A way too early look at the 2020 schedule

The exact dates aren’t set yet, but a mere glimpse at the Philadelphia Eagles’ opponents for the 2020 NFL season shows that they will face a number of challenges.

The Philadelphia Eagles and the rest of the NFL are about two months away from finding out the specifics of their 2020 schedules, but everyone’s list of opponents has been set for some time, as it depends on both a repeating pattern and the final standings of the previous season.

Owing to these factors, we know exactly who the Eagles will be facing this season and whether the game is at home or on the road. Looking at the group of games, one thing becomes clear: This will not be easy.

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The six games against NFC East foes go without saying, and it’s incumbent upon the Eagles to go 4-2 at a bare minimum, although a repeat of their 5-1 divisional record from 2019 would be preferable. These are essentially the most important games on the docket, giving the Birds a chance to help their chances while dealing a blow to their direct competition in one fell swoop.

But we can’t overlook what else the schedule has to offer, especially the games against other NFC teams that the Eagles figure to be jockeying with for playoff positioning.

Home vs. NFC

Los Angeles Rams: This is technically the L.A. Rams’ first appearance in Philadelphia since beating the Eagles in the 1989 playoffs. They figure to be good again this season, but nobody should be shaking in their boots about this one.

New Orleans Saints: At least the Eagles don’t have to go to the house of horrors (Superdome) this season. Then again, the Saints managed a 7-1 record on the road last year, so this will still be a stiff task.

Seattle Seahawks: The Eagles will be looking for revenge here for last year’s playoff loss, and it’s also amazing that they haven’t beaten the Seahawks in Philadelphia since 1989. This game’s position within the season will dictate how important it is, but this feels like the Eagles’ key home game.

Away vs. NFC

Green Bay Packers: It seems like the Eagles have to play at Lambeau Field every year, but it’s actually only been four out of the last eight seasons. And while wins and losses don’t follow any kind of pattern, it’s really difficult to imagine the Eagles winning there two years in a row.

San Francisco 49ers: The defending NFC Champions will present yet another tough matchup for the Birds. It’s not like you can spot these guys a lead and then expect to beat them. It will be a big test.

Arizona Cardinals: The Eagles will get their first look at Kyler Murray and a potentially dangerous Cardinals club. Still, this is a game that the Eagles will need to circle on their calendars as a must-win, regardless of where it falls on the schedule. There are just too many legitimate challenges to screw up a game like this.

AFC North Opponents

Cincinnati Bengals: Even with Joe Burrow in tow, the Bengals will still be a mess. Mark this one as a “W” and move on.

Baltimore Ravens: The Eagles catch a slight break being able to face Lamar Jackson in Philly instead of on the road. It would help if this game ended up early in the season rather than November or December, because Jackson was on fire during those months in 2019. So let’s hope that the Birds draw the Ravens early before Jackson is in full Madden mode.

Cleveland Browns: The Eagles are unbeaten against this incarnation of the Browns (5-0 since 2000), and that streak had better stay in tact this season if the Eagles want to be taken seriously.

Pittsburgh Steelers: I’m already penciling this one in as a loss, because it seems that the home team always wins when the Pennsylvania rivals clash. The Eagles have bigger fish to fry on the road this year anyway.

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A definitive win/loss projection can’t be offered at this time, and it wouldn’t even be prudent a few months from now even after we find out the full details of the 2020 schedule. And of course, many variables such as injuries can dramatically alter the outlook of certain games. This slate of games will be objectively tough for the Eagles, but that just increases the potential for it to be fun and exciting. Only seven months until we start find out!

Published at Sun, 16 Feb 2020 16:49:12 +0000

Source: A way too early look at the 2020 schedule.

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