The 5 biggest questions for the Eagles entering the 2022 NFL season

Expectations are high for the Eagles in 2022. And they should be.

After all, The Birds came out of a season of nine wins and a playoff berth a year ago and they’ve added quite a bit of talent this off-season. granting credit Howie Roseman; He really boosted the list.

But there’s a reason even Rosman doesn’t want to talk about expectations. Because this kind of talk can cause great disappointment.

With that in mind, here are the top five questions that need to be answered about the Eagles as we prepare for the 2022 season:

How much better will Galen Hurts get?

Everyone in the organization, including owner Jeff Lowery, spoke about Hurts’ work ethic. They really believe that whatever the Hurts ceiling is, he will get there because of the amount of work he puts in. But that is not the question. The question is how much he will improve this season and whether or not it will be enough to make the Eagles serious contenders.

There’s no doubt that Hurts improved last year in his first full season as an NFL rookie from the glimpse we saw of him late in his rookie year in 2020. We know Hurts has a lot of athletic ability — he sped for 784 yards and 10 Relegation last season – but he still needs to improve as a pass. Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards with 16 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 2021.

When we talk about the 2022 Eagles, the first big question will always be about the midfielder.

“I don’t hear that,” Hurts said. “I know there are a lot of different things being said but I don’t hear it. I don’t listen, I don’t look for it. I just came here, I come to work, I do my job. I strive to grow in doing my work every day. This is nothing but an outside factor. .I do my own.

For the Eagles to make a serious run, the Hurts must do better. And his role will not only determine the outcome of the Al-Nusour team this season, but the future of the series, whether or not he becomes the midfielder for the Al-Nusour team in the long-term.

What will the pass rate be?

The Eagles weren’t planning to be a very strong team in 2022… but it kind of worked out that way. After a slow start, the Eagles realized that their best bet to win matches was to run the football behind one of the best offensive lines in football. It worked.

During seven weeks, the Eagles were 2-5 and were 26th in the NFL in rushing attempts, averaging just 23.4 per game.

In their next nine games, the Eagles went 7-2 and led the NFL in dash attempts and yards by wide margins. The Eagles averaged 39.2 attempts per game and 194.3 yards per game. The Eagles had 353 attempted lunges from week 8 to 17; The next closest team was the 49ers, who had 300 in one fewer game.

You can win the NFL by being the first running team, but it makes things a little more difficult. Nick Siriani has stated multiple times since the end of the 2021 season that being ranked 25th in the NFL in passing isn’t going to cut it. Adding AJ Brown and Zach Pascal to the squad in 2022, he should help pass the ball.

But it’s up to Siriani and OC/play liaison Shane Steichen to strike the right balance of attack in 2022. We don’t know exactly what that is just yet.

Will the Eagles benefit more from the passing rush?

When asked which areas he wants to see his defense improve in 2022, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon mentioned the transformations and impact on the midfielder. That would be a good start.

While sacks aren’t everything in terms of passing dash, the Eagles didn’t have enough in 2021. They finished the season with just 29 sacks, the second lowest total in the NFL. It also credited its lowest gross as a franchise since sacks became official law in 1984; The 2005 team had 29 sacks in 16 games.

The Eagles have added a host of talent on the defensive side of the ball but no addition on this area will help more than Haason Reddick. The Temple producer and former first-round pick had a rough start to his NFL career, but he’s exploded in the past two years with 23 and a half sacks, which is good for a fifth in the NFL during that time. He’s also done it in two different defenses – with the Cardinals and the Panthers – so the hope is that Riddick will get after the quarterback at the same rate in Philadelphia.

There are questions about how the Eagles could use Riddick in Gannon’s defense, but if he wasn’t asked to go after their quarterbacks, it would be a terrible mismanagement of talent. The Eagles need to rush towards passes to be better in 2022 and Riddick will be a big part of that. But they will also rely on a very good lineup of defensive linemen in rotation, including Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, Jordan Davis and more.

How fast can CJ Gardner-Johnson catch up?

The Eagles have a secondary trend that has been renewed this season. Darius Sly and Avonte Maddox are back as starters, but the Eagles also upgraded Marcus Epps and brought in James Bradbury and CJ Gardner Johnson. The last of that group came to the Eagles in a deal on August 30, giving him less than two weeks to prepare for the opening.

Gannon praised Gardner-Johnson’s footballing intelligence, but there is still a learning curve for a player entering a new defense and occupying a new position in just 11 days to get ready for a game.

“He’s smart,” Gannon said. “His skill set matches what we want to do, and when he’s ready to play, he’ll play.”

Gannon said the hands-on week will let them know Gardner Johnson is ready for the first week, but even then there will be an acclimation period for the 24-year-old full back. It’s even more important because Anthony Harris isn’t on the coaching squad anymore, which means the Eagles’ best backup options in a safety position are K’Von Wallace and Reed Blankenship.

Is Jonathan Gannon a good DC?

This past season, Gannon was a legitimate candidate for three separate coaching jobs. This shocked a lot of Eagles fans who didn’t like the way Gannon ran his defense in 2021. By the end of the season, the Eagles were 10th in defense in the National League. But the way they got there wasn’t always pretty. They were fed on terrible players and burned by the greats.

The style of defense is what really seemed to bother the Eagles fans and they have a real ache. While it makes sense to play passively to keep everything top of the line when facing great QBs, it can be a tough tactic to watch and be proud of.

But last year he was only Ole Gannon as defensive coordinator and the theory is that he may not have had the talent to manage his defense the way he wanted. No excuses anymore. This season, the Eagles have added Riddick, Keizer White, Bradbury, Gardner Johnson, Davis and Nakobi Dean. Not only are there more talents on this list, but Gannon should have the right pieces to be as versatile as he desires in 2022. It’s time to discover what DC he really is.

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