Tag Archives: Philadelphia Eagles

Patriots vs. Eagles Preview

The 2023 season kicks off with the Patriots hosting the defending NFC Champs the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles enter the season with realistic expectations of a championship, while the Patriots are trying to reclaim their previous status as perennial contenders. It’ll be the first glimpse of the Bill O’Brien/Mac Jones offense and a chance to see how the Patriots’ multitude of tweeners all fit together on defense.

Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Series Record

Eagles: 8 wins (including Super Bowl LII); Patriots: 7 wins (including Super Bowl XXXIX)

Patriots Offense vs. Eagles Defense

For the Patriots to be successful this year, the offense needs to return to the efficient model utilized in the early 2000s. They do not need to be a high-flying affair, but rather a competent and consistent offense. The defense will be good enough to keep this team in most, if not all, games, and the offense needs to keep from being the reason the team loses.

This game will be determined up front. The Eagles boast a ridiculously deep front seven littered with high-end pass rushers. The Patriots’ offensive line should be solid at four out of five positions at some point this season; unfortunately, it might not be game one. The Pats have dealt with a slew of injuries across the offensive line throughout the preseason. The lack of continuity and practice time may be apparent against the Eagles front.

A positive? The Eagles were among the bottom of the league in running games and stunts up front with their defensive line. If the Pats are going to be successful, it will be because of the big hogs winning their one-on-one match-ups.

The Patriots will need to lean on their running game to keep the offense on schedule and to keep the Eagles offense off the field. This game should feature a lot of Rhamondre Stevenson, while also giving Ezekiel Elliott a healthy workload in his Patriots debut. The Patriots may try to take advantage of the interior of the Eagles ‘defense with a steady dose of power and dive runs.

The Patriots may not find a lot of success passing to the boundaries, as the Eagles return stalwart corners James Bradberry and Darius Slay. Mac Jones should be able to find success in the middle of the field against a reworked safety duo. Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki should be in for a busy day.  

Patriots Defense vs. Eagle Offense

The Eagles return a majority of starters from a top offense a year ago. They feature depth and talent up front, as well as a top-three wide-receiver duo. The quarterback is one of the best in the league. Their backfield took a hit after Miles Sanders left after a career year. The Patriots defense will have to be the strength of this team, and they will be tested immediately in week one.

The Patriots must pick and choose their spots to be aggressive against this Eagles offense. Sending extra defenders to rush the quarterback will leave the defensive backs manned up against a talented receiving corps. The Patriots lost a sticky cover man in Jack Jones this week. Jonathan Jones and rookie Christian Gonzalez face a challenge as the top corners against A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith. The Patriots can get away with intermittent man coverage calls, but can’t make a habit of it on Sunday.

The Patriots should be able to find success if they can get Jalen Hurts to throw while on the run. Hurts’ numbers last year while scrambling were below average. The key is to limit his ability to turn a scramble into a long gain on the ground. The Patriots should focus on sending interior pressure while keeping an athletic body on Hurts as a QB spy. The Pats can use the likes of Mack Wilson, Marte Mapu, Adiran Phillips, Jabrill Peppers, and Kyle Dugger as QB spies, while also giving multiple looks from different personnel groupings.

Special Teams

The Patriots will roll out rookies at both kicker and punter this year. Both Chase Ryland and Bryce Baringer feature booming legs, but may struggle with consistency early in their careers. Baringer can help the Patriots win the field position game even when punting from deep in his own territory. The Patriots reloaded the roster with special teams stalwarts after a down year in the game’s third phase. The Eagles have a steady kicker in Jake Elliott, but should not have an edge elsewhere on special teams.


The Patriots will need to play a very smart and efficient game on both sides of the ball to win the season opener. On a day when New England will be celebrating the legacy of The Goat, its fans may be left wishing for his presence on the field again. The Eagles will be able to harass Jones as the offensive line tries to find its footing.

The key to the game will be in the turnover battle. New England will need to steal a few possessions if they want to win this game. The Patriots will be able to keep up with the Eagles otherwise. Expect the Patriots to keep it close in the first half before the Eagles pull away late. Eagles win 28-20.

Speaking of Tom, how lucky were we!? Congrats GOAT. You deserve it.

