Happy New Year’s Eve. With just one day left in 2023, I figured it would be a good time to revisit some of the greatest moments that the Eagles gave to their fans over the last 12 months. While it hasn’t all been pretty, a Super Bowl run, stacked draft class, and 11-win season (up to this point) have certainly given us our fair share of memorable moments.
Here are my top 5 Eagles moments from the year of 2023.
*Honarable mention: D’Andre Swift gives Eagles fans a reason to be excited
For me, watching D’Andre Swift burst onto the scene and amass 305 yards across his first two starts as an Eagle was one of the best moments of the year. It might not be shared by many, but the Eagles had come off of a stint with a fairly static running back in Miles Sanders, who would often rush for 3 yards or 30.
Swift makes everything look so effortless and as if the game is being played in slow motion. It was a callback to the days of LeSean McCoy, and Eagles fans could rejoice watching an electric running back cut and burst his way past defenders on a weekly basis.
While this isn’t a specific ‘moment’, the emotion of just being excited every time an Eagles running back gets the ball is one that had been lost over the past few years, and feeling that again deserves a spot on this list.
Super Bowl revenge
2023 started with a sour taste. The Eagles had their Super Bowl dreams dashed by a resurgent Kansas City Chiefs team despite having all the opportunities in the world to put them away on the back of a stellar effort from Jalen Hurts. However, the Birds would have a chance to exact revenge, with the two teams clashing during the heart of the upcoming regular season.
As part of the dreaded ‘gauntlet’, this was always going to be an exciting game. Any time you pit two Super Bowl contenders together, fireworks ensue. But for two teams who are intertwined in so many ways on and off the field, this one was personal. The Eagles had a chance to make a statement before what could be another Super Bowl clash between two of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and they did exactly that.
Philadelphia won a nailbiting game 21-17 despite being down 17-7 at the half. The iconic image of Jalen Hurts bursting into the endzone after a Brotherly Shove to put the icing on the cake will be one that lives on for a long time.
It was great to see the Eagles get one back against the Chiefs. Can they do it again if the teams ever clash in the Super Bowl? Hopefully, we’ll have our answer in a few weeks!
A.J Brown takes over the NFL
Who could forget A.J Brown’s dominant 6-week run. The former Tennessee player became a true Titan of the NFL, registering six consecutive games with 125+ receiving yards.
He came into the season as the franchise leader in receiving yards in a single season with his 1,496 yards last year and is still very much on pace to break his own record this year.
Through the opening eight weeks of the season, Brown recorded 939 yards, 15.7 yards per reception, and 5 touchdowns.
He’s been catching some unnecessary heat over the last few weeks, but hopefully this serves as a reminder of just how great he is.
Beating the Cowboys
The Eagles have struggled to beat the Cowboys in recent years. In fact, they were 1-4 in their last 5 games against their most poignant rival coming into this season, but that all changed with a thunderous win back in November.
While that feat couldn’t be replicated in Jerry World, the win was enough to give the Eagles a huge momentum boost when it came to the race for the NFC East.
Any time you can beat your toughest rival, it has to be seen as an overwhelming positive. Given what this win meant, it very much belongs on this list.
The 2023 NFL Draft
The Philadelphia Eagles not only reached the Super Bowl this past season, but thanks to some incredible negotiating skills from Howie Roseman, somehow managed to attain a second first-round pick.
This, and a combination of factors including off-field concerns for Jalen Carter, led him to gracefully fall into the lap of Howie, while giving the Eagles some flexibility to snag Nolan Smith later in the first round.
On top of that, the Birds stacked their team with young talent. Kelee Ringo, Sydney Brown, Tyler Steen, and Moro Ojomo have all had key roles to play this season, while backup QB Tanner McKee’s development will be a priority for the team in years to come.
This might be the most exciting draft class the Eagles have selected in years. The instant impact, the fact that a player like Kelee Ringo is making some noise while just 21 years old, and Jalen Carter looks primed to be the first Eagle ever to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, make the 2023 NFL Draft one of the best moments of the year.
The Super Bowl run
Sure, it ended in the wrong kind of tears, but the fact that the Eagles were back in the Super Bowl so quickly after the downward spiral from just a few years ago is astounding. Howie Roseman saw the weak schedule and pounced, building a team of dominant free-agent acquisitions and surrounding Jalen Hurts with some remarkable talents that expedited his development.
Hurts entered 2022 as a ‘developmental’ name and came out as the only other QB not named Patrick Mahomes to record an MVP vote. The Eagles decimated the Niners in the NFC Championship game and for 2 quarters, looked untouchable in the Super Bowl.
For such a young team and coaching staff, seeing them hold their own on the grandest stage of all in a year many simply hoped for ‘mild improvement’ was remarkable. The Eagles very much showed that they belonged in the upper echelon of Football teams in that game and inspired hope that this was so much more than a ‘miracle’ like we saw in 2017. This could well have been the foundation of a dynasty. Now, 11 wins later with the #2 seed likely cemented despite a much tougher schedule, it’s safe to say that they’re still well on-track.