Most fans of the Philadelphia Eagles won’t be too thrilled with this article, but giving reasons why the team will repeat as division champions must also have a contrasting viewpoint to shortly follow.
For a team returning with the main core of their Super Bowl roster while having a perfect combination of young replacements, many analysts believe that the Eagles should be ready to be the first repeat division champion in close to two decades.
But there are also plenty of reasons why the team won’t have the same success as last season.
Eagles Coaching Carousel
Philadelphia has been through this before quite frequently. After they won the Super Bowl in 2017, they lost their offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. The following downgrade of coaches ended up costing the team multiple years as they failed to find the right combination of good coaching and young players.
In 2023, the team will have a new offensive and defensive coordinator. That, to a point, is even worse than the 2017 team. While Jonathan Gannon’s departure did not leave many upset, the loss of Shane Steichen is significant and could cost the team a game or two early in the season as they fell with Brian Johnson.
Philadelphia can’t afford to drop early games due to the second point.
The Schedule from Hell
It’s quite easy to see how the Eagles have the toughest schedule in football next season. Because of that, it’s not too far-fetched to think that the team could still make the postseason – just not as a division winner.
From Week 9-17 Philadelphia will face seven playoff teams and five of them having actually won a playoff game last year. The only real team in previous history that could compare to what the Eagles have to deal with is the 2008 Steelers. Pittsburgh was able to move past their tough schedule to end up winning the Super Bowl that year but even they don’t have the kind of gauntlet that the Eagles have to deal with.
Injury luck could turn
Nick Sirianni has done an excellent job of keeping his team fresh and healthy for deep playoff runs over his first two years.
Injury luck could change in an instant though.
With aging players like Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, and Darius Slay all in important positions, it’s not far-fetched that an injury to either of those players could hurt the Eagles’ chances to repeat their division supremacy.
Everyone knows that the NFC East hasn’t had a repeat champion since the 2003-04 Eagles. If there’s a year to have a repeat champ, it’s probably this year. Philadelphia is extremely talented, has the depth to withstand key injuries, and has strong coaching.
The issue? Several other teams in the NFC East’s history have been excellent on paper but have not been able to repeat their success.
Whether it was the ’08 Cowboys, ’14 Eagles, ’18 Eagles, or ’09 Giants, the NFC East isn’t always as cookie-cutter as other divisions are in the league. Just because Philadelphia is the clear favorite now, doesn’t mean that will be the case once the games actually start.
Flashes in the pan don’t always work out
I’m making this point very clear – I don’t think Jalen Hurts is a flash in the pan like Carson Wentz was. His work ethic and leadership far exceed that of the former Eagles quarterback. That being said, with the schedule as tough as it is, the team cannot afford to have their star quarterback regress in any way. If that ends up happening, not only will the Eagles struggle to win the division, but it will call into question almost everything right they’ve done over the last few months.
AP Photo/Chris Szagola