As the 2022 regular season is quickly approaching, there are a lot of question marks surrounding all 32 teams. One team with a considerable amount of attention would be the Philadelphia Eagles– this being their possible breakout season. The Eagles filled in key positions in their defense with the draft and free agency, as well as adding superstar WR (Wide Receiver) AJ Brown. With that being said, there are still tons of questions for this franchise.
Last season was an up and down season that ended with the Eagles finishing 9-8 and falling to The Buccaneers in the Wild Card round. All of their weaknesses got exposed throughout that game and the regular season against strong opponents. Even though they got it together offensively with the running game making it easier for Jalen Hurts to feel comfortable, the defense put a lot of pressure on the offense with the inability to get stops when needed. Although they ranked 9th in rushing defense and 11th in passing defense, they ranked 18th last year overall defensively but 25th on conversion defense. They would do everything correctly but could not get it done on 3rd downs as well as a 66.7% conversion rate in the red zone. A big reason for the defensive problem was the Linebackers which were among the worst in the NFL last year. Pass rushing was a big issue with them getting only 29 sacks last year and being ranked 31st in the league. Now they get major help with Haason Riddick, Kyzir White, And Nakobe Dean. Also, getting a steal in Jordan Davis to help up front this defense will surely erase that low this year if all goes according to plan. Lastly, putting someone next to Darius Slay they added James Bradberry and with the improvements from Anthony Harris. Keep an eye out for this defense this year as they look to be one of the best not only in their division but the entire NFL.
Another one of the Eagles’ struggles since winning their first Super Bowl is their Wide Receivers or lack thereof. Before drafting DeVonta Smith they were highly criticized for their recent draft woes with passing on Justin Jefferson and DK Metcalf. However, last year you could spot a difference of something special brewing. DeVonta Smith is a special talent that won a Heisman with his time at Alabama and he showed flashes of what he can do last year. He finished the year with 916 yards and 5 touchdowns surpassing Desean Jackson for most yards for a rookie in franchise history. Now with the surprising draft night trade for Pro Bowl WR AJ Brown, the two receivers will not have to worry about much attention without the other being able to take advantage. Having Dallas Godert, who has emerged as the next star TE for the team, will really be difficult for teams to double team any of them. The slot man is Quez Watkins who helped a ton last year as well and it only gets easier for all of these guys.
Finally we analyze the guy that everyone is excited to see improve and have a breakout year: Jalen Hurts. He has handled the media very well and we have all heard great things about him this offseason. The question is, will it be that way when the season begins? Even though this is his third year, it seems that Hurts has been on a short leash every year. When they made the playoffs last year, the fans did not seem satisfied with everything that he had to show. Let’s pump the brakes though. Hurts has made huge strides from year 1 when he was pushed on the field abruptly because of the Carson Wentz situation. Last year he showed why we should believe in his leadership role with the team as we hear in the media nothing but good things from his teammates. We also saw how they rallied behind him to get to the playoffs. This year he has to improve from the 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions through the air where most of the concern came from. The accuracy and timing of throws is what we hope to see improve this season. If he can get those issues corrected the rest will improve with it. One thing that fans hope to see continue though is the Dual-threat ability from him as we saw him run for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns. If he can do that again and improve on the passing aspect with this squad, we might be looking for them as contenders come playoff time.
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