2022 Bold Predictions: Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles had a very successful offseason through the NFL Draft and free agency. That occurred after they squeaked into the playoffs as the seventh seed at 9-8. But they were bounced by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round. The big additions included Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis in the draft, A.J. Brown through a trade, and Haason Reddick and Kyzir White in free agency. They now enter the 2022 NFL season as one of the most improved teams on both sides of the ball and currently own the second-best odds (+210) to win the NFC East. 

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Bold Predictions.

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith Both Eclipse 1,000 Yards

The Eagles haven’t had a receiver cross the 1,000-yard plateau since Jeremy Maclin did in 2014 when he recorded 1,318 receiving yards. The Eagles now have two receivers that could attain that number after trading for Brown during the draft and seeing Smith go into his sophomore campaign. Injuries sidelined Brown last season, but he still put up 869 receiving yards in 13 games. That came after back-to-back seasons of 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. Smith will only get better in his second year, especially with a running mate like Brown beside him. Last season, the former Alabama receiver set a franchise rookie record with 917 receiving yards, taking down DeSean Jackson‘s record. All while trying to develop a rapport with new starting quarterback Jalen Hurts and not having much help outside of tight end Dallas Goedert

Kenneth Gainwell Records 1,000 Scrimmage Yards

As a rookie last season, Gainwell recorded 544 yards from scrimmage, which included 291 rushing yards and 253 reception yards. In the playoff game, the 2021 fifth-round draft pick only rushed once for six yards, but also caught five passes for 49 yards. Going into his second season, he should begin to get more touches to compliment Miles Sanders. In the 2019 season at Memphis, Gainwell passed 2,000 scrimmage yards, including 1,459 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns. That came on 231 rushing attempts and 51 catches, while he was over halfway to the 1,000-yard mark on just 68 rushes and 33 catches in 2021.

The Eagles Break Their Franchise Single-Season Sack Record 

With the additions of Reddick, Dean, Davis, and White to the defense, the Eagles will be able to increase their 2021 sack total. Their pass rush talent was already pretty strong with Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, and Javon Hargrave. They have only gotten scarier for opposing quarterbacks looking to avoid their wrath. Philadelphia’s franchise record for sacks in a single season was 62 in 1989. That was a defense led by Clyde Simmons (15.5 sacks), Reggie White (11), and Jerome Brown (10.5). They only recorded 29 sacks last season. But with the focus on the defensive line and less on the secondary, they hope to get to the quarterback frequently. The trio of Reddick, Sweat, and Davis could have the same type of imposing will as Simmons, White, and Brown.

The Eagles Win the NFC East By At Least Two Games

With the additions they made this offseason, the Eagles can be viewed as winners of the offseason. On the other hand, the Dallas Cowboys lost Amari Cooper for practically nothing and didn’t make any significant additions. The other two teams, the Washington Commanders and New York Giants, will likely not contend for the division or the playoffs at all. While there are concerns about Jalen Hurts, he has a solid team around him to help him succeed. If he doesn’t perform with this team, the answer will be found to the question of whether he can be the future for the Eagles at quarterback. Obviously, that answer would be a definitive no. 

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