PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles won’t have to board an airplane after Week 10 of the season, they play just two nationally televised night games, have a late bye, and, upon returning from the week off, play four straight games against their NFC East Division rivals.
These are just some of the takeaways from the team’s schedule that was released on Wednesday night along with the schedules of the rest of the 31 teams. It is the first time an NFL schedule has 17 regular-season games.
There are also three preseason games on the schedule, two of which will be at Lincoln Financial Field with the first against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 12 followed by the New England Patriots on Aug. 19. Both are slated to start at 7:30 p.m.
The date of the third exhibition game is still to be determined but is scheduled to be against the New York Jets.
Preseason games did not take a place last summer due to the pandemic.
The Eagles' schedule is the weakest in the league, per Pro Football Focus, with its opponents combining for a 117-155 (.430 percent) record in 2020. Of course, the Eagles only won four games themselves, so it's a schedule well deserved.
Earlier in the day, the NFL handed out a morsel when it released the openers for all 32 teams. The Eagles drew a road date against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 12.
The 1 p.m. game will pit two of the league’s first-year coaches in Nick Sirianni and Atlanta’s Arthur Smith. They are both rookie head coaches as well.
The game will mark the pro debut of Kyle Pitts, the marvelously gifted tight end who grew up in the Eagles’ backyard. Pitts was raised in Abington but attended Archbishop Wood High School in neighboring Warminster.
The openers for the Eagles’ three division rivals have the Cowboys playing on Thursday night at the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then, on Sept. 12, the Giants hosting the Broncos at 4:30 and the defending division champ Washington Football Team hosting the Los Angeles Chargers at 1 p.m.
The Falcons are somewhat of a different opener for the Eagles, who have begun three of the previous four seasons against the WFT.
This year, the Eagles aren’t scheduled to play WFT until Week 15 then will play them again two weeks later in Washington in Week 17. In between those games is a home game against the New York Giants.
The regular season will conclude with a home game against the Cowboys in the first-ever Week 18.
Three of their final four games are at home.
Before their bye in Week 14, the Eagles will set up shop at the Meadowlands in North Jersey, with a game against the Giants in Week 12 (Nov. 28) followed by a game against the Jets in Week 13 (Dec. 5).
The Eagles’ road trip to Denver on Nov. 14 in Week 10 will be the last time they will have to fly to play a game. they will return from Denver to host the New Orleans Saints.
The two nationally televised night games come early, with the Eagles traveling to Dallas to meet the Cowboys on Monday Night Football on Sept. 26 then hosting the Bucs on Thursday Night Football, Oct. 14.
With so few primetime games, the Eagles have 11 games at 1 p.m., though flex scheduling later in the season can impact them should they exceed the low expectations established for them.
Some other scheduling highlights include:
- In addition to the Falcons’ Smith, the Eagles will play three other first-year head coaches in the Lions’ Dan Campbell, the Chargers’ Brandon Staley, and the Jets’ Robert Saleh.
- Andy Reid will bring his Kansas City Chiefs to town on Oct. 3.
- A trip to Las Vegas to play the Raiders.
- Rookie QB Trey Lance could be making his second career start when the 49ers come to town in Week 2.
- The cornerback most mock drafts had the Eagles taking in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Jaycee Horn, will matchup against QB Jalen Hurts when the Carolina Panthers play host on Oct. 10.
EAGLES 2021 SCHEDULE:
Sept. 12: Eagles at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. FOX
Sept. 19: San Francisco 49ers at Eagles, 1 p.m. FOX
Sept. 27: (MNF) Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ESPN
Oct. 3: Kansas City Chiefs at Eagles, 1 p.m. CBS
Oct. 10: Eagles at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. FOX
Oct. 14: (TNF) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Eagles, 8:20 p.m. FOX/NFLN/Amazon
Oct. 24: Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m. FOX
Oct. 31: Eagles at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. FOX
Nov. 7: Los Angles Chargers at Eagles, 4:05 p.m. CBS
Nov. 14: Eagles at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m.
Nov. 21: New Orleans Saints at Eagles, 1 p.m. FOX
Nov. 28: Eagles at New York Giants, 1 p.m. FOX
Dec. 5: Eagles at New York Jets, 1 p.m. CBS
Dec. 12: BYE
Dec. 18 or 19 (TBD): Washington Football Team at Eagles, TBD
Dec. 26: New York Giants at Eagles, 1 p.m. FOX
Jan. 2: Eagles at Washington Football Team, 1 p.m. FOX
Jan. 9: Dallas Cowboys at Eagles, 1 p.m. FOX
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze