The Eagles’ 2021 schedule is set, and our beat writers have plenty to say about it. Here is a game-by-game look at how things may play out for the new-look Birds:
Week 1, Sept. 12: Eagles at Falcons, 1 p.m.
Jeff McLane: The Nick Sirianni era begins against another first-time head coach: Arthur Smith. Aside from the travel, it’s a generous opener. WIN
Paul Domowitch: The Eagles haven’t beaten the Falcons in Atlanta since 2009. The drought continues as QB Matt Ryan slices and dices Jonathan Gannon’s defense. LOSS
Les Bowen: Do the Eagles have anyone who can cover Kyle Pitts? Nick Sirianni’s offense gets what ought to be a “soft opening,” in restaurant parlance, against a pliable defense. WIN
EJ Smith: Two new coaching staffs face off to start the season. Even if Atlanta deals Julio Jones before Week 1, Atlanta’s offense has too much firepower for Jonathan Gannon’s defense. LOSS
Week 2, Sept. 19: 49ers at Eagles, 1 p.m.
McLane: The Eagles should be playing to a packed Linc for the first time in 20 months. It might not matter if Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. return to form. LOSS
Domowitch: The offensive line’s ability to protect Jalen Hurts will be tested in a big way now that the Niners have Nick Bosa and Dee Ford back from injury. LOSS
Bowen: Thank heavens at least one North Dakota State quarterback appears at the Linc this year. Will it be Trey Lance running the Kyle Shanahan offense? I see the Niners bouncing back from last season’s injury chaos. LOSS
Smith: Whether it’s Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance running Kyle Shanahan’s offense, the Eagles likely don’t stand a chance against a healthy Niners team. LOSS
Week 3, Sept 27: Eagles at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m., Monday Night Football
McLane: Dallas could be the favorite to win the NFC East. The Eagles’ next chance to gauge themselves against a division rival won’t come for another nine weeks. LOSS
Domowitch: The Cowboys hired a new defensive coordinator (Dan Quinn) after finishing 28th in points allowed. But he can’t change water into wine. The Eagles manage to avoid an 0-3 start as Jalen Hurts throws a walk-off touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith. WIN
Bowen: Dallas looks formidable on paper, a sentence we type every year, it seems. The Eagles have lost five of the last seven meetings, three in a row at Dallas. LOSS
Smith: This ought to be fun. The Cowboys’ defense should stink again this year, so this could be a shootout. I’m just not sure the Eagles’ offense is good enough to hold up in that type of game. LOSS
Week 4, Oct. 3: Chiefs at Eagles, 1 p.m.
McLane: Kansas City represents what the Eagles aim to be: a perennial winner with a franchise quarterback and speed all over the field. This meeting could show how far they lag behind. LOSS
Domowitch: Andy Reid returns to Philly for the first time since 2013. He’ll be bringing one of the best offenses in the league with him unless Patrick Mahomes comes down with food poisoning. LOSS
Bowen: This ought to be a mismatch. We have no idea what the Eagles’ 2021 defense will look like, but improvement will have to be stunning to keep the Chiefs’ offense from running up the score. LOSS
Smith: Short week against Patrick Mahomes? Yikes. The Chiefs’ offense will make Eagles fans bemoan Howie Roseman’s decision not to take a cornerback earlier in the draft. LOSS
Week 5, Oct. 10: Eagles at Panthers, 1 p.m.
McLane: Matt Rhule is turning Carolina over bit by bit, but Sam Darnold looks like a stopgap more than a solution. Will the Eagles have a better read on Jalen Hurts at the quarter pole? WIN
Domowitch: With Bruce Arians and the Super Bowl-champion Bucs up next, could Nick Sirianni become the first Eagles coach in history to lose to two ex-Temple coaches in the same season? Close but no cigar. WIN
Bowen: No idea what to expect from Matt Rhule and Sam Darnold this year. Or from Nick Sirianni and the Eagles, really. WIN
Smith: Carolina’s got a young defense with a lot of high-upside players and an offense without much firepower. Unless the team takes a big leap, this is a winnable game for the Eagles. WIN
Week 6, Oct. 14: Bucs at Eagles, 8:20 p.m., Thursday Night Football
McLane: The second of the Eagles’ two prime-time games comes on Thursday night vs. the defending champs. The Bucs may be unable to repeat, but an upset against Tom Brady, even at age 44, seems unlikely. LOSS
Domowitch: Does it really matter that the Eagles are playing Tom Brady and the Super Bowl-champion Bucs at the Linc on a short week? Absolutely not. LOSS
Bowen: Tom Brady at the Linc, helming the defending Super Bowl champions? Doubt Bruce Arians has Brady try to catch any passes. Short week, Eagles coming off a road game. LOSS
Smith: Weird stuff happens on Thursday night but not weird enough to predict an Eagles win against the defending champs. Maybe Tom Brady’s old bones are too creaky to play. LOSS
Week 7, Oct. 24: Eagles at Raiders, 4:05 p.m.
