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Breaking down the Eagles' 2020 opponents

The 2019 season has come and gone for the Eagles, meaning it is now time to turn the page to 2020, where the goal is to once again scale to the top of the NFL mountain.

But in order to ascend to that level once again, the Eagles will have to endure some seemingly tough terrain.

Having a tough slate of opponents is to be expected for a division champion, as other division champions await. In total, the Eagles will face five playoff teams from 2019. But this road seems especially difficult – specifically when looking at the quarterbacks the Eagles will face in 2020.

As of this writing, the opposing quarterbacks on the Eagles' schedule for 2020 have been selected to a combined 38 Pro Bowls and have won four Super Bowl titles. The non-Pro Bowl signal-callers feature a bevy of upstarts who have shown flashes of greatness in their brief careers.

Let's see what quarterbacks and more await the Eagles in 2020:

Home opponents

Baltimore Ravens

All-time record vs. Ravens: 2-2-1

Obviously, the first thing to take note of when facing the Ravens is dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson, who Baltimore selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft – a pick they gained via a trade with the Eagles.

Despite a disappointing showing in the Divisional Round, Jackson's 2019 season was unlike anything the NFL has ever seen before from the quarterback position. Jackson finished sixth in the league with 1,206 rushing yards – a single-season record for a QB – and led the league in touchdown passes with 36.

The Ravens' offense is predicated on running the football, evidenced by the fact that they gained the most rushing yards in a single season in NFL history with 3,296. However, the Eagles counter that with one of the best run defenses in the league.

An interesting note about the series between these two teams is that they have traded victories since their first meeting back in 1997, which resulted in a 10-10 tie. The Ravens won the previous meeting in 2016, 27-26. Will the Eagles continue that trend in 2020?

Cincinnati Bengals

All-time record vs. Bengals: 3-9-1

A team that finished a league-worst 2-14 may not send shivers down fans' spines right away, but it means they have been granted with the first overall pick in the ensuing draft.

What the Bengals will do with said pick obviously remains to be seen, but all indications point to them selecting a quarterback, which could provide a jolt of energy into the entire organization, potentially making this game tougher than it looks at the moment.

This may come as a surprise to some, but the Eagles have not beaten the Bengals since December 24, 2000. Since then, the Eagles' meetings with the Bengals have resulted in a trio of lopsided losses and a tie.

Los Angeles Rams

All-time record vs. Rams: 22-19-1

The Rams have had a pretty good run of success in recent years, but if there's one team that has caused them fits during that span, it has been the Eagles.

The Eagles won both meetings between Doug Pederson and Sean McVay, and have won six in a row over the Rams overall. The Eagles scored 30 or more points in five of those victories.

The Rams' trip to Lincoln Financial Field will be their first since 2014. It will also be their first since they moved back to Los Angeles back in 2016.

New Orleans Saints

All-time record vs. Saints: 17-15

Ever since Sean Payton and Drew Brees arrived in New Orleans, they have been a thorn in the Eagles' side. The Eagles have only beaten the Saints twice since 2006 and the Saints have knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs three times in the same time span.

The challenge of facing the Saints begins with Michael Thomas, who set the NFL single-season receptions record with 149 in 2019. That came a year after he caught 125. The last time the Eagles faced Thomas, he caught 12 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown.

Everyone knows Thomas is getting the ball, but no one has found an answer on how to stop him. If the Eagles are going to finally topple the Saints, they must find that answer.

Seattle Seahawks

All-time record vs. Seahawks: 7-11

Revenge will be on the Eagles' mind when they host the Seahawks once again at Lincoln Financial Field. As Eagles fans fully know, the Seahawks came into Philadelphia twice in the 2019 season and won both contests by a score of 17-9 – the second of which ended the Eagles' season.

Unfortunately, the Eagles' troubles with Seattle go well beyond 2019. The Eagles have not secured a win over the Seahawks since 2008. The Eagles haven't beaten the Seahawks at home since Week 1 of the 1989 season at old Veterans Stadium.

The top priority for the Eagles will be slowing down quarterback Russell Wilson, whom they have never beaten. Wilson didn't have spectacular games against the Eagles in 2019, but his ability to extend plays routinely gave the Eagles fits.

Road opponents

Arizona Cardinals

All-time record vs. Cardinals: 56-59-5

This will mark the first time the Eagles get to face former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. It will also be the first time the Eagles' defense will face a Kliff Kingsbury offense, which showed some flashes of excitement in 2019.

With both Murray and Kingsbury entering Year 2 in the NFL, it is reasonable to expect the Cardinals' offense to take a step forward in 2020.

