The 2022-2023 season is just days away, and the age old question any fan wants to know is, will my team be good this year?
For the Philadelphia Eagles, critics are speculating that will be the case. The team spent 2021 focusing on a rebuild, and since then, they’ve placed an emphasis on bringing in a mix of youth and experience. After finishing with a 9-8 record, the Eagles could walk away with 10+ wins this season, with the offense playing a large part in that.
EAGLES OFFENSE: 11 VS. 11
|Position||2021 Starter||2022 Starter|
|Quarterback||Jalen Hurts||Jalen Hurts|
|Running Back||Miles Sanders||Miles Sanders|
|Wide Receiver||DeVonta Smith||A.J. Brown|
|Wide Receiver||Quez Watkins||DeVonta Smith|
|Wide Receiver||Jalen Reagor||Quez Watkins|
|Tight End||Dallas Goedert||Dallas Goedert|
|Left Tackle||Jordan Mailata||Jordan Mailata|
|Left Guard||Isaac Seumalo||Landon Dickerson|
|Center||Jason Kelce||Jason Kelce|
|Right Guard||Brandon Brooks||Isaac Seumalo|
|Right Tackle||Lane Johnson||Lane Johnson|
The key upgrade between both seasons is the wide receiver position.
Based off of a total assumption, if it wasn’t for DeVonta Smith in 2021, the Eagles WR lineup would have been one of the worst in the league. Smith accounted for 916 of the 1,596 yards the receiving starters (Smith, Watkins, and Reagor) put up, ultimately saving the offense until the Eagles’ rush game succeeded.
In a 2022 offseason move, the Eagles traded for Tennessee Titans’ receiver A.J. Brown, adding speed, agility, and accuracy to their offense. Last season Brown finished with 869 receiving yards, surpassing the 1,000 mark in his two previous seasons.
In an effort to add a powerhouse, the Eagles also closed the door on one of their least productive players — Jalen Reagor. After making the final 53-man roster, Reagor was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, where he will play alongside his draft class fellow receiver, Justin Jefferson.
Without a doubt, the 2022 Eagles’ wide receiver group is better. The ends are bookmarked with two play makers and Watkins provides quarterback Jalen Hurts with another deep ball option.
Another noticeable change is on the offensive line. Veteran Brandon Brooks started the 2021 season, playing both this last game of the year and his career in Week 2. In an effort to fill his spot, Isaac Seumalo stepped in before leaving the season with his own injury, giving rookie Landon Dickerson an opportunity. After Dickerson’s performance, Seumalo will still return, but this time on the right.
After finishing 2021 ranked fourth in the league, the Eagles’ offensive line is coming into 2022 ranked first, according to Pro Football Focus.
Taking all things into consideration, another year, also means more experience. And, that couldn’t be more true for Jalen Hurts.
Hurts was essentially given an opportunity of a lifetime — taking over the starting QB position when the team was in need of a turnaround. Since he started in the latter half of 2020, Philadelphia fans have witnessed vast improvements. Hurts went from a rookie QB who was finding his footing, to using his footing to excel in a run game when his arm couldn’t keep up, to perfecting his arm.
Though fans were worried about Hurts’ performance early in the offseason, it is clear he is returning in 2022 better than 2021. In the Eagles’ first preseason game against the New York Jets, Hurts went six for six, finishing with a 158.3 quarterback rating.
Where the Eagles won’t see much change is with players like Dallas Goedert, Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson. But, that’s not a bad thing. These players know their position and know how to play it well.
Goedert has been targeted more than any other Eagle in training camp, using his body to box defenders out. As one of the top tight ends in the league, he brings a veteran presence and will be looking for his first Pro Bowl this season.
Mailata, Kelce, and Johnson are a powerhouse on the offensive line. It’s hard to say anything bad when they’re ranked the best in the league. They all bring experience and have established an unbreakable working relationship with each other, giving Hurts protection and leaving opposing defenses scrambling.
QUESTIONABLE FOR WEEK 1
The Eagles’ 2021 starting offense had no injuries, but this is where the team may struggle in 2022. Running back Miles Sanders has missed a series of weeks with a hamstring injury. Though he’s returned to practice and is prepared to start Week 1, he’s been limited. There’s also no indication on whether or not he’ll be fully confident to play and the risk of re-injury isn’t out of the question.
Center Jason Kelce is also currently out. He underwent elbow surgery at the start of the preseason, leaving backup Cam Jurgens to take his place. Kelce is another player who should be back by Week 1, but nothing is promised.
The Eagles’ first 2022 regular-season game is Sunday, September 11 against the Detroit Lions. Though they start on the road, the 2022 Eagles offense should be stronger than the 11 from 2021.