Eagles fans are on edge right now. The anticipation of the Philadelphia Eagles 2022 season is at a fever pitch and training camp hasn’t even started. The Birds fans are both excited and anxious about the upcoming season. They are eager to see just how good this football team will be. The amazing moves the team was able to make this offseason has pushed the expectation up to a level that may be unattainable.
Second year head coach Nick Sirianni and his staff will be asked to push the right buttons on an offense that has all of the talent they could possibly ask for. The young head coach will be expected to make good decisions in the fourth quarter of close games, but chances are that his youth and inexperience will likely cause him to make some mistakes along the way. There’s enough talent on this team to make up for it, but will it be enough to win the division and make the playoffs. We will learn a great deal about Sirianni and his staff, as we observe how they develop the young talent on the ball club.
The Birds have the best offensive line in the NFL. This group can dominate in a physical, low scoring game by pounding the ball in a ground attack. They can also protect the passer in a wide open, high scoring passing game. This talented group showed us last season, that they can take over a game and dominate.
On top of that, they added a young multi-talented Pro Bowl wide receiver, A.J. Brown, who looks like a running back and plays like one when he gets his hands on the football. Second-year wide out and former Heisman Trophy winner DeVanta Smith could put up better numbers than Brown, if teams decide to double the former Titans All-Pro. Tight end Dallas Goedert could make the Pro Bowl, if they throw him the ball enough because defenses must prioritize stopping Brown, Smith and the Birds running game before thinking about controlling the tight end.
There’s going to be tremendous pressure and expectation on the back of young quarterback Jalen Hurts. I think he can handle the pressure because he has been prepared for the situation by playing quarterback at two football crazed schools, Alabama and Oklahoma. He knows what it feels like to have your every word, throw and action evaluated on a daily basis.
Hurts is already under the microscope. Everything he does will be dissected and scrutinized, just like it was with Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Nick Foles and Carson Wentz. The recent report about a poor practice that he had in May is just a taste of how much he will be the center of everybody’s attention.
I think it’s great to see that his teammates are standing up for him. They are rallying around him. Hurts is loved by his teammates and they’re ultimately going play a major role in his success or failure. I’m very interested to see how much he’s going to improve this season because ultimately that’s going to be the greatest factor in the Birds season.
Hurts must improve and speedup his reading of defensive schemes and coverages. The best quarterbacks in the league know the coverage they’re facing before they touch the football. Quick and effective decision making will keep Hurts healthy and help him take care of the football in order to stay away from turnovers.
The other facet of his game, which must see considerable improvement is in the area of accuracy. Hurts must be to able to put his throws on the money. I don’t know how much he can improve on accuracy in one season, but I’m sure he’s working on it diligently. The entire Eagles fan base is waiting to see how far this youngster can make this advance in one off season.
Can he join the 20 or 30 touchdown passes club? Can he be one of the top 15 quarterbacks in the NFL? I’m talking about throwing for 3500 to 4000 yards with 20 to 25 touchdown passes and 8 to 12 interceptions. Most importantly, can he make plays in the fourth quarter of ball games to turn losses into victories. He may not make it to all of the numbers, but winning will take care of it all.
I don’t expect Hurts to all of a sudden turn into Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. I don’t think he’s going to put up their numbers but I could see him making gradual improvements. How well does he have to play in order to remain the Eagles starting quarterback in 2023? How far do the Eagles need to advance in the playoffs for the Birds brass to feel that they have the right guy at the quarterback position?
Those are going to be questions that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and General Manager Howie Roseman have to answer. I’m excited about what should be a much improved defense with the addition of pass rushing linebacker Haasan Riddick and ball hawking cornerback James Bradberry, but this season is all about Hurts. Is he the right guy at the starting quarterback position?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Hurts gives us a good, but not great performance this season. A performance that causes many Birds fans to want the team to sign him to an extension, but leaves the other half of Eagles fans wanting the team to count their losses and draft another quarterback in the first round of the upcoming draft.
I’ll be very interested in seeing what the Birds decide to do. Either way this is going to be a very exciting and important season for this franchise.