A safe expectation is that Chandler Jones will cause problems for the Eagles' offense. Jones has put up double-digit sacks in each of his last five seasons, including a career-high 19 in 2019. But the most troubling stat for the Eagles is that Jones also forced eight fumbles. Jones and his ability to create turnovers will be a point of emphasis when this meeting rolls around.

Cleveland Browns

All-time record vs. Browns: 17-31

The last time the Eagles played the Browns, it was the beginning of the Doug Pederson-Carson Wentz era in Philadelphia.

Since then, the Eagles have enjoyed three consecutive trips to the postseason – one ending in a Super Bowl title – and the Browns are still looking to return to the postseason for the first time since 2002.

But the Browns have a much different tenor this time around. Yes, the Browns will be on their third head coach (fourth if you count Gregg Williams when he coached under the interim tag) since the 2016 season opener, but they now have a foundation of talent that makes them a tough opponent for any team in the league.

That talent starts with quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has yet to reach the superstar stratosphere of Brees, Jackson, or Wilson, but has the physical tools to get there one day.

Green Bay Packers

All-time record vs. Packers: 17-28

The Eagles will travel to Lambeau Field for the second year in a row in 2020 and hope to once again come away with a victory. In the previous matchup, the Eagles' run game ruled the day, as the Eagles totaled 176 yards on the ground.

The major thing to watch for the Eagles will be the Aaron Rodgers-Davante Adams connection. Rodgers threw for 422 yards with Adams being responsible to 180 of them on 10 receptions. If the playoffs are any indication, that connection isn't slowing down anytime soon.

Pittsburgh Steelers

All-time record vs. Steelers: 48-28-3

If Ben Roethlisberger returns to form in 2020, he, along with the rest of the weapons on the Steelers' offense, will obviously present problems for the Eagles.

However, the unit to watch in Pittsburgh is its defense. The Steelers may not have the second coming of the Steel Curtain, but it is a unit that led the league in takeaways (38), was fifth in points per game (18.9), third in passing yards per game (194.6). Young studs such as T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Devin Bush anchor the defense.

The Eagles were the last team to win two in a row in this series back in 1997 and 2000. Since 2004, however, the two Pennsylvania franchises have been swapping victories with the Eagles taking their most recent matchup back in 2016.

San Francisco 49ers

All-time record vs. 49ers: 13-19-1

Regardless of what happens in the NFC Championship Game (and potentially beyond), the 49ers have the look of a team that will be at or near the top of the NFC for quite some time.

They're stout on both sides of the trenches, they're explosive at the skill positions, and they have a young quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo who is still growing into his own.

The Eagles have fared well against Kyle Shanahan operations in the recent past. The Eagles' biggest win of the 2016 season came over a Falcons team that had Shanahan running the offense.

The Eagles then dominated the Shanahan-led 49ers in 2017, holding them to 238 total yards. Granted, the 49ers' personnel has changed dramatically since then.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

All-time record vs. Cowboys: 53-69

The Eagles exorcised some demons in 2019 when they defeated the Cowboys in Week 16 to end a four-game losing streak to their division rival and put them on top of the NFC East for good.

However, the Cowboys will look a little different in 2020.

The most obvious change is at head coach with Mike McCarthy taking over for Jason Garrett. McCarthy brings with him an impressive resume, which includes a Super Bowl Championship with the Packers.

But what other changes will be on the horizon? Quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are not under contract for the 2020 season as of this writing.

And what changes will McCarthy bring to the Cowboys' offense from a schematic standpoint? All of those situations will be interesting to watch once the 2020 season rolls around.

New York Giants

All-time record vs. Giants: 88-86-2

The Eagles-Giants rivalry dates all the way back to Eagles' first NFL game back on October 15, 1933. But with a sweep of the Giants in 2019, the Eagles now lead the all-time series between the two franchises for the first time ever.

The Eagles' seven-game winning streak over the Giants definitely helped in reaching that feat.

The Giants will look reverse their recent misfortune against the Eagles with new head coach Joe Judge, who takes over a team that features young talent such as quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley but has not boasted a winning season since 2016.

Interesting note: Unless Eli Manning somehow returns to the Giants next season, 2020 will be the first time the Eagles face an Eli Manning-less Giants team since 2003.

Washington Redskins

All-time record vs. Redskins: 80-86-6

Rounding out the trio of NFC East foes is the Redskins, who also have a new head coach in Ron Rivera. Rivera will be tasked with succeeding with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, who looked like every bit of the first-round pick he was against the Eagles late in the season.

Rivera will also be tasked with beating the Eagles for the first time since 2016. The Eagles have won six in a row against Washington.

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