get the 49ers early on. Either Jimmy Garoppolo will still be playing or they will be getting Trey Lance in one of his first few starters.
Week 4: At Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are a bit of a wild card heading into the 2021 season, but a look at the rest of the road opponents shows a trip to Carolina should be one of the easiest away games on the schedule.
Week 5: At Denver Broncos
Back-to-back road games isn’t ideal, but unless the Broncos trade for Aaron Rodgers, facing either Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater makes this a winnable game.
Week 6: Home vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No easy week to play the Buccaneers, but perhaps getting them early on allows the Eagles to catch them in a bit of a post-Super Bowl swoon.
Week 7: Home vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Back-to-back games against the two best teams in the NFL last season isn’t ideal, but getting them over with before the second half of the schedule begins is probably best.
Week 8: At Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta is going to be a sneaky-tough game, especially if Arthur Smith can turn around an offense that does have plenty of talent. This could be a three-game losing streak for the Eagles heading into the Bye Week, but the tough stretch gives them an easy start and end to the season.
Week 9: BYE WEEK
Week 10: At Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles get two-full weeks to prepare for their first matchup against their biggest rivals — and a game that will have playoff implications.
Week 11: At Washington
Back-to-back games against Dallas and Washington should give the Eagles a chance to see how they stack up against the divisional opponents, and to make up a bit of ground if they have fallen behind in the race for the NFC East title.
Week 12: At Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were 2-5 in their final seven games last season, with one of those wins coming against a Jets team that was trying to lose. Getting the Raiders later on in the schedule would be ideal for the Eagles.
Week 13: Home vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Eagles would be better off getting the Chargers later in the season when it should be cold in Philadelphia as opposed to earlier on.
Week 14: Home vs. New Orleans Saints
Last season the Eagles got their best win of the season in Week 14 at home against the New Orleans Saints. Perhaps they can recreate that win this year in Week 14 as well.
Week 15: At New York Giants
A late-season game on the road against the Giants will allow the Eagles to start a push towards the playoffs in what should be a close division.
Week 16: At Detroit Lions
A very winnable game on the road against a team that will almost certainly already be looking at their 2022 draft pick. If things have gone ugly for the Eagles, this game will at least be a chance for Sirianni to get a late-season win.
Week 17: Home vs. Washington
Ryan Fitzpatrick has started double-digit games eight times in his career. He has had a winning record once. The later the Eagles get Washington on the schedule, the better chance there is that Fitzpatrick has already fallen apart.
Week 18: Home vs. Dallas Cowboys
Final game of the season against the Cowboys gives the Eagles either the chance to clinch a playoff spot against their division rival — or a chance to end the season on a high note with a win at home over Dallas.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at email@example.com!