Eagles fans know their team has improved dramatically from the end of last season. There was a solid draft, excellent free-agent acquisitions and a general feeling of confidence around the team.
With another year of experience under his belt, and the continuity of the same coaching staff, quarterback Jalen Hurts is set up to build on last year’s success and to improve on last year’s inconsistencies.
Last year’s 9-8 record seems easily sustainable and likely surpassable, given the Eagles’ excellent offseason and having to face one of the weakest schedules in the league.
Eagles fans aren’t the only ones noticing.
CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo ranked the five most improved teams in the NFL and he came to the same conclusion as many Eagles fans:
The Eagles are the most improved team in the NFL.
On paper, we’re not surprised. That’s where they seem to have landed. There’s a long season on the horizon, but for now — so far, so good.
DeArdo described the Eagles as “a team that is hoping to make a big jump in 2022 after a largely surprising 2021 campaign.”
That 2021 campaign landed the Eagles a surprising wild card spot.
Here is what DeArdo said about the Eagles:
Key additions: A.J. Brown, Hasson Reddick, James Bradberry, Jordan Davis.
A wild card team last season, the Eagles seem primed to fly considerably higher in 2022. During the draft, GM Howie Roseman swung a trade that brought in Brown, a former Pro Bowl wideout with the Titans.
Brown joins an already talented offense, led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, receiver DeVonta Smith, tight end Dallas Goedert and running backs Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell.
The Eagles still possess one of the NFL’s best offensive lines, led by Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata.
The Eagles made major additions to a defense that came on strong at the end of the ’21 season. They made a free agent splash with the signing of Reddick, who comes to Philadelphia after compiling 23.5 sacks over the past two seasons. They then threw salt on the Giants’ wounds by picking up Bradberry, who was waived by New York in May as part of a salary dump.
The Eagles strengthened the middle of their defense by signing former Charger Kyzir White, who filled the stat sheet last season with 144 tackles, two interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles.
Philadelphia parlayed its successful free agency into an equally successful draft that included the selections of former Georgia standouts Davis and Nakobe Dean — the latter of whom was a third-round pick who — if healthy — may one day be remembered as a savvy Day 2 draft steal.
Caesars Sportsbook odds are part of the CBS Sports coverage. Caesars lists the probability of the Eagles winning the NFC at 7.1 percent and winning the NFC East at 35.1 percent.
NO. 2: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
At No. 2, DeArdo selected the Chargers, who are the trendy pick to unseat Kansas City in the AFC West and possibly challenge Buffalo in the AFC.
DeArdo likes how the Chargers beefed up their defense with the acquisitions of inside linebacker Khalil Mack and top cornerback J.C. Jackson. The Chargers allowed the fourth-most points in the NFL last season.
With quarterback Justin Herbert leading the fifth-best scoring team last year, the Chargers drafted one of the highest ranked guards in the draft, Boston College’s Zion Johnson.
NO. 3: NEW YORK JETS
From DeArdo: GM Joe Douglas has equipped second-year QB Zach Wilson with a talented receiving corps that includes Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore (a second-round pick in 2021), Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios and former Bengal C.J. Uzomah. …
The Jets put considerable resources into revamping a defense that allowed more points than any other team in 2021. They used the No. 4 overall pick in the draft to acquire Sauce Gardner, who did not give up a single touchdown in over 1,000 snaps at the University of Cincinnati.
NO. 4: PITTSBURGH STEELERS
From DeArdo: Kevin Colbert was masterful in his final months as the Steelers’ GM. He was able to lock up one of the top quarterback free agents (Mitch Trubisky) during the initial moments of the legal tampering period.
The Steelers would further add to their QB room by drafting Kenny Pickett, who is projected to be the team’s long-term starter while Trubisky is slated to be Ben Roethlisberger’s initial successor.
NO. 5: CINCINNATI BENGALS
From DeArdo: The defending AFC champions aggressively addressed last season’s biggest weakness by signing veteran offensive linemen Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins. This trio should make life significantly better for Joe Burrow, who led the Bengals to an AFC title last season despite getting sacked a whopping 70 times (including the postseason).
Interestingly, two of DeArdo’s most improved teams likely won’t make the playoffs — the Jets and Steelers. It’s a fairly safe bet the other three of his teams will make the postseason — the Eagles, Chargers and Bengals.