With so much focus lately on Jalen Hurts, let’s take the quarterback discussion in a different direction.
The 2020 Eagles schedule will be released Thursday night come hell or high fever. It has the usual assortment of terrific opposing quarterbacks.
There are four Super Bowl winners, two who reached the Supe without winning it, last year’s MVP, last year’s rookie of the year, and last year’s first- and second-team All-Pros. Fortunately for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Patrick Mahomes is not one of the quarterbacks on the menu.
But the Eagles will see some of the game’s oldest quarterbacks (but not Tom Brady) as well as the last four Heisman Trophy winners. They’ll also get rematches against the last two quarterbacks who ended their seasons (Drew Brees, Russell Wilson).
So put on your face masks and pray the Birds’ defensive linemen don’t socially distance themselves from Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray. Here’s a breakdown of the presumptive quarterbacks on the Eagles’ schedule, which will be unveiled on Thursday.
1. Lamar Jackson, Ravens. 2. Drew Brees, Saints. 3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks.
Slight nod here to the reigning MVP over the future Hall of Famer. Jackson was 7-1 on the road last year with 20 touchdown passes, four interceptions, 541 rushing yards, and three rushing TDs. Brees had 10 touchdown passes and one pick in five road games last year, but the Saints just aren’t as dominant away from the Superdome.
1. Joe Burrow, Bengals. 2. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins. 3. Daniel Jones, N.Y. Giants.
Burrow was the 15th quarterback taken No. 1 overall in the 21 drafts since 2000. Just three have played the Eagles in their rookie seasons. Jameis Winston threw a career-high five TD passes in a Tampa Bay win in 2015. Conversely, the Birds handled Alex Smith (San Francisco) in 2005 and David Carr (Houston) in 2002. Burrow will be the fourth.
1. Lamar Jackson, Ravens. 2. Russell Wilson, Seahawks. 3. Kyler Murray, Cardinals.
Jackson’s 1,206 rushing yards last season were a quarterback record and good for sixth in the entire league. He averaged more rushing yards per game than Saquon Barkley (80.4 to 77.2). The only thing missing from Russell Wilson’s magic act in the pocket is a top hat and a rabbit.
Five of the eight opposing quarterbacks on the Eagles’ home slate will be making their first visit to the Linc. They surely will be received warmly.
Vets: Russell Wilson 3-0 (including 1-0 playoffs), Drew Brees 2-2 (including 1-0 playoffs). Dak Prescott, 2-2.
Newbies: Joe Burrow, Bengals; Jared Goff, Rams; Dwayne Haskins, Redskins; Daniel Jones, Giants; Lamar Jackson, Ravens.
» FROM THE ARCHIVES: Russell Wilson, Seahawks end Eagles’ season
Ben Roethlisberger, 2-1, Russell Wilson, 1-1; Drew Brees, 1-0; Aaron Rodgers, 1-0; Jimmy Garoppolo, 0-1; Jared Goff 0-1.
♦ Jackson will be the fifth reigning MVP quarterback the Eagles will have faced in the last 20 years. They beat 2016 MVP Matt Ryan in the playoffs the following season, lost to 2010 MVP Tom Brady in 2011, beat 2009 MVP Peyton Manning in 2010, and beat 2001 MVP Kurt Warner in 2002.
♦ Rodgers is 1-1 at Lambeau Field against the Eagles, including a loss last year when Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes. ... Roethlisberger is 2-0 against the Eagles in Pittsburgh, including a 2004 victory that was the Eagles’ only loss before rolling to a 13-1 record and clinching home-field advantage that season. ... Prescott is 3-1 against the Eagles in Dallas.
♦ The last four Heisman Trophy winners are on the schedule: Joe Burrow (2019), Kyler Murray (2018), Baker Mayfield (2017), and Lamar Jackson (2016).
♦ Jackson’s $2.58 million cap hit for 2020 is the lowest among the Eagles’ opponents and 36th among all NFL quarterbacks. Four of the five highest cap hits among all NFL players are quarterbacks and all four are on the schedule. Bears linebacker Khalil Mack is the outlier.