McLane: A trip to Sin City could be the cure for the struggling Eagles, or just an excuse for traveling fans to check off another city and release frustration. Don’t bet on a win. LOSS
Domowitch: The Raiders were 2-6 last year at home. Vegas is a great place to visit, but a lousy place to call home and build a Super Bowl contender. WIN
Bowen: Nobody can beat Nick Sirianni when he has 10 days to prepare. I’m guessing. WIN
Smith: A trip to Vegas on a long week! The Raiders’ defense has been historically terrible under Jon Gruden, and I don’t see that changing this year. Jalen Hurts and Co. can capitalize. WIN
Week 8, Oct. 31: Eagles at Lions, 1 p.m.
McLane: It’s unlikely that a couple of former assistants, Duce Staley and Dave Fipp, offer much intel on the new Eagles. But this could be a battle between two of the lesser weights in the NFC. WIN
Domowitch: Howie Roseman had better hope that Lions rookie DT Alim McNeill isn’t the difference in this game. LOSS
Bowen: There are a lot of Eagles-Lions connections: Duce Staley, Hank Fraley, Dave Fipp on Dan Campbell’s staff; Big V on Fraley’s O-line. Look for Fipp’s special-teamers to block a punt, and he is carried off the field on their shoulders. LOSS
Smith: Hopefully, the Eagles wear something to protect their kneecaps from getting bitten off. I’m not a believer in Jared Goff, so it’s hard to project Detroit being very good this season. WIN
Week 9, Nov. 7: Chargers at Eagles, 4:05 p.m.
McLane: The Eagles had hoped to interview Brandon Staley, but the Chargers wouldn’t allow the former Rams defensive coordinator to leave Los Angeles. Justin Herbert likely made the job more attractive than Philly. LOSS
Domowitch: Who would know better how to throw a wrench into Justin Herbert’s gears than the guy who helped him win the offensive rookie of the year award last season – former Chargers and current Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen? WIN
Bowen: I’ll take Justin Herbert in the matchup with his former offensive coordinator. Asante Samuel Jr. intercepts Jalen Hurts. LOSS
Smith: I am a believer in Justin Herbert. Combine him with a scary duo of edge rushers and a deep, talented secondary, and I don’t see this going well for the Eagles. LOSS
Week 10, Nov. 14: Eagles at Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
McLane: Is it possible Aaron Rodgers ends up in Denver? There’s still time. But the Eagles will likely be facing Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock, a more preferable matchup for a team in need of a victory. WIN
Domowitch: The Eagles’ fourth road game in six weeks trumps the fact that the opposing quarterback is Drew Lock. LOSS
Bowen: After the trade for Aaron Rodgers, this matchup will look different. But that hasn’t happened. So we’ll pretend the Eagles are gonna face (examines roster) Drew Lock. WIN
Smith: The Broncos’ secondary figures to overmatch the road-weary Eagles. If Denver has Aaron Rodgers, its offense will do the same. LOSS
Week 11, Nov. 21: Saints at Eagles, 1 p.m.
McLane: It’s been 18 years since the Eagles faced New Orleans without Drew Brees. The quarterback then? Aaron Brooks. The Birds won that day but have gone 3-7 vs. the Saints since. Sean Payton should have enough for another W. LOSS
Domowitch: Jalen Hurts rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries in his first-start win over the Saints last year. But he’s going to need more than 167 passing yards to beat them this time. WIN
Bowen: I do not foresee sustained Jalen Hurts dominance over Sean Payton’s team. But, Jameis Winston? Tough call. LOSS
Smith: Jalen Hurts’ first start came against the Saints last year, and he did pretty well. The Drew Brees hangover and Hurts’ familiarity with the Saints evens the playing field this year. WIN
Week 12, Nov. 28: Eagles at Giants, 1 p.m.
