When the Eagles limped into the second half of last season with a 3-6 win-loss record and seemingly no hope of reaching the playoffs, fans and media were lining up to call out new Head Coach Nick Sirianni as a certifiable failure.

This made it all the more surprising when Philadelphia miraculously managed to turn it around with a staggering 6-2 finish to close out the regular season and earn a wild-card spot.

Despite the subsequent loss to the Cowboys, Sirianni has regained the trust of Eagles fans and expectations heading into the new campaign are high. Excitement is building in Philadelphia and Howie Roseman has made massive moves in the offseason to improve the roster and has certainly done that. They’re just coming off what looks to be one of their most successful Drafts in recent memory, their young talent is on the way up and Jalen Hurts is coming to his own at quarterback. This franchise could surprise some people this year and certainly has a shot at making another play-off appearance, but can they live up to that billing?

A very productive offseason

For those of you who enjoy sports betting in PA, the Eagles have improved to +2500 to win the Super Bowl this year off the back of a massive turn around from November and a great offseason for the Birds. The Eagles had their pick of the litter with three first-round picks in this year’s Draft. After trading with the Saints, it dropped down to two by gaining a first-round pick next season. They took one of the best prospects in defensive linemen, Jordan Davis, out of the University of Georgia and then pulled off a shocker trading out of pick 18 for top ten wide receiver AJ Brown from the Titans. Brown racked up 2,995 receiving yards and 24 TDs over the last three seasons and will now team with last year’s first-round choice DeVonta Smith who is showing bundles of potential with a 14.3 yard average and 5 TDs last season. The trade was by far the biggest splash of the draft, giving Jalen Hurts a top-tier receiver to aim for as he continues his development. Philadelphia proceeded to have a great draft, selecting Cam Jurgens out of Nebraska and taking the first-round talent Nakobe Dean in the third round, fixing a desperate need at linebacker. All things considered the Draft went as well as it could have for the Eagles.

But it’s not only the Draft where Roseman has enjoyed his fair share of success this offseason.

The GM managed to tempt center Jason Kelce to return for another year, a move which had Eagles fans celebrating all over Philadelphia. The offensive line linchpin is an intimidating presence and one of the league’s best centres, quickly becoming one of the most popular Eagles of all time in the eyes of the fans. The Eagles also took huge strides towards fixing their problems with sacks. They were next to last in sacks per game last year, contributing greatly to the team’s 28 TD passes surrendered and a league-worst 70% completion rate allowed. They will no doubt improve their pass rush after signing outside linebacker Haason Reddick on a three-year deal. Reddick had 23.5 sacks over the past two years with Carolina and Arizona. They’ve also picked up linebacker Kyzir White on a one-year deal after his best season in the NFL with the Chargers, racking up 144 tackles in total. There’s no doubt that the Birds have been shrewd with their business this summer and it should pay dividends come the start of the 2022 campaign.

Jalen Hurts is the key to playoff run

All eyes are on Jalen Hurts as the franchise and fanbase hope he takes the next step in development. He’s been a solid prospect quarterback so far but is capable of much more and can surely improve his game. The time has come for him to really hit his stride and realise the potential he has shown up until this stage. He has all the tools at his disposal to make it a successful season after the Eagles have loaded up on an immensely strong receiving corps in Brown, Smith and Dallas Goedert who are ready to take this offensive lineup to the next level. While plenty of teams will focus on defending the Eagle’s passing game there is also potential for them to do some damage running the ball as Hurts can be a serious threat with his legs. There is no question that the youngster possesses the physical attributes and natural athleticism to become a superstar in Philadelphia but now is the time to deliver and live up to the high expectations put on him. If he can find his arm to become one of the league’s best quarterbacks then the Eagle will be a shoe-in to clinch the NFC East.

Where will the Eagles end up?

It’s good for the Eagles that the NFC East is unpredictable right now, with New York, Washington and the Cowboys all continuing to underachieve,

But Philadelphia can’t depend on a slip up from their competition though. Nothing is guaranteed and the Eagles won’t have it all their own way if they are to make the playoffs, but they appear more prepared than ever ahead of this campaign. They have everything they need to get one over Dallas with one of the strongest roster on paper in the NFC. Between their balanced attack on offense and an improved defense led by Darius Slay, the Eagles should be able to at least be in the running to win the NFC East. They still need improvements at quarterback and defence against the pass but their hopes will likely come down to Hurts’ performance throughout 2022. If he can find a rhythm with a stacked offensive line around him and the rest of the roster can stay healthy, then they will be in great shape for a charge on the NFC East and a long run into the playoffs. Who knows, if luck’s on their side and they find their groove, they may even be on course for a championship winning season, but everything relies on Hurts to really step up this year.

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