Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

NFL hands Carson Wentz, Eagles a brutal schedule

Eliot Shorr-Parks
April 18, 2019 - 8:35 am

The schedule makers did the Eagles no favors if they were hoping to ride a hot start in 2019 to catapult them to Super Bowl contenders like they did in 2017. 

The team’s 2019 schedule was released on Wednesday night and although the schedule overall is a manageable one, it does present the team with a brutal stretch to start, the last thing this team needed as they try to jump start Carson Wentz’s time back on the field as franchise quarterback. 

After a home date against Washington to start the season, the Eagles then go on a stretch of five road games in seven weeks, including one trip on Thursday night to Green Bay. This is the fifth time in six years they have had to make a trip for the Thursday game, something the franchise can’t be happy about. 

After Green Bay the the has a quick stop home for a context against the Jets before going on a three-game stretch that could decide the season. The Eagles will be on the road from Weeks 6 through 8, making consecutive trips to Minnesota, Dallas and Buffalo. That is an extremely tough stretch, as both Minnesota and Dallas will be crucial games on the schedule no matter where they landed. Having them back-to-back so early on in the season puts the Eagles at a serious disadvantage in both contests. 

Placing the trip to Buffalo at the end of this trip takes what should have been a very winnable game for the Eagles and make it a tough one. Playing three straight road games in the NFL is never easy. They are the only team in the league that has to do it in 2019. Ending the trip against an unfamiliar AFC foe makes the stretch that much more difficult. Almost anywhere else on the schedule the game against Buffalo would look like an automatic win. Now, not so much. 

In his career, Wentz has been on the road for 20 games and at home for 20. His record in Philadelphia is an impressive 15-5, but he stands just 8-12 on the road, with some of his worst losses coming outside of Lincoln Financial Field. Last season, Wentz couldn’t get the job done in Dallas, Tennessee or New Orleans. In 2017, when he was playing he best, he lost in Kansas City and in Seattle. Wentz having to face trips to Atlanta, Green Bay, Dallas, Minnesota and Buffalo will be a serious test, and they all come before the Bye Week. 

A quick look at the schedule shows that Wentz and the Eagles could very well have a slow start to the season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them hover around .500 the first half of the year or enter the Bye Week at 5-4. Considering the pressure that is on Wentz, and how badly this team needs a quick start to avoid the drama that has centered around their quarterback the last year, a slow start is the last thing they need. The NFL seems to have tried their best to make sure they stumble out of the gate. 

The good news is that the second half of the schedule, especially the last month, gives the Eagles to make up any ground they might need to for the postseason. Of the Eagles last five games, four are in the division and only one is against a team that expects to make a run at the playoffs — and they get that game against the Dallas Cowboys at home. 

The key will be getting to the final month still in the playoff picture, something that won’t be easy to do considering what the schedule makers handed them. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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