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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Looking to soar higher: Expectations fly high entering the 2023 Philadelphia Eagles season

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GRAPHIC: MINDY CHOI ’25/ THE HAWK

The Birds are back as the National Football League (NFL) concludes week one. In their first game of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles faced off against the New England Patriots, winning 25-20.

After starting the season with a win against the Pats, expectations are high for the 2023 season.

Last season, Philadelphia went 14-3, ending their season in Arizona with a 38-35 Super Bowl loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. This left some fans worried that the Birds’ season will be spent dealing with the common Super Bowl hangover.

In its history, only eight teams have ever returned to the Super Bowl the year after losing it. In the last 20 years, no National Football Conference (NFC) East team has won back-to-back seasons since the Eagles did it in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

There are a number of factors believed to contribute to this “curse,” including lower draft picks, a longer season, superstition, coaching changes and a tougher schedule the following season.

The off-season has proven the Eagles are not exempt from these factors. They have lost both their offensive coordinator Shane Steitchen and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who became head coaches for the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, respectively.

Along with this, the Birds will have to deal with a tougher schedule in their 2023 season as a result of their high standings in the 2022 season.

Even with each of these factors at play, fans are refusing to accept this as the Eagles’ fate. Expectations are high for fans and experts alike, with many NFL experts having the Chiefs, Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers at the top of their Super Bowl predictions. Betting odds also have the Chiefs and the Eagles at the top for Super Bowl LVIII.

One of the reasons for the high hopes surrounding the Eagles is their strong roster, despite losing some key players in the off- season, such as running back Miles Sanders, who led the team with 1,269 running yards last season, signing with the Carolina Panthers. Along with him, safety C.J. Gardner Johnson, who led the team with six interceptions last season, signed with the Detroit Lions. But the Eagles’ foundation remained unshook. Quarterback Jalen Hurts inked a $255 million five-year extension in the spring. The team’s core four veterans, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, center Jason Kelce, defensive end Brandon Graham and offensive tackle Lane Johnson, also returned for the season. In free agency, Cox, Kelce and Graham all signed one-year deals with the Eagles. Johnson signed a one- year extension. The group of Super Bowl LII champions have proven themselves as team leaders both on and off the field, contributing
to both culture and performance.

Roster moves, coaching changes and superstitions aside, only time will tell if the Birds will fly back to the Super Bowl or if their flight will be cut short by a decades long curse.

The only thing known for sure is fans will be cheering on the Eagles as they gear up for week two against the Minnesota Vikings in their home opener at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 14.

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Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
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