Dissecting the Eagles five toughest games on their 2023 schedule

Philadelphia Eagles schedule (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles schedule (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

It has been mentioned often that the Philadelphia Eagles 2023 regular-season schedule is among the most difficult in all of the National Football League. If you have been paying attention, you’re also aware that this isn’t a conversation that began during the airing of the NFL Network’s primetime show to celebrate its release

Being a team that won its division last season means Philly plays the schedule of a first-place team from the previous campaign. They also face the members of two of pro football’s tougher divisions, The AFC East and the NFC West. That alone is stating a mouthful.

If they expect to return to football’s biggest game and win, the road for this Eagles team won’t be easy. To equal last year’s success or surpass it, they’ll have to endure a tougher road. That too makes the coming journey intense, and to make matters worse, it can’t be said enough, this year’s schedule is a tougher road than the most recent.

Here’s a look at the five toughest games on the Eagles’ schedule ranked from most winnable to most difficult.

In 2022, the Eagles and the rest of their NFC East rivals played each of the four members of the AFC South: the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans. The Birds went 4-0 versus those teams. This time around, those games are replaced with four meetings with the members of the AFC East.

The Jags qualified for the postseason at the end of the most recent regular season. They also won a playoff game, but the AFC’s southern division ranked among the worst in football. There’s no denying that. There’s also no denying that the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets, who have since added Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, and the New England Patriots, who are coached by Bill Belichick, provide much more difficult matchups.

Philadelphia is still the reigning NFC Champions and should be among the best teams in the league. Not every game will be impossible. No matchup in the NFL is an automatic win or loss, so the games will have to be played. Anything can happen which makes football one of the most exciting sports, but as of right now, five games provide a larger test than the others.

Here they are ranked from most winnable to most difficult.

5. New York Jets

After defeating Aaron Rodgers as a member of the Green Bay Packers last season, it seemed the Eagles might be able to avoid the future Hall of Famer in 2023. No dice. He’s with the Jets now, and he hopes to bring his new team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Philadelphia has had remarkable success against the Jets’ organization going 12-0 all-time, but Rodgers adds some punch to an offense, and New York’s defense presents a bigger challenge than in years past. The Eagles have only won two out of their last six games against Rodgers. He has thrown 14 career touchdowns and five interceptions during their meetings.

He also owns a 104 passer rating in his seven games versus Philly. He can put up points, so the Eagles’ offense and Jalen Hurts will need to be on their A-game to get by him.

4. Buffalo Bills

It’s been four years since the Eagles last played the Bills. 31-13 was the final score on that day. Buffalo’s quarterback Josh Allen has since evolved into one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler. He has gotten his team into the realm of Super Bowl contenders and is constantly among MVP favorites.

The knock against the Bills is their struggles during the postseason. They are still one of the best teams in the NFL, especially during the regular season. Buffalo has racked up double-digit win totals in each of the past four years. Luckily, the Eagles will play them at home in Week 12.

3. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas is one of Philly’s most hated rivals and always gives the Eagles a hard time. They split the series last year with each team winning in their home stadium. Both claim to have been shorthanded in the losses (and they were) Dallas was without quarterback Dak Prescott in Philly’s Week 6 win. The Eagles were without Jalen Hurts in their Week 16 loss in Arlington.

The Cowboys lead the all-time series by a 73-55 margin, and that includes victories in four of the last five games. The Eagles have not recorded a win in Texas since their Super Bowl-winning season in 2017. The two teams will battle it out in Week 9 and Week 14 in 2023.

2. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers visit Philadelphia in Week 13 with hopes of avenging their NFC Championship Game loss. San Francisco’s fans, players, and coaches have taken that defeat very personally and, at times, have done so immaturely. Losing Brock Purdy to injury helped lead to a 31-7 Eagles victory and a berth in Super Bowl LVII.

Since then, we have seen tons of bulletin board material from Northern California. Here are some remarks from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. “I am glad we’re not playing Philly Week 1. I want to play them at a better time. I want to make sure our whole team is right there. … We feel like we didn’t get to do it last time, and I’m ready to go back again.”

His players’ comments and those on local radio have been worse. This one is getting personal. The Eagles will also face their former teammate Javon Hargrave. He joined San Francisco as a free agent this offseason. It will be a difficult matchup and could mean a lot when it comes to NFC standings.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Unsurprisingly, the team that cost the Eagles their second Lombardi Trophy is the toughest game on the 2023 schedule. This one is a primetime road game in Kansas City, one on Monday Night Football. Philadelphia hasn’t beaten the Chiefs since 2009. They are also looking for their first-ever win over their former head coach Andy Reid.

Philly fans know all too well the kind of talent Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has. He was the league MVP and Super Bowl MVP last year. Mahomes is surrounded by tons of weapons on offense, so it’ll be a huge test for Philadelphia’s defense and new defensive coordinator Sean Desai.