Philadelphia Eagles preview 2023: Over or under 11.5 wins? Chances to claim NFC East title?

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Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts drills during the NFL football team's training camp, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s NFL team preview time, and today we’re looking at the Philadelphia Eagles. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from July 25 through Sept. 8, we will take an in-depth look at each team in the NFL with a 7- to 10-minute video going through impactful additions and departures, last year’s rankings and strength of schedule in 2023.

Home Field Sports analyst Jim Derry will then make a prediction on the team’s record this season and where they will finish in their respective division, along with the over/under win total, as posted at Caesars Sportsbook.

These stories are a brief summary of the accompanied preview videos – powered by the Dattitude Podcast (which will review each division every Friday until the season begins). The schedule for when each team will run is listed below with a link to each story and video that already has run.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Coach: Nick Sirianni (3rd season)

2022 record: 14-3, 1st in NFC East; earned bye in wild-card round; defeated NY Giants, 38-7, in divisional round; defeated San Francisco 49ers, 31-7, in NFC Championship; lost to Kansas City Chiefs, 38-35, in Super Bowl LVII.

Last season in a nutshell: Heading into the 2022 season, this was the team just about every football expert and pundit loved. Rarely does that work out well, but it certainly did this time.

Sirianni and his staff seemed to make every correct call and have everything go their way on the road to a franchise-record 14 wins and a fourth-ever trip to the Super Bowl. The luck ended in Glendale, Ariz., as a few weird plays and officials’ calls ended the team’s dream for a second world championship this century and since 1960.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts became a star in this league, passing for 3,701 yards with 22 touchdowns in 15 regular-season games and rushing for 760 more yards with 13 scores. He got a ton of help from new receiver AJ Brown (who came over in a trade from Tennessee), as Brown and Devonta Smith combined to make 183 receptions for nearly 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Miles Sanders (who left in free agency for Carolina) by far had the best season of his four-year career, rushing for 1,269 yards (previous career high was 867) with 11 touchdowns. (He had nine total touchdowns in his previous three seasons.)

Both the offense and the defense ranked in the top 3 in the NFL, including a defense that allowed fewer yards than any other team except the San Francisco 49ers.

However, winning comes at a price. Both coordinators – Shane Steichen on offense and Jonathan Gannon on defense – left to become head coaches at Indianapolis and Arizona, respectively. So how much will having two new coordinators in Brian Johnson (offense) and Sean Desai affect the continuity of what worked so well in 2022?

2023 bye week: 10

2023 Draft: 1 (9th overall) DT Jalen Carter, Georgia; 1 (30) LB Nolan Smith, Georgia; 3 (65) G Tyler Steen, Houston; 3 (66) S Sydney Brown, Illinois; 4 (105) CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia; 6 (188) QB Tanner McKee, Stanford; 7 (249) DE Moro Ojomo, Texas.

Free-agent signings: QB Marcus Mariota (from Atlanta), 1 year, $5M; S Terrell Edmunds (from Pittsburgh), 1 year, $2M; LB Zach Cunningham (from Tennessee), 1 year, $1.78M; LB Myles Jack (from Pittsburgh), 1 year, $1.78M; S Justin Evans (from New Orleans), 1 year, $1.59M; CB Greedy Williams (from Cleveland), 1 year, $1.35M; RB Rashaad Penny (from Seattle), 1 year, $1.35M; DE Kentavius Street (from New Orleans), 1 year, $1.28M; T Dennis Kelly (from Indianapolis), 1 year, $1.27M; WR Olamide Zaccheaus (from Atlanta), 1 year, $1.23M; TE Dan Arnold (from Jacksonville), 1 year, $1.19M; LN Nicholas Morrow, 1 year, $1.16M.

What needs to go right: If they can continue to beat up on division opponents, then they should be in a similar position as last year – despite the new coordinators.

Losing Miles Sanders hurts a little, but picking up Penny from the Seahawks and D’Andre Swift in a steal from the Lions should equal or better what they lost. In particular, Swift, a Philadelphia native, could be an incredible fit for this offense that could use a little finesse in the screen game.

Already Philadelphia had one of the top 1-2 wide receiver tandems in the league with Brown and Smith, and barring injury, they should be right near the top once again. Bringing in Arnold from the Jags helps Goedert at tight end, and we haven’t even mentioned the fact Philly has the consensus No. 1 offensive line in the NFL and just re-signed center – and leader – Jason Kelce to a 1-year, $14.25-million deal (although they did lose starting tackle Andre Dillard in free agency to the Titans and guard Isaac Seumalo to Pittsburgh).

Oh, and what about Hurts? The question marks he went into last season with are all but wiped out now, as those who thought of him as a one-dimensional quarterback were proven very wrong, as he finished the season with a 66.5-percent completion rate and the fourth-highest passer rating.

The defense, which missed being the best in the league by 15 yards, did take some hits, including two in the secondary. Safety Marcus Epps went to Las Vegas, while cornerback Chauncey Gardner-Johnson went to Detroit. The Eagles also lost defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who signed with San Francisco on a 4-year deal at $21 million per. Other key contributors at linebacker – TJ Edwards and Kyzir White – are gone.

It’s unclear whether all the defections on defense will hurt, but one thing this team has going for it is – despite a first-place schedule – it’s one that can be navigated through, especially early. They only play one division winner from last year through their Week 9 bye and only three teams that made the playoffs.

The second half of the schedule is much tougher, but they very well could be 7-2 or even 8-1 by the time they travel to Kansas City in Week 10 (which is followed by games against Buffalo, San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle in that order).

Key moments in video:

0:00 Philadelphia Eagles preview

1:35 Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts

2:49: Penny, Swift in for Sanders

3:11: Brown, Smith top WR duo

4:05: New coordinators a problem?

5:02 Changes on defense worrisome

5:33 Dissecting the schedule

7:42 Predictions, best bets

PREVIEW SCHEDULE / LINKS

AFC SOUTH

July 25: Houston Texans

July 26: Indianapolis Colts

July 27: Jacksonville Jaguars

July 28: Tennessee Titans

NFC WEST

Aug. 1: Arizona Cardinals

Aug. 2: Los Angeles Rams

Aug. 3: San Francisco 49ers

Aug. 4: Seattle Seahawks

AFC WEST

Aug. 8: Denver Broncos

Aug. 9: Kansas City Chiefs

Aug. 10: Las Vegas Raiders

Aug. 11: Los Angeles Chargers

NFC EAST

Aug. 15: Dallas Cowboys

Aug. 16: New York Giants

Aug. 17: Philadelphia Eagles

Aug. 18: Washington Commanders

AFC EAST

Aug. 22: Buffalo Bills

Aug. 23: Miami Dolphins

Aug. 24: New England Patriots

Aug. 25: New York Jets

NFC NORTH

Aug. 29: Chicago Bears

Aug. 29: Detroit Lions

Aug. 30: Green Bay Packers

Aug. 30: Minnesota Vikings

AFC NORTH

Aug. 31: Baltimore Ravens

Aug. 31: Cincinnati Bengals

Sept. 1: Cleveland Browns

Sept. 2: Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC SOUTH

Sept. 5: Atlanta Falcons

Sept. 6: Carolina Panthers

Sept. 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sept. 8: New Orleans Saints

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