Sunday afternoon reference material.
The first Sunday of the 2021 NFL regular season is HERE! That means it’s time to run through a Philadelphia Eagles-focused rooting guide for all of the Week 1 games. This exercise will be especially interesting this year since the Birds have more things to care about than usual due to owning high picks from the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts in the 2022 NFL Draft.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at ATLANTA FALCONS: Always ideal to start the season 1-0. Root for the Eagles, duh.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS at WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM: Everyone loves to hype up the Dallas Cowboys but the reigning division champs might be a better team than they are. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a big upgrade on the dreck that Washington was trotting out at quarterback last year and that defense is still pretty good. If the Eagles are going to contend for the NFC East, they’ll need Washington to take a step back. Root for the Chargers.
DENVER BRONCOS at NEW YORK GIANTS: There might be a point where the Eagles want the Giants to not lose so that New York doesn’t get too high of a pick in next year’s draft. For now, though, the Eagles should want the Giants to lose. Root for the Broncos.
DRAFT PICK WATCH
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: The Eagles own the Colts’ second-round pick next year … unless Carson Wentz 1) plays 75% of Indy’s snaps or 2) he plays 70% of Indy’s snaps AND they make the playoffs. Then the Eagles own the Colts’ first-round pick. Unlike with the Dolphins, it’s not as simple as the Eagles constantly rooting against the Colts. Because, at some point, Indy has incentive to bench Wentz to make sure they keep their first-round pick. It feels safe to root against the Colts to start out. If they beat Seattle, that might mean they’re a good team, and Eagles fans shouldn’t want that to be the case. Root for the Seahawks.
MIAMI DOLPHINS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: The Eagles own the Dolphins’ first-round pick next year. The more the Dolphins lose, the better it is for Philly. Root for the Patriots.
ARIZONA CARDINALS at TENNESSEE TITANS: The Titans should arguably be considered AFC South favorites. It’d be good to see them win that division to keep Indy away from that title. Also doesn’t hurt to see an NFC competitor lose. Root for the Titans.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at HOUSTON TEXANS: Of these two teams, one could argue the Jags have the better chance of winning the AFC South. Not that that’s a likely outcome. Still, root for whichever team is better to give the Colts more competition in their division. Root for the Jaguars.
NEW YORK JETS at CAROLINA PANTHERS: AFC team over the NFC team. More playoff competition for the Dolphins and Colts, less for the Eagles. Root for the Jets.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS at CINCINNATI BENGALS: AFC team over the NFC team. More playoff competition for the Dolphins and Colts, less for the Eagles. Root for the Bengals.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS at BUFFALO BILLS: The Bills are favorites to win the AFC East. It’d be preferable to see them repeat and keep the Dolphins out of that top spot. Root for the Bills.
CHICAGO BEARS at LOS ANGELES RAMS: The Rams are the bigger threat in the NFC so a Bears win is preferable. Not to mention that the Giants own Chicago’s first-round pick and it would be concerning if that’s a really high selection. Root for the Bears.
NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at DETROIT LIONS: The 49ers come to Philly next weekend. Unless you’re worried about a desperation factor, it’d be preferable to have them arrive at 0-1. Because if they lose to the Lions, they’re probably just not a very good team. Root for the Lions.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: The Packers are a bigger threat in the NFC so it wouldn’t be terrible for the Saints to pull off a fluky upset. Except for having to see Sean Payton’s smug smile. Root for the Saints.
CLEVELAND BROWNS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Both strong contenders to make the playoffs. Doesn’t really matter but it could be more fun to root for the underdog(pound). Root for the Browns.
BALTIMORE RAVENS at LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: The Ravens are probably bigger threats to make the playoffs, leaving one less spot for the Colts and/or Dolphins. Root for the Ravens.