NFL teams are now in Week 2 of training camp as they prepare for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
As the Eagles look ahead to what should be a successful year, how do they fare against other teams across the NFC East at this point? With numerous predictions released regarding which team will lead the division, only time will tell if training camp was a good indicator of each team’s success (or lack thereof).
TRAINING CAMP ACROSS THE NFC EAST
For the Eagles, training camp began on July 26. The first day, the offense looked promising while the defense seemed to struggle, and the following day, roles reserved. Critics were quick to call out Jalen Hurts’ performance, as well as Miles Sanders who played with the second-team, but overall Philadelphia is doing pretty well.
Sanders played with the second-team due to running back rotations, and his practices so far have been explosive. He’s been able to run a number of routes with Hurts, and Hurts has had success completing passes, and throwing deep to his receivers (including Jalen Reagor).
Brandon Graham has returned after a season-ending injury last year, and by the looks of his performance, you wouldn’t know. He has been dominant in 1-on-1’s, and has been able to break up plays in the backfield quickly. Newcomers A.J. Brown and James Bradberry have also proven to be worth their contracts.
As for the rookies, Jordan Davis has brought a huge presence to the team (literally and figuratively). Mainly playing nose tackle, he will learn a few other positions along the defensive line, and plans to be as adaptable as possible. Cam Jurgens who was also drafted during the 2022 NFL Draft, was able to get first-team reps while Jason Kelce was out, and demonstrated strength despite his smaller frame.
Philadelphia’s struggle is actually coming from two players who fans initially thought would be standouts — Carson Strong and Nakobe Dean. Strong, who was said to have franchise quarterback potential, has been struggling with shorter throws and has fallen behind Reid Sinnett. Dean hasn’t found his footing yet, and his lack of experience is showing.
The Eagles’ first preseason game is against the New York Jets on Friday, August 12.
The Cowboys have returned to California for training camp again. And they are having a tough time at the wide receiver position.
Earlier this offseason, they traded Amari Cooper and lost Cedrick Wilson during free agent. Michael Gallup also may not be ready for Week 1 after suffering a torn ACL. Then last week during training camp, James Washington fractured his right foot. He reportedly underwent surgery yesterday and is expected to be out for 6-10 weeks. It will certainly take some time to see if the remainder of the WRs show up to help out CeeDee Lamb, but I’m sure the rest of the NFC East isn’t in a rush.
With Lamb being the best option, he will likely be a continued target for quarterback Dak Prescott. However, Prescott’s Week 2 performance hasn’t been great, as he’s been missing wide open targets.
Two positives coming out of Dallas are their defensive line and linebacker Micah Parsons. Players like Sam Williams, Demarcus Lawrence, and Trysten Hill have been giving Prescott a run for his money. And Parsons, although already a standout in 2021, will prove to be an even greater one this season. He has been working on his speed, and will be someone that opposing offense’s should be intimidated by.
Watch Micah Parsons close on Tony Pollard in a sprint down the sideline pic.twitter.com/EHp5WxwStc
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 1, 2022
The Cowboys will meet with the Denver Broncos for preseason game one on Saturday, August 13.
New York Giants
The New York Giants struggle every season, but there seem to be some positive upgrades this time.
Quarterback Daniel Jones is still making mistakes, but he has been steadily improving. Head coach Brian Daboll has been focusing on a “new language” for 2022, preaching the importance of body language between Jones and his targets. And, it seems to be working.
Also improving is wide receiver Kenny Golladay. He had a rough start during Week 1 of camp, but has been recently been making big-time plays and beating out defenders. Running back Saquon Barkley is also getting positive reviews. Since joining the Giants, Barkley hasn’t played as much as fans would have liked due to injury. He returned in 2021, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and New York wants to see more. Now playing in his fifth-year option, he’s explosive again.
Plenty targets for Kenny Golladay today. Another good catch pic.twitter.com/11LHpjEift
— New York Revival (@NewYorkRevival) August 3, 2022
Rookie right tackle Evan Neal has been having a difficult time adjusting, and has been slow at practices this week. The Giants have also been dealing with many penalty issues.
Overall, New York hasn’t had many “wow” moments during camp, but there’s still plenty of time left.
The Giants take on the New England Patriots on Thursday, August 11 for their first preseason matchup.
Similar to the Cowboys, the Commanders also hold training camp in another location — Ashburn, Virginia.
The biggest problem for Washington is their injury list which seems to be piling up. The team already has three players on their PUP list (Chase Young, Logan Thomas, and Tyler Larsen). This week, injuries to six more players resulted in a lack of participation and one of their worries is when wide receiver Curtis Samuel will return. The other injuries consist of tight end John Bates, guard Training Turner, defensive end James Smith-Williams, and defensive backs DeJuan Neal and Troy Apke.
All eyes will likely be on quarterback Carson Wentz, who is now playing for his second team since the Eagles traded him. While his precision continues to be a problem, he is building a strong relationship with rookie tight end Cole Turner. Having a reliable target in Turner is making Wentz’s gameplay more successful as this limits the time he spends scanning the offense for targets, which is typically a downfall for him.
Also connecting with Wentz is rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson. He’s been able to catch deep balls, and has outplayed everyone he’s been matched against.
👀 OKKKKKAAAYYY @JahanDotson pic.twitter.com/CWQb1rvYzR
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) July 30, 2022
Fans will see if practice can translate to the field for the former Eagles’ quarterback. The Commanders play the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, August 13.