The NFL season is just under two weeks away. Which means the Eagles will be taking center stage in a season that has quite the expectations. While millions of excited fans all turn their attention to the league’s first few games, excitement is usually followed by panic and anxiety when the games are played.
For better or worse, the 2022 season will be talked about by the player movement that happened during the offseason. And with it, the balance of power has shifted from conference to conference.
The Russell Wilson trades and the Devante Adams deals shifted power from a balanced NFC side to a loaded AFC group.
Yet while the proven talent level has greatly diminished the NFC, there are still enough solid teams to make things interested when the games start to matter.
Let’s go through the power rankings of the NFC Teams heading into week one.
16. Seattle Seahawks
Without a doubt, the Seahawks are going to be the worst team in the NFC this year. A quarterback battle between Drew Lock and Geno Smith after trading Wilson won’t save them, and could very well cost the front office their jobs.
Baker Mayfield’s trade to Carolina boosted the Panther’s chances of making the playoffs. It’s a wonder why Seattle did not try and target the former Brown’s quarterback.
Regardless, the OL, DL, and secondary are bad. This is going to be a bad football team.
15. Chicago Bears
If the Bears are going to do anything of significance, Justin Fields has to play like an MVP candidate. The problem is that there is nothing close to a formidable offense around him. The OL is atrocious, the receiving core and running-back group is average, and the defense is a shell of themselves after trading Khalil Mack.
The Bears are going to be bad this season, and it isn’t fair to Fields because of how dysfunctional the entire franchise has been since he got there.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Let’s just put it out there: Marcus Mariota is not good enough to lead a very talentless Falcons team. After missing the Watson sweepstakes, the franchise realized that they alienated the best QB they ever had for no reason whatsoever and traded Ryan to Indianapolis.
There are some pieces here that could help make Atlanta competitive, but it’s just not enough. The Falcons are bad in the trenches, and outside of AJ Terrell, bad on defense as well.
13. New York Giants
Before training camp, I had New York as high as 10th on the list. The improvements they made in the draft, and free agency were significant, and Brian Daboll is a very good coach.
Then the injury bug hit. Kayvo Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari, half the offensive line, and even a good chunk of the rookie class have gone down to an injury. It’s just not sustainable. The Giants will be in a lot more games this season than not, but it won’t be enough to get higher than 13 on this list.
12. Detroit Lions
The Lions have gotten better. Week by week they look like a team that is on the cusp of building something special. Analysts can have doubts about Dan Campbell and his coaching philosophy, but as long as it works in the locker room, the former Lion is safe.
Detroit is still a couple of years away but they have a lot more pieces now to make things very interesting.
11. Washington Commanders
The Commanders could be a true sleeper team in the NFC this year. If Carson Wentz plays well, Washington will be in the thick of the NFC East race, but if he plays poorly, then the Commanders will be in the bottom portion of the NFC.
Outside of Wentz, the team has good-skill guys, an aging OL, and a battered secondary. The front seven will need to continue to win games for them.
10. Carolina Panthers
Another sleeper team that could be better than they look this season. The trade for Baker Mayfield could vaunt Carolina into a playoff spot. People will joke around, but Mayfield is still a quarterback that not only won a playoff game in Pittsburgh but outplayed Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City the week after.
Mayfield’s a good QB, who could bring exactly what the Panthers have been looking for: stability.
9. Arizona Cardinals
This team is a mess. You have a start wide receiver suspended for the first third of the season for a failed drug test, your quarterback has had concerns about leadership circulating, and the coach is letting the quarterback call plays immediately.
The Cardinals are a team that could implode very quickly this season. The hot starts won’t be enough to save Kingsbury’s job either.
8. New Orleans Saints
Someone will need to explain to me the love and confidence people have in Jameis Winston. The former first overall pick has done nothing in his NFL career to garner the level of confidence he’s been given to lead a very good Saints team this year.
If he plays well, New Orleans will be in the playoffs. If he plays poorly, this team could be one of the worst in the NFC.
7. Dallas Cowboys
You can’t ignore the injuries or players they traded away. Amari Cooper’s trade was puzzling, and their inability to get any depth along the OL was paramount when Tyron Smith went down with a broken leg. The Cowboys still have enough young talent to be a top team in the NFC, but it’s asking a lot of any quarterback to win without a good offensive line.
This team could be good, but could also be a dumpster fire by December.
6. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings, are the top sleeper in the league this season. Kevin O’Connell comes with an offensive-minded background that will help transform the Viking offense into one that is lethal against anyone. Without Devante Adams, I truly believe Minnesota could threaten the NFC North crown from Green Bay.
5. San Francisco 49ers
What’s going on in San Francisco? Outside of the Brian Windhorst joke, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the 49ers this season. The team, after making its second conference title appearance in three seasons, is changing its quarterback. Trey Lance is now getting the reigns of a loaded roster, but JimmyG is also on the team. Why would the 49ers wait so long to trade JimmyG? The longer the quarterback is on the roster, the worse the optics are with Lance. The 49ers are talented, but if Lance doesn’t play well, it could get ugly.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles made several major moves that turned their franchise from average to a championship contender. Jalen Hurts will have to improve as a passer in 2022 or else he won’t be a starting quarterback anymore, but all signs in the preseason show that this Eagles offense is ready to explode. It also helps that the defense looks very solid as well. The Eagles could be in for a great season.
3. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have the best quarterback in football, a good running game, and a very good defense. So why do they sit only at 3? The receiving core for the Packers is very new and could cause some concern early in the season. I wouldn’t bet against Rodgers in the regular season, but having a proven #1 guy is something you can’t just trade away. Of course, they did that this off-season. This is still a very good team, but will probably take a step back this season.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
At the beginning of training camp, it looked like the Bucs, Packers, and Rams will be jockeying for top positions in the NFC. But the Packers haven’t looked good as a receiving core, and the Bucs haven’t had Brady in the facility for a few weeks. That matters. The Buc’s injuries on the offensive line matter as well. Tampa Bay will be at the top of the NFC North this year, but it won’t take away from the fact that this team could very well struggle to start the season and hurt their chances of getting the top seed.
1. Los Angeles Rams
The defending champs last season got better, and look all primed and ready for a repeat. The Rams added Allen Robinson to an already lethal offense, they have one of the best front sevens in football while the secondary is elite. Trouble on the OL will be the only thing that gets in their way. But this team should be and is the favorite to get back to the Super Bowl on the NFC side.
Final Verdict for the Eagles
After exploring the landscape of the NFC, it’s fair to say that the Eagles have a good shot at making some noise this season. All of the Eagles chances will be dependent on the play of their young quarterback in Jalen Hurts. If Hurts is able to do his part and a little more then theres a great chance that the Eagles could be battling for more than just a playoff spot.
The Eagles have one of the better rosters on paper in the NFL but Championships aren’t won in the offseason. Where do you think the Eagles will land at the end of the season?
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