Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Eagles have gone from being yet another squad in the NFC “Least”, oh sorry, NFC East division to being not only the best team in the division but a true threat in their conference altogether. After having one of the best offseason hauls via the free agency market, draft, and some key trades, Philadelphia has managed to update its roster to the point where discussions about Super Bowl potential have even been thrown around.
With an offensive line that is touted by many experts as the best in the league, an up-and-coming quarterback ready to finally burst out of his shell, a wide receiver core that any other team in the league would love to have, a running game that was pivotal to the team’s late success last season and a defense that is all about the grind, the Eagles are ready to take flight.
Philadelphia Eagles Last Season Performance
After having a 2020 season that saw the Eagles finish out with a 4-11-1 record and more doubts than anything else surrounding the Eagles, Philadelphia took to the 2021 season with a clear goal in mind, improve and try to make a run for the playoffs or call it a day altogether. At first, after amounting to a 3-6 record to start the season, week 10 was the turning point for an Eagles team that rallied behind Jalen Hurts and a run-first offense that took the league by storm.
Six wins in their last eight games saw the Eagles finish out the regular season with a 9-8 record, which ended up being enough for the team to clinch one of the NFC wildcard spots and make it to the playoffs. Once in the postseason, Philadelphia would fall victim to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, but the general feeling around the team was that they were ready to step up and become an actual threat not only in their division but in their conference as well.
Players like C Jason Kelce, CB Darius Slay, DT Javon Hargrave, DE Josh Sweat, and K Jake Elliot would end up receiving Pro Bowl nods while Kelce would also go on to be selected for the All-Pro 1st team and OT Lane Johnson would get an All-Pro 2nd team recognition as well.
Philadelphia Eagles Off Season Changes
The Eagles took to the off-season with a clear goal in mind, buffing up their roster as much as possible to go from pretenders to contenders. GM Howie Roseman and HC Nick Sirianni took a hands-on approach to find the best players to fit with how they wanted the Eagles to look for the season.
Focusing on keeping pivotal starting players in the team who were being lured by the free agency market such as Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox amongst others was the starting point for an Eagles team looking for a new look for their roster. Afterward, using their draft capital as leverage for trades as well as scoring huge picks with their remaining picks, the Eagles were able to become one of the most-upgraded franchises in the league for the upcoming season.
Philadelphia Eagles Key Additions
The name of the game for Philadelphia is A.J. Brown. After concocting a draft day deal with the Titans in exchange for a first-round and third-round pick in said event, the Eagles were able to land one of the best wide receivers in the league, giving Philadelphia’s offense, especially QB Jalen Hurts a premier weapon down the field to play side by side with 2nd year starting receiver DeVonta Smith. While Philly’s offense last season was all about their running game, with the addition of Brown, the Eagles have shown that they are all in for making their offense a more pass-friendly core.
On defense, the signing of former Panthers OLB Haason Reddick to a three-year, $45 million deal, former Giants CB James Bradberry to a one-year $10 million contract, former Chargers ILB Kyzir White to a one-year $5m deal, and former 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt to a 1 year, $2.5 million deal stand out as the most important moves made for their defense to get back to being the dominant unit they used to be just a few years ago.
Philadelphia Eagles Key Subtractions
One thing that the Eagles have been keen on is making sure that they can keep the majority of their roster intact, with their departures being mainly of players that were not necessarily important role players for the team.
Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Analysis
For second-year coach Nick Sirianni, the panorama couldn’t be any better. After having the first year on the job which saw the former Colts OC take Philadelphia back to the playoffs after missing out in 2020, the stage is more than ready for Sirianni and his coaching staff to take the Eagles to the next level. His offense-first coaching style still needs some work around the edges, but in general, we are talking about a young, up-and-coming coach who should have plenty of success coming his way soon.
Sirianni, who has shown to be a coach that’s all about putting the players first and the game second has managed to concoct a squad that is ready to go to battle with him game in and game out. Philadelphia’s coach has made it a point to make sure that his squad knows that he rides and dies with them, even after showing some small character flaws, yes, we’re talking about his small sideline meltdown against Jalen Hurts in their week 15 win over the Commanders last season.
Between his no-nonsense style when it comes to coaching and leading the team, and a roster that looks like it’s been tailor-made for his needs, Sirianni should have no issue taking this team to higher grounds this upcoming season.
Philadelphia Eagles Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
Before the start of the season, the Eagles have only reported one significant injury case on their roster. After suffering a forearm fracture that will sideline him for at least the first three to four games of the season, the Eagles will have to do without their 2nd string left tackle.
For now, Philadelphia will continue to rely on starting LT Jordan Mailata in the hopes of continuing to have the best offensive line in all of pro football.
Philadelphia Eagles Offense
Philadelphia’s true strength on offense comes from having the most dominant offensive line in all of the NFL. It’s mostly thanks to this O-line that QB Jalen Hurts has been able to continue settling in more and more comfortably into his role as the franchise’s QB for the foreseeable future.
