Team Capsules: Philadelphia Eagles

July 26, 2023

A look at every NFL franchise heading into the 2023 season

© Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Philadelphia Eagles were the cream of the crop in the NFC last season. They won the

conference with relative ease thanks to star-studded play from quarterback Jalen Hurts, stout defense across the board and cohesion from the coaching staff.

After a 14-3 regular season and Super Bowl appearance, Philly will look to run it back in 2023 with a core largely intact, along with a newly paid Hurts, who received a $255 million extension in the offseason.

The folks in the desert are clearly buying the Eagles hype following the ascension over the

last two seasons, as they are currently priced at +325 to win the NFC and +800 to win the Super Bowl. Philly and San Francisco are the co-favorites to come out of the NFC and for good reason.

With Aaron Rodgers gone and Tom Brady retired, the NFC is as wide-open as ever. There’s a great chance for the Eagles to make a second-straight Super Bowl appearance.

What to like about the Eagles…

  • Philly led the NFC in total yards per game (389.1) and points per game (28.1). With Hurts taken care of, and a receiving core that still features A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, along with Dallas Geodert at tight end, the Eagles should again be one of the top offenses in the NFL this season. While they lost Miles Sanders in free agency, they added D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny, two dynamic backs in their own right, who can be impact players when healthy.
  • The Eagles were championed as the winners of the NFL Draft after they landed three defensive players from Georgia’s national title team, highlighted by defensive tackle Jalen Carter. He was considered the best defensive player in the draft before his off-the-field issues. They also swooped up linebacker Nolan Smith and cornerback Kelee Ringo. While the Eagles lost talent in free agency, they did an excellent job recouping young players in the draft.
  • The NFC is as weak as it’s ever been. Philly was already the best team in the conference, followed by San Francisco. Brady is out of the league and Rodgers is playing in the AFC now, giving the Eagles a clear path back to the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles already flexed their way to the championship game last season with dominant wins against the Giants and 49ers in the postseason. No new blood made any moves big enough to shift the pendulum in their favor.

What not to like about the Eagles…

  • While the Eagles will likely be one of the best teams in the NFC, they did lose a few key contributors in free agency, including C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Miles Sanders. Both were integral accent players that helped lead the Eagles to the big game. Replacing them will take a lot of work.
  • With a first-place finish comes a first-place schedule. Both the Giants and Cowboys improved during the offseason, meaning the division should be more challenging this season. Furthermore, they have a demanding schedule with road games against the now-healthy Rams, new-look Jets, Chiefs and Seahawks. They also have home games against the Bills, Dolphins and 49ers. The Eagles can match up against any team in the NFL, but their schedule is much more complex compared to last season.
  • Nick Sirianni is a darn good coach, but part of the reason for Philly’s success last season stemmed from their offensive and defensive coordinators, both of which departed for head coaching gigs in the offseason. Sean Desai steps in as defensive coordinator, with Brian Johnson assuming the offensive coordinator role. Desai has one previous season as a DC under his belt, while this will be Johnson’s first crack at the job at the NFL level. Both are great coaches, but there will surely be a learning curve on both sides of the ball.

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Eagles under 11.5 wins (-110)

Philly will finish with 11 wins on the dot. They had an easy schedule last season and will have to face teams that smell blood in the water in the water within the division. Philly went 4-2 against the NFC East last season, with one of the losses coming against the Commanders. Toss in the games against the cream of the AFC, like Kansas City, Buffalo and Miami, along with a rematch against San Francisco, and the Eagles have a much steeper road to face this season compared to last. They will be one of the better teams in the NFC but finish with under 11.5 wins on the year.