McLane: The first of back-to-back treks to North Jersey starts a stretch in which the Eagles face divisional foes in five of their last six games. The Giants may offer the Birds their best chance to win in the NFC East. LOSS
Domowitch: The addition of Kenny Golladay and the return of Saquon Barkley are going to make a big, big difference in a Giants offense that finished 31st in scoring last year. LOSS
Bowen: As bad as the Eagles were last season, I was astonished that they lost to the Giants. Everybody seems to like the Giants’ offseason. We’ll see. WIN
Smith: Either DeVonta Smith gets to show the Giants what Howie Roseman swindled them out of, or Adoree’ Jackson makes Roseman regret the Giants swiping him away in free agency. I’ll pick the former. WIN
Week 13, Dec. 5: Eagles at Jets, 1 p.m.
McLane: The additional game comes before what is likely to be a much-needed bye. The Jets, rebuilding as well, could view this contest as one of their best opportunities to score a victory. WIN
Domowitch: Does it get any better than two trips up to the Meadowlands in two weeks? Love me some 12-hour-old Molly Pitcher rest-stop burgers. WIN
Bowen: This arduous two-week Eagles road trip to North Jersey could exact a toll. Let’s hope the Eagles’ bus has E-ZPass. WIN
Smith: The upgrade from Robert Saleh to Adam Gase is significant, but I’ll need to see the Jets actually turn the corner before picking them to do real damage this season. WIN
Week 14: BYE, finally
McLane: The Eagles haven’t had a bye this late into the season in more than 20 years.
Domowitch: 4-11-1 teams get no freaking respect.
Bowen: A late bye is better than a really early bye, I guess. Unless the Eagles are contenders, scheduling the bye here is only helpful for Christmas shopping.
Smith: Hug your loved ones and do those house projects you’ve been putting off this weekend.
Week 15, Dec. 18 or 19: Washington Football Team at Eagles, TBD
McLane: The Football Team may be without a new nickname, but Ron Rivera appears to be building a new identity for a moribund franchise. Still, he lacks a long-term answer under center. WIN
Domowitch: In his last two starts against the Eagles, Ryan Fitzpatrick has a 129.8 passer rating, including seven touchdowns. LOSS
Bowen: You don’t have Nate Sudfeld to kick around anymore, Football Team! WIN
Smith: Ryan Fitzpatrick may have owned Jim Schwartz, but I’m not super worried about that with Gannon in charge. What does worry me is Washington’s defensive front, which could be the best in the league. LOSS
Week 16, Dec. 26: Giants at Eagles, 1 p.m.
McLane: A mini winning streak is possible considering the late-season competition. The health of the Eagles will factor into their success or failure. Could their recent hard luck with injuries end? WIN
Domowitch: The last time the Giants swept the Eagles was in 2007. LOSS
Bowen: Right now I can’t envision the Eagles sweeping anybody, so … LOSS
Smith: By this point in the season, Daniel Jones will have either proved himself as a quality starting quarterback, or he’ll be a dead man walking. I’m guessing the latter is more likely. WIN
Week 17, Jan. 2: Eagles at Washington Football Team, 1 p.m.
McLane: Well, at least the Eagles are assured of playing into January. The first of two games in the new year may not be in the playoffs but could provide valuable information for next season. LOSS
Domowitch: Washington swept the Eagles last year but needed help from Doug Pederson and Nate Sudfeld. WIN
Bowen: I’m guessing only one of these teams will still be alive for a playoff berth. I’m guessing it won’t be the Eagles. LOSS
Smith: By this point, Washington could have the division crown within reach, while the Eagles struggle to stay in the race. I’m still going with the Football Team. LOSS
Week 18, Jan. 9: Cowboys at Eagles, 1 p.m.
McLane: It’s difficult to imagine the Eagles contending for the postseason, but stranger things have happened. The likely scenario is a losing season with some hope for the future. A predicted defeat here has the Birds finishing 7-10 in Sirianni’s first season. LOSS
Domowitch: Jeffrey Lurie likened this retooling season to 2016. Like 2016 with Pederson, the Eagles finish Year 1 of the Sirianni era with back-to-back division wins. WIN
Bowen: Can you tank a Dallas game for draft positioning? I see talk-radio mayhem. LOSS
Smith: The Eagles’ offense will likely be more equipped to play in a high-scoring game by this point in the season, but I’m still taking Dak Prescott over Hurts. LOSS