Now that the NFL schedule has been announced and dissected, it’s time to take a closer look at the opponents that the Eagles will face in 2022, highlighting the most exciting player from each.
(Hat tip to BloggingTheBoys, who published a similar article documenting the 25 players they’re excited for the Cowboys to face this year. It was a great piece and made me want to write my own version.)
The Lions don’t have much in the way of exciting young talent, but they did take the Draft’s premier pass-rusher. Hutch did primarily line up over the right tackle while playing for Michigan, which should provide a spicy matchup with Lane Johnson.
The narrative here alone would be worth a look, but Jefferson’s rise to NFL stardorm has been rapid. How this new-look Eagles defense will look to limit his impact is anyone’s guess, but you can bet that Darius Slay will play a key role.
Will Jefferson get revenge on the Eagles for not drafting him? Only time will tell.
Wentz isn’t an exciting player as much as one who causes unparalleled levels of tension whenever the ball leaves his hand, but this coupled with his very obvious and tumultuous ties with the Eagles makes him the standout player to watch when these two NFC East rivals clash.
Carson Wentz is a Jekyll and Hyde QB. Which version we see during these games is anyone’s guess.
Normally, I’d point towards the #1 overall pick, but Trevor Lawrence is different. His first year in the NFL was essentially ruined by Urban Meyer doing Urban Meyer things and it has led to some doubts about his game. What I really want to see here is the leap between year one and year two, because it’s obviously going to draw a parallel to the jump, or lack of it, that Jalen Hurts made and either normalize it or perhaps lead fans to expect more from the now third-year QB.
It doesn’t matter where you were drafted once you enter the NFL. A starting QB should be graded as such and Hurts is already down to the bottom of the barrel as far as excuses go for this season. A leap in production from Trevor Lawrence may only hurt those optics.
Luckily for Zach Ertz, this isn’t a homecoming otherwise he’d probably reduce us all to tears. However, he does have a shot to punish a very young linebacking corps that while emerging in talent, is lacking in experience and production. The defense made it all too easy for top-tier QB’s last year, and Kyler is certainly in that echelon. Without DeAndre Hopkins, he’s going to look for his security blanket…and that could lead to some uncomfortable moments for all involved.
I was very low on Diggs coming out of college. His 2021 season was ridiculous in the sense that he somehow picked off 11 passes and surrendered 1,000 yards worth of receptions. One of those numbers is going to be an outlier…but which one?
Calvin Austin III
Frankly, I love Calvin Austin’s game and he’s the kind of player that could give this Eagles defense fits if used correctly. Will the Memphis product shine against a team that would’ve also been a cozy landing spot?
Derek Stingley Jr
Stingley was the top-graded CB for many in this year’s NFL Draft including the Houston Texans. The question is whether he’s going to shadow DeVonta Smith or A.J Brown? Both matchups would require plenty of re-watches because of how explosive they are set to be and I just can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Jonathan Taylor is a rare breed of running back and one that the Eagles are really yet to experience. Matt Ryan may have struggled against the Eagles, but even a once-great Falcons backfield looks massively inferior to the one see in Indy captained by this man.
Green Bay Packers
There’s no other direction to look. Partly because of just how incredible Aaron Rodgers is, and partly because there is literally no other direction to look because the Packers don’t know how to build a team.
New York Giants
He was mocked to the Eagles frequently and for good reason. Thibodeaux has All-pro potential and he’ll need every bit of it against this offensive front.
The Bears somehow have even less talent than the Texans, but Jaquan Brisker was a name who many tied to the Eagles thanks to his Penn State routes. Will he punish them for passing on him.
New Orleans Saints
There may have been no greater offseason love affair than that of Mathieu and Eagles twitter. The 3 weeks it lasted were wonderful, but went up in flames when he went to the Saints for a price that would’ve been considered a huge overpay in Philadelphia. Like several others in this list, he could be looking to make a statement.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire