The Eagles had themselves a year.
After defeating the New York Giants in the season finale, the Eagles have clinched the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs with home-field advantage and a first-round bye thanks to the Dallas Cowboys’ loss to the Washington Commanders.
The Eagles ended the season with a 14-3 record, the most wins in a single-season in franchise history. This is the third time the Eagles have clinched the No. 1 seed since 2000, doing so in 2004 and 2017. The Eagles went to the Super Bowl in both years, winning in 2017.
Now that their incredible regular season has come to an end, let’s look at who the biggest winners were.
Roseman built this team. He had a career-defining offseason with the Eagles. He went on a spending spree in free agency, signing cornerback James Bradberry, linebackers Haason Reddick and Kyzir White and wide receiver Zach Pascal. He also traded for A.J. Brown and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. In the draft, he picked up Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean out of Georgia, who led them to a national championship in 2021. They also drafted Jason Kelce’s alleged heir apparent in Nebraska’s Cam Jurgens, and tight end Grant Calcaterra has proven to be a solid run-blocker. Each of these players have become key contributors to the Eagles’ success.
To top it off, the Eagles have two first-round picks in next year’s draft thanks to a Draft Day trade with the New Orleans Saints, which shaped up to be a top-10 pick. In 2022, Roseman proved he still has the “it” factor and is in the running for Executive of the Year.
The Eagles defensive line
The Eagles defensive line made history this season. They became the first team in NFL history to have four players with 10 or more sacks, per Iggles.com. Linebacker Haason Reddick led the way with 16 sacks while defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and defensive ends Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat all had 11 sacks on the year, per ESPN. In total, the Eagles defense recorded 70 sacks, the third most all-time behind only the 1984 Bears and the 1989 Vikings, per StatMuse. They also broke the franchise record for sacks in a season and led the league in sacks.
In other news, the midseason acquisitions of defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph beefed up a defensive line that was struggling to stop the run. Since signing both, the Eagles have gained some serious muscle up front and have shored up one of their only weaknesses.
Coming into this season, there were questions about whether Jalen Hurts was the answer at quarterback. Those questions have been answered. Now, he’s the franchise quarterback until further notice. Hurts guided the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and a 14-3 finish, becoming an MVP candidate in the process. He passed for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions to go along with a 101.6 passer rating and a 66.5 completion percentage, per ESPN. A dual-threat quarterback, he logged 165 carries for 760 yards and 13 touchdowns. Basically, Hurts saw his stats skyrocket this year. And to think the Eagles almost traded him for Russell Wilson. Also, the Eagles offense looked like a shell of its former self when Hurts went down with a sprained shoulder and missed two games. Both ended in losses for the Eagles. There’s no denying Hurts’ value to this team.
The Eagles offensive and defensive coordinators
Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon are considered to be top candidates for head-coaching jobs as we approach Black Monday, per Sports Illustrated.
Gannon has coached a unit that has significantly approved under him. After a 3-6 start last season, the defense got its act together and helped the Eagles reach back-to-back playoff appearances. Gannon has turned the Eagles into one of the most feared defenses in the league. As previously mentioned, the Eagles pass rush made history this year, recording a franchise-record 70 sacks. The Eagles are also the fourth-best team in the league at generating takeaways with 27, per StatMuse. Similarly, they’re first in total yards allowed, per Pro Football Reference. In other news, Gannon has been linked to the Texans’ head coaching job, and there is mutual interest between both parties, Sports Illustrated reported.
Steichen has been instrumental in the development of MVP candidate Jalen Hurts and has built one of the best offense in the league. The Eagles’ high-flying offense gained the second-most yards in the league behind only the Kansas City Chiefs, per StatMuse. One thing that makes Steichen unique to other offensive coordinators in the pass-happy NFL is that he’s not afraid to run the ball. The Eagles were the top rushing team in the league last season with 2,715 yards, per StatMuse. They continued their strong run game this season as a top-five rushing attack. Before coming to Philly, he was the offensive coordinator for the Chargers and guided quarterback Justin Herbert through his breakout season, which ended with Herbert winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. It’s looking like Steichen will be on the move again in 2023.
Earlier this season, Brown claimed he won the trade between the Eagles and the Titans. Looking back on that statement, it’s tough to argue with Brown, who enjoyed a career year. Brown hauled in 84 catches for 1,401 yards and 11 touchdowns (third-most in the league), per ESPN. Brown became the first wide receiver to gain more than 1,000 yards for the Eagles since Jeremy Maclin in 2014. Brown and Jalen Hurts are good friends, and their connection has lifted the entire offense to new heights. His best moment this season was when he torched his former team for eight receptions, 119 yards and two touchdowns in a dominant victory for the Eagles.
Back in Tennessee, the Titans missed the playoffs for the first time in four years and fired longtime general manager Jon Robinson during the season. Yeah, we think you won the trade too, A.J.
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