Aside from the O-line, Philadelphia should thrive on offense, especially after bringing in former Titans star WR A.J. Brown to pair up with 2nd-year receiver DeVonta Smith to form one of the most explosive receiving corps in the NFC. If you add to that Philadelphia’s already strong running game, which played a pivotal part in the team’s late run towards the playoffs last season, and coach Nick Sirianni’s offense-friendly approach to guiding the team, we could be in for a season in which the Eagles could become one of the most dominant offenses in the league.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense
What has stopped Philly from finally taking over the NFC East division once and for all? Their defense not being able to play at the same level as their offense. Now, that’s not to say that the Eagles don’t have the players to become a dominant defensive unit once again as how they used to be in recent times, but if they wish to truly post a serious threat not only in their division but in the NFC as well, they need their defense to step up and shut down all opposing offenses in their way.
With this said, Philadelphia has taken some very positive steps toward reinforcing all sides of their defensive line. With the addition of players like OLB Hasson Reddick, rookie LB Nakobe Dean, DT Jordan Davis, and CB James Bradberry, both Philadelphia’s main defensive line and their secondary look ready to once again play like their defense back in the early 2000s where they were one of the most feared units in the league.
Philadelphia Eagles Special Teams
In the Special Teams department, the Eagles are lucky enough that their star kicker Jake Elliot will be back again to suit up for Philly. Long snapper Rick Lovato and 2nd-year punter/holder Arryn Siposs will also be suiting up once again for the Eagles, making it a point to keep the base of the unit intact.
On the punt and kick return side, 2nd string running back Kenneth Gainwell will be the man in charge of leading Philadelphia’s offense into the field.
Philadelphia Eagles Prediction for 2022 Season
Philadelphia looks like the best fit to win the NFC East division, that is a given. While it shouldn’t take much for the Eagles to take over their division away from the Cowboys, their main competitors, what matters most is how this team will look once the postseason starts nearing.
The Eagles will need to focus on finding a way to play a solid style of football in which both the offense and defense can come together and perform at the same level of intensity. If they can achieve that feat, Philadelphia could easily become a team nobody will want to face in the postseason. If they don’t, and they end up falling back to their old “about to implode” habits, it will be a crying shame to see such a talented team go to waste.
Philadelphia Eagles Final Thoughts
If there was ever a year in which all the stars decided to align in Philadelphia’s favor, it’s 2022. With a young head coach that has managed in just one season to impose a very personable style to the way the team is coached, putting the players as the main priority, has paid off in huge ways for the team and a roster ready to tear the NFC a new one, how could this not be a perfect year for the Eagles to soar once again?
Philadelphia has been hankering for a chance to once again go in a deep postseason run. If they manage to win their division, once they get to the playoffs, it won’t come as a shock if they end up putting the NFC postseason scene on its head and even manage to sneak into the Super Bowl. That is of course if they can manage to focus on playing their best football and not on cleaning up unnecessary messes.
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Philadelphia Eagles FAQ’s
Should Eagles Fans Get Excited About This Season?
Yes, while in prior years the Eagles were riding on a continuous roller coaster of talent and emotions, this year all signs point towards it being the season in which the Eagles finally take flight and take over the NFC East division. After showing some true signs of potential and growth in the second half of last season, which saw Philadelphia manage to squeeze their way into the postseason, there are more reasons to believe the hype surrounding the team than reasons to doubt.
If you take a look at the NFC East division, the level of competition is nowhere close to being a threat for Philadelphia. With this said, it will be up to the Eagles to be the owners of their own destiny in the league this season. If they can manage to not fall victim to their surroundings, as before in past seasons, then we could be looking at a Philadelphia team that could make it to the Super Bowl.
Will This Be The Season In Which Jalen Hurts Breaks Out at QB?
Jalen Hurts has gone through all stages of being a pro QB in the NFL in his two-year tenure with the Eagles. He rode the bench, he took snaps wherever he could, he took over the starting job for Philadelphia, and last season, he started showing that he has the chops to be the franchise’s signal caller for the foreseeable future.
Now, with a revamped WR core, thanks to the addition of former Titans start receiver A.J. Brown and second-year receiver DeVonta Smith ready to tear it up once again, and what could easily be touted as the best offensive line in the league, Hurts could be in for the year in which he breaks out of his shell and becomes a top-caliber QB in the league.
Should HC Nick Sirianni Be Worried About His Job?
Not at all. After having to take over the team following the firing of now Jaguars coach Doug Pederson in early January of 2021 and with a full season already under his belt as head coach of the Eagles, Sirianni has done plenty to make sure that his job is secured for at least this season.
Now, with a revamped roster that’s hungry for success and with the NFC East title looking as easy as ever to snatch up, if Sirianni can continue to instill his offense-first, player-friendly mentality within the team, then Philadelphia should not have to worry about trying to find a new head coach for the time being.