The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off of one of their most perplexing seasons in recent memory. Finishing the season with a 9-7 record, head coach Doug Pederson‘s team was able to escape into the playoffs after having a number of significant players miss time due to injury. Philadelphia had their season ended by the Seattle Seahawks in a 17-9 loss that felt indicative of how the season went. Quarterback Carson Wentz was knocked out of the game in the first quarter and the Eagles failed to generate any offense because of it. Wentz’s injury was just another on the list of players that finished the year hurt. Each of Brandon Brooks, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Malik Jackson, and Ronald Darby all finished the year on injured reserve as well.
Now entering 2020, the Eagles are looking to retain their NFC East crown. However, they are fighting an uphill battle with one of the more challenging schedules, for a contending team. Their scheduled opponents had just a .486 winning percentage in 2019 but most have made significant roster upgrades over the off-season. General manager Howie Roseman has made his own upgrades to the perhaps the team’s two most necessary positions: wide receiver, and cornerback. The additions of Marquise Goodwin and Jalen Reagor give the receiver corps a ton of speed while the acquisition of Darius Slay should be the shutdown corner Jim Schwartz has been looking to add. Slay is maybe the most talented corner the Eagles have rostered since maybe Asante Samuel.
These are the Philadelphia Eagles easiest games of 2020.
Philadelphia Eagles Easiest Games of 2020
9. Week 8: vs Dallas Cowboys
The first of two games between the perceived front runners in the NFC East, the Eagles get the Cowboys and Dak Prescott in an environment they were uncomfortable in last year. Despite finishing with an 8-8 record, Dallas went an underwhelming 2-5 in outdoor games — with their only two victories coming against the combined 7-25 Giants and Redskins. The Cowboys did, however, make one of the largest ‘in your face’ moves during the off-season when they snatched Oklahoma wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb, with their 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Lamb was likely a high target on the Eagles draft board. Instead, Roseman opted to stand pat and go with Reagor. He and the rest of Philadelphia’s new receivers should hold an upper hand against a Byron Jones-less Cowboys team at the Linc.
10. Week 5: at Pittsburgh Steelers
For the first time in a while, this year’s Steelers are a team trending in the wrong direction. Their offense is thinner behind an aging offensive line and a 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger coming off of major elbow surgery, while their defense lost maybe the most underrated defensive tackle in the NFL in Javon Hargrave (to the Eagles) and made no significant upgrades through free agency and the draft. With that said, Pittsburgh is still a team playing under one of the most successful active coaches in the league in Mike Tomlin and has a number of returning stars coming off the greatest seasons of their careers — T.J Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Tomlin coached teams are never an easy out and the 2020 Steelers will likely be putting up a fight in every game again. Pittsburgh finished 2019 playing in 11 one-score games but were 0-6 against playoff teams.
11. Week 16: vs Washington Redskins
Over the last five seasons, the Redskins-Eagles rivalry has not really been much of a rivalry. During that time span, the two teams have split the season series just once. That came in 2014 when the Eagles took the first game between the two. The Redskins would then go on to win the next five straight games starting Week 16 of that season. Since then, Philadelphia has owned the season series — winning six straight games from 2017-2019. Washington is still in the middle stages of the rebuilding phase but adding another elite playmaker in second-overall draft choice Chase Young should continue to help the Redskins work towards becoming a formidable opponent. Adding Young to an already solid pass rush of Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat will at least add another dynamic playmaker to the unit that finished 10th in sacks and 13th in quarterback hits a season ago.
12. Week 15: at Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals made one of the largest splashes of the off-season when they acquired DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans but are still a team that is far from a Super Bowl contender. Adding Hopkins to Kyler Murray‘s already solid arsenal of weapons will make the Cardinals a fun team to watch on offense but they still have a number of question marks outside of its specialty positions. Arizona’s offensive line will likely rank in the bottom-12 in the NFL again, the front-seven is bringing in potentially five new starters, and the secondary saw no significant additions to a unit that finished second-worst in passing yards allowed in 2019. Unless Murray has a breakout season in the realm of Lamar Jackson‘s 2019 campaign, the Cardinals will still look like a rebuilding team next season.
13. Week 3: vs Cincinnati Bengals
While the Bengals are coming off a season in which they posted the worst record in pro football, they made a number of significant additions that could make them a tough out in a number of games next season. Getting a quarterback in Joe Burrow, who is coming off maybe the best season by a college football player ever, will at least give them a different look than the team that hasn’t finished a season with a winning record since 2015. The Bengals first-round pick from a year ago, Jonah Williams, will also presumably be starting at left tackle. Cincinnati looks to be on the uptick but going from 2-14 to a competitive football team in just one muddled off-season should be very tough. The Eagles are the superior team on both offense and defense and should show it in this matchup.
14. Week 10: at New York Giants
If there’s one thing the Giants did this off-season, it was add players that are going to contribute to their roster next season. Adding Andrew Thomas through the draft will give the Giants an NFL ready blindside tackle for Daniel Jones and should, at a minimum, be an upgrade from Mike Remmers. They then added three big contributors on defense in Blake Martinez, James Bradberry, and second-round pick Xavier McKinney. Martinez is one of the NFL’s most productive tacklers while Bradberry and McKinney should help improve the NFL’s sixth-worst pass defense from a season ago. Joe Judge‘s new team made a significant roster improvement over the off-season and should at least make them a tougher opponent than last season if Jones fixes his fumbling problems.
15. Week 1: at Washington Redskins
As previously mentioned, the Eagles have owned the Redskins over the past three seasons. Their Week 1 matchup in Washington will be the NFL’s first real look at Ron Rivera‘s new team but FedFex Field has not felt like a home-field advantage for the Skins of late. Last year, Eagles fans took over Washington’s home stadium during Week 15 in what felt like maybe one of Philly’s best wins of the year. Having a presumed empty stadium Week 1 almost seems highly beneficial to the Skins. Washington is 1-6 in their last seven season openers while the Eagles are 8-1 in their last nine — currently riding a four-game winning streak. A new head coach should help get the best out of second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins but there aren’t enough pieces in Washington yet for them to compete for a playoff spot next season.
16. Week 7: vs New York Giants
Usually, NFL divisional rivalries are close but in the case of the Eagles-Giants one, it really isn’t. Over the past six seasons, the two teams have played 12 times with Philadelphia winning every game but one in 2016. The Eagles dominance is surprising considering eight of the games have been decided by one score but sheer dominance in most divisional matchups simply doesn’t exist in the NFL. New York has taken just five games from Philly – of their 24 – since the beginning of the 2008 season and that trend doesn’t look like it’s going to change in 2020. The Eagles hold positional group advantages at maybe every position outside of running back but also outgained the Giants on the ground last season by 15.9 yards per game. This is a lower pressure game for Philly at home and they should take it handily.