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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The birds are back

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GRAPHIC: GABRIELLA GUZZARDO ’23/THE HAWK

Expectations soar for 2022 Philadelphia Eagles

After an unexpected playoff run last season, the Philadelphia Eagles are back, and fans are looking forward to the 2022 season kick-off.

The Eagles ended their 2021 season by exceeding expectations and making a run for the playoffs with first-year head coach Nick Sirianni and first full year starter Jalen Hurts. However, an inexperienced quarter- back (QB) was part of their downfall. A weak defense and an inconsistent Hurts caused the Eagles to finish 9-8 in the 2021 season before they ended their season with a 31-15 loss against the Tampa Bay Bucca- neers in the Wild Card Round of the Na- tional Football League (NFL) Playoffs.

Throughout the offseason, the Eagles have strengthened their weaknesses, trading for star wide receiver A.J. Brown, signing linebackers Haason Reddick and Kyzir White as well as cornerback James Bradberry, and drafting Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. Reddick, White and Dean have fans hoping that the continuous issues with the team’s linebackers will be put to rest. Davis, a first- round pick, put up a time of 4.78 seconds for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. His time shows impressive athleticism that will benefit the team defensively.

As for the team’s offense, the acquisition of A.J. Brown, a top ten receiver for the 2022 season according to CBS sports, along with the progress made by Hurts this off-season,

adds more firepower to the team’s already strong offense. The Eagles finished the 2021 season leading the league in rush yards per game and showed more potential with the Hurts/Brown duo.

During his third training camp with the Eagles, Hurts has shown improvement in his pocket presence and accuracy, earning him the trust of Sirianni and the rest of the team. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who led the team in receiving yards last season, also continued to prove himself during his second training camp.

Following NFL cut day, the Eagles traded former first-round pick, wide re- ceiver Jalen Reagor to the Minnesota Vi- kings. Reagor had an acceptable training camp, but the front office decided he was not part of the present and future plans. Reagor was the team’s top punt and kick returner, which leaves the question of who will fill that spot.

Other questions surrounding the upcoming season include the team’s health. Offensive tackle, Lane Johnson, said that he feels healthy and has not experienced any pain all summer after an ankle injury from 2018 that has affected his performance in the past few seasons. Long-

time veteran defensive end Brandon Graham, will also make his return to the gridiron after an Achilles tear caused an early end to his 2021 season. Running back Miles Sanders, returned to practice nearly three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in the preseason opener. Sirianni has yet to comment on Sanders’ status, but he is expected to suit up for week one.

Expectations for this team are running high. Fans believe this might be the team’s most talented roster since the 2017 Super Bowl team. The Eagles will play their season opener on Sept. 11 in Detroit against the Lions, where these expectations will be put to the test.

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Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
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