ITB: Birds Sked Comes With Fewer Juggernauts
With five prime-time games and one of the easiest strength of schedules in the league, the newly released NFL schedule is looking kind to the Philadelphia Eagles.
On the latest Inside the Birds podcast, Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher give thoughts on how the schedule will play out and further discuss the state of the team heading into the OTAs.
Geoff Mosher: “It’s almost like the inverse of last year. Last year, all of those really difficult games were at the first six weeks and they had a light schedule on the back end, that was made lighter by all of the Covid issues that Washington [had] and then the quarterback issues that the Giants had, they really had a very easy back-end schedule, which helped them get into the playoffs. This year, you see some teams in the first five or six weeks that theoretically seem a little easier, but then that back end of the schedule has three straight road games, at Giants, at Bears, and then at Dallas. You come home for New Orleans, I think New Orleans is going to be tough. I know they beat the Saints at home last year, but they’re still a tough team.”
Adam Caplan: “Here’s why they got lucky. Not only do they have one of the top-three schedules in the NFL if you just look at the way teams are projected this year. They don’t play the Rams, Bills, Bengals, Chiefs, Chargers, Bucs, Dolphins, or 49ers. Those are the best teams right now, not included is Green Bay who they’re playing, so their schedule is terrific.”
Caplan: “The first game of the year, you don’t want to say it’s a cake game because Detroit added three receivers to their offense. [T.J.] Hockenson had been hurt, he missed time last year, he’s back healthy. They have a very good run game. Obviously, Jared Goff is not the quarterback he once was. Jameson Williams, they don’t know when he’s going to be ready exactly so we’ll see, but Josh Reynolds is back, Amon-Ra St. Brown who had a breakout second half of the season, they addressed the receiver position. They got D.J. Chark from Jacksonville, who the Eagles had some interest in, but they didn’t go hard because of his coming back from the broken ankle.”
Mosher: “You look at Washington, they obviously brought in Carson Wentz. They drafted Jahan Dotson. Their defense was much better in November and December last year than when they started off. They’re one of those teams that can be a lot better than, we think. I think people tend to latch onto what they remember last, and what they remember last about Carson Wentz is that he was awful in the last game of the year. The Colts didn’t make the playoffs, they got rid of him. People said bad things about him. But, if you go look at the season as a whole, he didn’t play poorly all season long. He had actually had a stretch of some really good games. Now, they leaned on the run heavily in Indianapolis, Ron Rivera does the same thing in Washington. They’ve got some good weapons, not just Jahan, but obviously with Terry McLaurin, the tight end who’s going to come back from injury – Logan Thomas. They did add to their offensive line even though they lost [Brandon] Scherff. They could be a tough team.”
Mosher: “To me, the Eagles are going to have to endure weeks 10-14. I think that’s the spot in their schedule where they’ve got to be at least be 2-2 here. It’s home versus Washington in Week 10, then at Indianapolis Week 11, then home versus the Packers in Week 12 and then Week 13 at home against the Titans. To me that’s going to be the major part of their schedule that determines whether they’re going to be a playoff team or not.”
Caplan: “The games that would worry me would start at Week Five [against the Arizona Cardinals] just because Kyler Murray can run. He’s a playmaking quarterback. Dallas because they have the ability to score. Do the Titans worry me? Not as much without AJ Brown.”
Caplan: “We know that he’s going to back up [Jason] Kelce, they hope. They expect him to, but they hope he’s ready to do that. Jurgens looks the part in terms of, when you grade a guy on tape, if you’re scouting him, that’s one thing. But when you get him into your facility, and you get him in front of you, and we know there’s a learning phase, don’t make any judgements on this. The term that I got is that he looks the part. He does look athletic. The movements are what you thought they would be.”
Mosher: “Some intel I got is that [Howie Roseman] may not hire these guys from the outside that we’ve talked about, whether Morocco [Brown] or Brandon Hunt. It sounds like, from what I’m understanding, he’s just not ready to make a commitment there. We’ll have to see what that means going forward and why it is that he brought some guys in and wound up not doing anything with them if that was the case.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com
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