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10 bolder, even more overly optimistic Eagles predictions for 2023

The vibes are good, as reflected in these Eagles predictions.

NFL: Preseason-Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The vibes around the Philadelphia Eagles... they are... pristine.

Yep, that’s what happens when you’re coming off a 14-3 regular season, two blowout wins in the NFC playoffs and within a referee’s idiotic call in the final seconds from possibly winning your second Super Bowl title. Jalen Hurts is just 25 and ready to follow-up his MVP runner-up performance, the roster is stacked with veterans and promising young players following an overwhelmingly strong draft, and the rest of the conference doesn’t have a whole lot to fear.

It’s hard to see how, barring injury, the Eagles don’t get back to the Super Bowl this season. On my latest episode of Eye on the Enemy, Sports Info Solutions’ Matt Manocherian revealed their computer models are predicting the Eagles’ over/under total at... wait for it... 14.5 wins (21:15 mark of the podcast)!

This year’s good vibes aren’t just about the fans feeling frisky. Even the computers are hyped!

Last year around this time, I released my 10 bold predictions for the 2022 season and, at the time, I felt they were all overly optimistic. As it turns out, just about all of them were on the money:

  1. Eagles Passing Offense Finishes Top-5 in Efficiency
  2. Jordan Davis Wins DROY
  3. A.J. Brown Leads Receivers with 12 TDs
  4. DeVonta Smith & Brown Go Over 1,000 Yards
  5. Miles Sanders 1,000+ Total Yards
  6. Jalen Hurts Joins 3,750+ Passing/500+ Rushing Yards Club
  7. At Least One Linebacker Makes Pro Bowl
  8. Haason Reddick Notches 12+ Sacks
  9. Defense Finishes Top-5 in Takeaways
  10. Eagles Advance to NFC Championship Game

The ones I got correct are bolded above. The Eagles were the 2nd-most efficient offensive team last year, Brown scored 11 touchdowns in the regular season and one in the Super Bowl (I’m counting it!), Smith & Brown both went over 1,000 yards, as did Miles Sanders, Hurts came up 45 passing yards short of hitting 3,750 but missed two games and also piled up a bunch of yards in the postseason (so I’m counting that one, too!), Redick had 16 regular season sacks and the Eagles certainly advanced to the NFC Championship Game.

The Birds’ defense finished just outside the top-5 in takeaways but that could very well have been 8 out of 10 correct. All in all, it’s flat-out ridiculous that so many of those ludicrous predictions proved to be accurate.

With that in mind, I decided to get even more ridiculous this season, so here are 10 bolder, even more overly optimistic Eagles predictions for the 2023 season. Manifest destiny!

Jalen Hurts Wins NFL MVP

Well, he came within a whisker of doing it last year, so why not this year?

I’m not sure how much better he can be after what we saw last season, but one can bet the mental side of the game and his understanding of the offense will only improve in his third year in Nick Sirianni’s offense. Sure, he has a new offensive coordinator calling plays, but Brian Johnson is one of the guys who has helped him develop into one of the game’s most dangerous players, and there’s no reason to think he won’t allow Hurts to get even better. is projecting Hurts will throw for 4,039 yards and rush for 933, with 33 total TDs. If he does that, yeah, he’s winning the dang thing this year.

A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith AND Dallas Goedert Pass 1,000 Yards Receiving

Dallas Goedert said this week he wants to join Brown and Smith as 1,000 yard receivers, giving them three pass-catchers going over that mark. Last year, Brown and Smith made Eagles history by becoming the first duo to do it and, with a 17-game schedule, it’s a little bit easier to make it happen.

This prediction is not crazy. Five teams in NFL history have had three 1,000 yard receivers, the last the 2008 Cardinals with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and... wait for it... Steve Breaston!!! Goedert piled up 702 receiving yards in 12 games last year, which would project to 936, getting him awfully close to that mark. Goedert said he also wants to catch 100+ passes. The last Eagle to do that was Zach Ertz (116) in Goedert’s rookie season, 2018.

