The Eagles open their season against a feisty Detroit Lions team on Sunday and the buzz around the franchise could be greater. Unfortunately, football is a week-to-week season and honestly, anything can happen. For this week, you should keep your eyes on these five players as they could truly impact the outcome of the matchup for the Eagles:
The Eagles trampled the Lions last season with their rushing attack but their lead rusher was out due to an injury. Sanders has struggled to find his rhythms in his young career so far and this matchup against the Lions could be the boost he needs. The Eagles will once again rely on their rushing attack to help set up their pass offense but Miles Sanders could make it more than just that.
Hargrave was one of the bright spots for the Eagles early on last season as he played as a man possessed. In the team’s first five games of the season in 2021, Hargrave racked up 6 sacks but after that, he only collected 1.5 more for the rest of the season. With the addition of Jordan Davis to the defensive line, I would expect that Hargrave may see fewer double teams especially if Cox can make his presence known.
With the Lions missing a key part of their offensive line, I would expect the Eagles to take advantage and make things happen with Hargrave early and often.
This will be the first season in quite some time that the Eagles will have a new batch of safeties in their defense. Gone are the days of Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod and now is the time for Marcus Epps. With his new running mate in Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, all eyes will be on Marcus Epps to step up and be the guy. Epps has had a good couple of years as the backup but how will he fair with the spotlight on him now?
The Eagles’ pass rush was not the greatest last season and has been on a decline for a while. Although Josh Sweat has been a sight for sore eyes, Haason Reddick will have to burden the load and lead his defense back to glory. The Eagles have an extraordinary weapon in Reddick due to his versatility. It will be interesting to see how Gannon deploys their weapon of mass destruction as he will look to make his mark playing for his childhood team.
Did you think I would leave Jalen Hurts off of the list? I’m pretty sure you’re tired of hearing about how much is riding on Jalen Hurts this season but how about we start with just week one? All eyes will be on how much Hurts has progressed this offseason even after an oddly time report of how bad he was doing, it seems as if Hurts made the strides that the team wanted him to make.
It’s not only about the strides though as the team invested in acquiring a new weapon for Jalen Hurts in A.J. Brown, who just so happens to be Jalen’s best friend. The team has set up Jalen for success in ways that every quarterback has dreamt of. I’m curious to see if Brown can bring the best out of shirts just like Stefon Diggs did with Josh Allen. Week one will tell us a lot of what we need to know for the rest of the season.
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