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The NFL season is still a ways away (115 days to be exact, but who’s counting). The NFL schedule release has ramped up excitement for football fans everywhere.
On paper, the Eagles have a pretty easy schedule. They’ll face some subpar opponents in the early stages of the season, before facing a handful of playoff contenders following their Week 7 BYE. Nevertheless, there are several matchups that will certainly be worth the hype.
Let’s rank the top-5 most anticipated matchups for the Eagles heading into the 2022 season.
5. Week 12: Eagles vs. Packers, SNF 8:20 p.m.
Aaron Rodgers and his packers will travel to Philly for a late season primetime matchup this year and it figures to be a good one.
Though there are some pundits that believe the Packers have regressed a bit this offseason, the fact of the matter is they still have their most important piece in Rodgers, along with a potentially top-5 defense on the other side of the ball. The Eagles, on the other hand, have been getting a good amount of love following the NFL Draft, and rightfully so. Howie Roseman has built a strong football team over the past two offseasons. Coming off a surprise playoff season, expectations should be high entering 2022.
Heading into Week 12, both teams should be in playoff contention. With the pedigree that Rodgers and the Packers brand has, this will be a prove-it game for Jalen Hurts and his Eagles. Can Hurts go tit for tat with an elite quarterback? Is the Eagles defense improved enough to hinder an elite quarterback from shredding them? This game will tell us a lot about how far this Eagles team can go in 2022.
And to top it all off, the matchup will be on Sunday night for the entire country to see.
4. Week 2: Eagles vs. Vikings, MNF 8:30 p.m.
The 2022 home opener, Monday Night Football, the first time Eagles fans will hear Joe Buck and Troy Aikman broadcast their game under their new roles with ESPN. Not to mention the two teams taking center stage in this matchup. Kirk Cousins always seems to punch above his weight when he faces the Eagles. This time around, he’ll have the ghost of draft’s past as his primary weapon, Justin Jefferson.
I don’t need to remind anyone why Jefferson is relevant here in Philly despite playing in Minnesota. But, I have a feeling Jefferson himself will give us a friendly reminder in this contest. I expect a high scoring affair, with both quarterbacks showing off their shiny new toys on the outside.
Regardless if the Eagles win or lose this game, it’s sure to be an exciting home debut for the 2022 squad.
3. Week 4: Eagles vs. Jaguars, Sunday 1 p.m.
One of the many headliners that populate the early portion of the Eagles schedule will be Doug Pederson’s return to The Linc in Week 4. As the only head coach in Eagles history to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, Douggie P will get a lot of cheers come game time. But once the game is underway, all bets are off.
Jacksonville has been a bottom dweller for the past few years — they’ve literally had the No. 1 overall selection in back-to-back drafts. But, the Jaguars have added several pieces this offseason to help Trevor Lawrence along with his development. The addition of Pederson as the head coach alone should help Lawrence navigate through year two. I wouldn’t be shocked if he has a Pro Bowl caliber season.
It’s easy to write this one off as an easy win, but I’m not so sure that it will be that easy. The Jaguars have talent on both sides of the ball, believe it or not. By Week 4, those new faces should be fully acclimated to Pederson’s offense, which could cause problems for the Eagles questionable secondary.
I can’t remember that last time an Eagles-Jaguars matchup was considered ‘highly anticipated,’ but this one checks all the boxes. Super Bowl winning coach coming back to town with his new team, two young quarterbacks that should provide a lot of excitement, in front of what should be a raucous Philadelphia crowd.
2. Week 16: Eagles at Cowboys, Christmas Eve 4:25 p.m.
This contest could very well decide the NFC East. The fact that it’ll be played on Christmas Eve is just a nice bonus.
The Eagles haven’t beaten the Cowboys in Jerry World since the Super Bowl year, when they dismantled Dallas 37-9. Since that game, the Eagles have a 2-7 record against Dallas, not to mention they’ve lost three straight heading into 2022. It’s about time the Eagles buck the trend and give all of us fans a nice early Christmas present.
The Eagles and Cowboys have gone in two different directions this offseason. Philly has vastly improved their roster from top to bottom, while the Cowboys have lost several key starters and have several question marks heading into the year. The division is there for the taking, and this matchup will more than likely determine who walks away with the division title in 2022.
1. Week 10: Eagles vs. Commanders, MNF 8:15 p.m.
The script writes itself for this one. Carson Wentz will make his return to Philly for first time since his departure, in front of a hectic Philly crowd and under the Monday Night Football lights. While it would be great to see the Eagles mop the floor with Wentz and his new team, I have a feeling we’re going to get a little of 2017 Carson in this one.
The game will certainly be a tight one, with both teams exchanging leads throughout the duration of the contest. Hell, maybe it even goes to overtime. It would be fitting.
Most seem to believe Wentz will get nothing but boos once this game rolls around, but I actually think there will be some who give Wentz some warranted cheers. Say what you want about the guy, there is no Super Bowl title if he didn’t play at en elite level in 2017. It’s just a fact.
There isn’t anything better than a good revenge game and I’m sure both sides feel slighted by the other. This is easily the most anticipated game of the 2022 season for me, and I’m sure many of you share the same sentiment.