Eagles Running Backs Combine for 1,500+ Rushing Yards

I don’t know who will finish with the most rushing attempts this season. I don’t know who will finish with the most yards. I don’t know who will finish with the most receptions or yards receiving and I don’t know who will score the most touchdowns.

I do know that Kenny Gainwell didn’t play at all in the first preseason game, while D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny did. I do know that, if all three backs stay healthy, and Boston Scott is weaponized for the two Giants games this season, this quartet of backs could be dangerous and exciting to watch.

So I think their combined efforts will result in more than 1,500 yards on the ground combined. When you combine that with 650-800 rushing yards from Hurts, you have the league’s best rushing attack once again this season.

Jalen Carter Wins NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year

This rep in the first preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens is all I needed to see.

They got their Javon Hargrave replacement, folks. Nolan Smith may finish with more sacks, but Carter’s going to destroy people in the middle of the offensive line all season long.

Darius Slay & James Bradberry Combine for 10+ Interceptions

After his two-interception game against Justin Jefferson and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2, Slay had just one more pick the entire season, Week 6 against the Cowboys. The last of Bradberry’s three sacks came in Week 8. It’s hard to figure how one of the very best cornerback duos was unable to notch a single interception over the team’s final nine week, although Bradberry did snag one during their Divisional round win against the Giants.

That was an anomaly. While maybe not at the very top of their games during the second half of the season, both were still very effective in coverage and, in 2023, some of the bad luck they experienced in getting picks will turn around. They’ll combine for at least 10 this year, and that’s probably being conservative.

The Eagles Defensive Line Breaks the NFL Sack Record

I know they lost Hargrave but have you seen Jalen Carter (see above)? Early reporting from camp indicates Nolan Smith is just killing folks with his athleticism and the rest of the defensive line corps is intact following a season in which they piled up an unfathomable 70 sacks, two shy of the all-time record set by the 1984 Bears. Haason Redick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Milton Williams and Fletcher Cox will add to the pass rush, and the hope is second-year tackle Jordan Davis can find his groove as well.

So yeah, the overly optimistic prediction is that they get to 73 in 2023. Let’s do it.

Nakobe Dean & Reed Blankenship Make the Pro Bowl

After missing most of the last week with an ankle injury, Dean returned to the practice field this week. And while no one is really sure what he’s going to give the Eagles this season, he has the ability to be the play-making linebacker this team has desperately needed since Nigel Bradham left. Dean will be calling the plays and in the midst of everything, and I say he’s going to the Pro Bowl.

Same with Blankenship, who showed last year he’s a legit starting safety in the NFL. He’s carried those late-season performances into training camp so far this summer.

I’m feeling really optimistic. Both go to the Pro Bowl. Let’s go.

Eagles Sweep the NFC East

The Eagles are going to beat the Giants both times, it’s just what they do. I also think they take care of the Commanders, even though Washington usually gives them fits in one of their games. That leaves Dallas, a legitimately good team who always seems to beat the Birds at home. In fact, the last time the Eagles beat the Cowboys in Dallas was the Super Bowl season of 2017.

There have only been three instances in which an NFC East team has swept the games against its own division: the 1998 Cowboys (8-0), the 2004 Eagles (6-0) and the 2021 Cowboys (6-0). Not for nothin’, that ‘98 Cowboys 8-0 run in the division is insane.

The Eagles are good enough to go 6-0 against their own division, even with two other playoff teams in it. It’s happening.

Nick Sirianni Named NFL Coach of the Year

A lot is going to depend on how his new coordinators perform, but Sirianni has proven all the skeptics (including me) wrong. He’s been a brilliant head coach and, after the Eagles finish with the best record in the NFC once again this season, powered by a prolific offense and the league MVP at QB, he’s going to get the recognition he deserves and take home Coach of the Year honors.

Eagles Defeat the Bills in Super Bowl 58

After falling short last season, the Birds finish the job in 2023 and we get another parade.

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