Philadelphia Eagles season preview: Schedule, offseason additions & predictions

Jalen Hurts eagles
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The Eagles defeated the Colts 17-16. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

We’re now just days away from the 2023 NFL regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles will be hoping to return to the Super Bowl and finish what they started in 2022, bringing the City of Brotherly Love its second championship since 2017.

Here’s your ultimate Eagles season preview – breaking down the Draft, recapping the offseason, and preparing you for what promises to be another enthralling year of Football.

Philadelphia Eagles stun during NFL Draft

Round 1, pick 9: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Round 1, Pick 30, Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Round 2, pick 65: Tyler Steen, OL, Alabama
Round 2, pick 66: Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
Round 4, pick 105: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Round 6, pick 188: Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
Round 7, pick 245: Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas

What a weekend this was. The Eagles aggressively landed not one, but two dominant Georgia stalwarts for their defense. Jalen Carter replaces Javon Hargrave while Nolan Smith has already earned the nickname of ‘Mini Reddick’. These two players will be pivotal to the defense’s success in 2023.

Elsewhere, the Eagles added Sydney Brown during the second round of the draft just one pick after adding another versatile lineman in Tyler Steen. With Jason Kelce returning to one more year, Howie Roseman was given some roster flexibility

Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

Offseason additions and losses

Additions

  • RB Rashaad Penny
  • RB D’Andre Swift
  • S Terrell Edmunds
  • WR Olamide Zaccheaus
  • QB Marcus Mariota
  • TE Albert Okwuegbunam

Losses

  • RB Miles Sanders
  • DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
  • S Marcus Epps
  • DT Javon Hargrave
  • LB T.J Edwards
  • LB Kyzir White
  • QB Gardner Minshew

The Eagles were not heavy players in the free agency market. Instead, a lot of internal housekeeping was prioritized, and rightfully so. The Eagles were not only able to retain Jason Kelce, but both Darius Slay AND James Bradberry. One-year deals were given to the likes of Brandon Graham, ensuring that the core players remain and gives enough time for the next generation of players to develop.

Of course, the biggest story of the offseason was Jalen Hurts signing a $255M contract, but we’ll talk more about that later.

Schedule

Week 1: @ New England Patriots

Week 2: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Week 3: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 4: vs. Washington Commanders

Week 5: @Los Angeles Rams

Week 6: @ New York Jets

Week 7: vs. Miami Dolphins

Week 8: @ Washington Commanders

Week 9: vs. Dallas Cowboys

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 12: vs. Buffalo Bills

Week 13: vs. San Francisco 49ers

Week 14: @ Dallas Cowboys

Week 15: @ Seattle Seahawks

Week 16: vs. New York Giants

Week 17: vs. Arizona Cardinals

Week 18: @New York Giants

This is a much tougher schedule than the one enjoyed by the Eagles in 2022. In particular, the slate of games between week 11 and 15 looks beyond intimidating. However, if there is ever a window for Hurts to prove himself as the MVP, and the Eagles to cement themselves as true Super Bowl contenders, this is it.

Their win total for 2023 is set at 11.5. You can bet on the OVER or UNDER this total at most good sportsbooks. We’ve found some exciting sign-up offers if you want to make your first bet ahead of the new season.

Eagles storylines to watch in 2023

Jalen Hurts becomes the $255M man

It felt inevitable from the moment he stepped onto the field in week 1 of last season. Jalen Hurts became the NFL’s highest-paid player this past offseason when he signed a huge $255M extension, keeping him in Philadelphia through 2028. The Birds may have fallen short in the Super Bowl, but on the grandest stage of all, Hurts showed the world just how bright he could shine.

The quarterback accounted for 375 of the 415 yards of offense: over 80% of the offensive production for the birds in the Super Bowl. He left Howie Roseman with next to no choice. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert were all names awaiting a big payday, so jumping the gun before the price sky-rockets even further was a wise move.

Jalen Hurts put together an MVP-worthy campaign and helped old pal A.J Brown push past the 1,000 yard mark along with DeVonta Smith. His passing was precise, his composure was unparalleled, and his trust in wideouts deep down the field was capitalized on again and again. It was a phenomenal season that not only showed how good he is, but how good he can still be.

With all of his favorite targets back in the fold and lifelong mentor Brian Johnson as offensive coordinator, the Eagled look primed to make some more noise in 2023.

A revamped defense is ready to take flight

Losing Javon Hargrave hurt and there are still questions to be answered at linebacker, but the core of this defense is as nasty as it ever has been. Jalen Carter joins former Georgia teammate, Jordan Davis, at DT, while Jalen Carter and Haaason Reddick look to become the most dominant 1-2 pass-rushing punch in the entire league.

Eagles
Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter watches as players warm up on the field before the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Nakobe Dean is primed to become the heartbeat of the defense and the secondary behind him is not only comprised of elite corners, but young defensive backs such as Reed Blankenship, Kelee Ringo, Sydney Brown, and Josh Jobe, who are all going to develop leaps and bounds this season.

The cherry on the cake is Sean Desai, who takes over from Jonathan Gannon as defensive coordinator. Gannon’s defense did a lot of the heavy lifting to mask his flaws as a coordinator last year and they were truly exposed in the Super Bowl. Desai’s approach to defense stems from Vic Fangio’s coaching philosophies, which is something the Eagles have been slowly but surely adopting over the last year or do.

Desai loves using versatility to create confusion and mismatches. That bodes perfectly for a defense that is filled with athletic freaks who have been cross-trained at various points in their careers. It might take a while for things to settle into place, but the Eagles defense looks like it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

A new-look backfield

The Eagles chose to let Miles Sanders walk this past offseason and opted to build a committee backfield in his place. For the price of what Sanders is now being paid in Carolina, the Birds have a three-headed monster that could rival the best backfields in the league if they all stay healthy. Rashaad Penny is a dominant back between the tackles and D’Andre Swift used the preseason to send a reminder to the league as to just how lethal he can be in the open field.

Eagles
DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 02: Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (20) runs with the ball during the third quarter of an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions on October 2, 2022 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

With Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott sandwiching these two proven commodities, the Eagles have ticked every box you could possibly think of. Altogether, the backfield has an abundance of versatility, receiving ability, and thunder through the tackles.

If Jalen Hurts and the option-based offense didn’t provide enough danger already, this backfield is sure to bring the boom.

Season expectations

While many teams regress in the offseason following a Super Bowl appearance, the Eagles seem to have only gotten stronger. Their franchise QB is locked in for the foreseeable future, the defense as been injected with an explosive sense of youth, and Nick Sirianni has completely rebuilt this Locker room to the strongest it ever has been.

The schedule might prove to be tougher, but this team is more than capable of handling it all. Can they repeat as NFC Champions? I’m not sure. But that has to be the aim.

If they achieve this, then an MVP Award should be headed to Philadelphia and more specifically, Jalen Hurts. Many believe that he would’ve won the award last year had it not been for an injury setback towards the end of the season. If the Eagles can prove the doubters wrong and beat the likes of the Chiefs and Bills en-route to another Super Bowl berth, there should be no question as to who the most valuable player in the NFL is.

Philadelphia Eagles betting markets

Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl +650

Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC Championship +250

Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East -135

Philadelphia Eagles to record over 11.5 wins -105

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Jalen Hurts bets

Jalen Hurts to record over 3700 passing yards -105

Jalen Hurts to record over 22.5 passing touchdowns -105

Jalen Hurts to throw for more than 4,000 passing yards +200

AP Photo/Darron Cummings