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5 things Eagles fans should be most excited about this year

How do you get more exciting than a Super Bowl run? How about another one?

Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Guys, this should be a pretty good ride.

Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance that ended with the Eagles nearly taking down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs and hosting another parade down Broad Street, the Birds enter the 2023 season with yet another loaded team, a superstar quarterback, and a ton of amazing vibes.

How could it be better than last year? Well, a Super Bowl victory is the obvious answer, but there are a ton of things to be excited about before we get there, so let’s all enjoy the moment and look forward to these five things as we get ready for the Eagles’ first game of the season this Sunday against the Patriots in New England.

The Best Offense in Franchise History

The 2010 team that featured a reborn Mike Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and an outstanding offensive line is generally regarded as the team’s best overall offensive unit in team history. Behind Andy Reid’s play-calling and the unbelievable talent at QB, WR and RB, the Birds’ offense was unstoppable that season, right up until the final three weeks of the regular season and their wild card loss to the Green Bay Packers at home in the wild card round. You could argue the 2004 offense was better, with Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens, Brian Westbrook and a legendary O-line was better, or perhaps the 1980 Ron Jaworski-led unit, with Harold Carmichael and Wilbert Montgomery leading the way.

However, this season will feature what could very well be the greatest offense in Eagles history. Jalen Hurts’ emergence as a true dual threat and stone cold assassin in the big moment makes him something special. You truly do get the feeling you could be looking at one of those rare generational players that other teams seem to get and we never do. He’s paired with two 1,000-yard receivers in DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown, as well as a tight end who could also go over 1,000 yards in Dallas Goedert. And while 1,000-yard rusher Miles Sanders is now a Panther, the four-headed monster they’ll employ in the backfield should be just as good, especially behind an offensive line that most regard as the best in the sport.

They may not finish with the most points-per-game in team history, but that’s likely because they won’t have to. Sure, there will be some games where they don’t click, and we don’t know if Brian Johnson will have the same touch with playcalling that Shane Steichen did, but we do know it should be a ton of fun watching this team move the ball on a weekly basis.

Rookies Excelling

Last year, the Eagles didn’t need any of their draft picks to jump into the fray right away and contribute. Jordan Davis’ rookie season was mired by injury but no one hardly noticed because his teammates piled up 70 sacks. Cam Jurgens and Nakobe Dean barely saw the field, and only undrafted rookie safety Reed Blankenship contributed anything of value to the cause.

All those guys are being counted on to play a major role in 2023. Dean is the quarterback of the defense, he’ll be calling the plays, and while he is still a major question mark, given his lack of NFL experience, the talent is tantalizing. Davis should be a devastating run stuffer as part of a ridiculously deep defensive line rotation, and Jurgens is slated to start at right guard.

Unlike last year, the 2023 draft class is expected to compete and perform. The odds-on favorite to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is Jalen Carter, who is wowing people with his game-wrecking ability from the interior, but his fellow Georgia Bulldog teammate, Nolan Smith, has opened eyes with his speed rushing ability on the outside, too. It’s going to be a joy to watch those two dudes go at it. And don’t sleep on Tyler Steen playing a major role at some point this season, especially if Jason Kelce suffers and injury and Jurgens is needed at center, or safety Sydney Brown, who will also likely see a fair number of snaps at a position that features a dearth of depth.

The one rookie you hope you don’t see much of is QB Tanner McKee who, while showing promise during the preseason, would only be on the field if Jalen Hurts is not. And that’s not what you want.

Great QB Play Coming to the Linc

Last year, these were the QBs who started at Lincoln Financial Field against the Eagles:

  • Kirk Cousins
  • Trevor Lawrence
  • Cooper Rush
  • Kenny Pickett
  • Taylor Heinicke
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Andy Dalton
  • Davis Webb

Lawrence had yet to become “elite” Lawrence, Pickett was a raw rookie, Rodgers was in the midst of a dreadful final season with Green Bay, and the Tannehill magic was waning with Tennessee.

This year, some marquee QBs will be making their way to Philadelphia.

  • Kirk Cousins
  • Sam Howell
  • Tua Tagovailoa
  • Dak Prescott
  • Josh Allen
  • Brock Purdy
  • Daniel Jones
  • Kyler Murray or some Cardinals QB who will stink

This slate of signal callers will be a more difficult challenge for the Eagles’ defense, but for fans, it’s an exciting crop of QBs to watch come to Philadelphia! Not to mention a Super Bowl rematch with Patrick Mahomes, Rodgers once again only with the reborn Jets, and Geno Smith, who may or may not have been a mirage last season.

NFC East is a Beast Again

I’m a child of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s and there was never a more exciting time to be a fan of the NFC East than in those days when Washington, New York, Dallas and the Eagles were all really, really good every single year. It was the unquestioned best division in football for a decade, but over the course of the last 15 years, the division has faded into the background a bit.

But perhaps not anymore.

The Eagles are the best team in the NFC, but the Cowboys aren’t far behind. If Prescott stops throwing interceptions, it would certainly be a reasonable opinion to say Dallas might be just as good. Those two games between the two teams should be wars this season. But now the Giants have entered the chat, and while the Eagles beat them three times last season, Brian Daboll is no dope. He’s putting together a roster and a culture in New York that Eagles fans need to take seriously. There’s a ceiling on how good the Giants can be because of Jones, but they have the chance to be legitimately good year-in and year-out.

The Commanders are outliers here, but one can’t help but be a bit intrigued by Sam Howell and Eric Bieniemy. One could imagine Bieniemy becoming the team’s head coach as early as next season, which could change the game significantly. Either way, Washington is at least interesting for the first time in years. They’re gonna be bad, but maybe not awful, and they always play the Birds tough in at least one of their games.

Should be fun!

Kelly Greens

Well, you wanted it, you got it, and you probably shelled out hundreds of dollars to wear it.

As someone who can’t stand the black jerseys, I’m happy to see Kelly Green back in the fold as an alternate jersey they’ll wear twice this year, against the Bills and Dolphins.

Nostalgia is a potent drug, friends.

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