NFL Free Agency: Three Winners and Losers From the First Wave

Photo Credit Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

The first major part of free agency is now essentially over. At the time of this writing, it’s been nearly two weeks since free agency started, and most free agents have found their home for the next year. Of course, there are a ton of quality players who remain unsigned, but we’ve definitively passed the first checkpoint of free agency. With that complete, here are three winners and losers from the NFL free agency period up to this point.

Winner: Detroit Lions

Detroit has one of the youngest, most exciting rosters in the NFL. The Lions missed the playoffs last year by the skin of their teeth, despite an impressive 2022 campaign.

With money to spend, the Lions made a handful of moves. Detroit signed C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Emmanuel Moseley, and Cameron Sutton on the defensive side of the ball. Those three should dramatically improve a secondary that was torched for most of the 2022 season.

They lost Jonathan Williams, but replaced him with a more-than-capable David Montgomery. Losing Williams might hurt the locker room, but this young team is easily one of, if not the, biggest winners from the first wave of NFL free agency.

Loser: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are coming off a wildly successful year, but their roster has taken a bit of a hit during this free agency period.

The Eagles have lost a whopping seven starters to free agency this year. Javon Hargrave, T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, C.J. Gardner Johnson, and Marcus Epps have left the defensive side of the ball. The offense has lost Miles Sanders and Isaac Seumalo. All this adds up to the Eagles being one of the big losers from the NFL free agency period thus far.

This isn’t exactly a surprise. Philadelphia had a laundry list of players hitting the market this offseason, without the funds to keep them all. Still, losing seven starters hurts, and this team will look very different come training camp.

Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have had a very interesting offseason. Carolina sent an envoy of assets to Chicago for the number one pick. They’ve recouped some of those in free agency as well.

Carolina did have to send away their star receiver, D.J. Moore, in order to get the first pick. However, they recovered some of that lost talent by signing Adam Thielen. Staying on the offense, the Panthers also picked up tight end Hayden Hurst, running back Miles Sanders, and wide receiver D.J. Chark. With these additions, whichever quarterback they take will have a lot of weapons around him.

Loser: Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders have undergone more change than most of the NFL as a whole during this offseason. They’ve rid themselves of Derek Carr and Darren Waller, with many fans wondering who the next player to go is.

Jimmy Garoppolo will be their quarterback in 2023, but his deal makes it so he can be cut after a year without too much dead money. It seems like Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler are aiming for a Patriots reunion, picking up Jakobi Meyers to pair with Garoppolo. The Raiders have made every move possible on offense, while mind-numbingly ignoring a defensive unit that, on paper, is easily one of the worst in the league.

The Raiders are in NFL purgatory. They don’t know whether they want to contend or rebuild, and by not making a choice, they’ve made the worst choice possible.

Winner: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons made a variety of key signings during this period. Atlanta is a team on the rise, and with some of their moves this offseason, they seem to be just a quarterback away from contention.

On defense, the Falcons were able to grab Jesse Bates and David Onyemata. On offense, they added Mack Hollins and Jonnu Smith. These two, with Drake London and Kyle Pitts will make for a dynamic receiving corps.

Atlanta just needs their quarterback now. Whether their franchise quarterback will come through the draft, a trade, or he’s already in house, one thing is for sure: The Falcons have set themselves up very well and are a clear winner of this year’s NFL free agency period so far.

Loser: Green Bay Packers

The Packers have found themselves in quite the pickle. Green Bay has had a bit of a stagnant free agency, but their hands are tied. The main reasons for this are a lack of cap space, and the whole Aaron Rodgers situation.

The Packers do have his predecessor in Jordan Love, but they’ve been put in a precarious situation. Until they agree with the Jets on compensation for a Rodgers trade, their lack of cap space prevents them from signing any new free agents.

After the Rodgers saga is over, the Packers might very well come out of this offseason in a better place. As of now though, their lack of ability to sign notable free agents makes them a loser up to this point in the NFL free agency period.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith passes against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Seattle.

Solving The Mystery of Quarterback Play in 2022

We are about a month into the NFL season: the perfect time for storylines to develop, narratives to run rampant, and for trends to begin to take shape. We have certainly seen our fair share of each since the beginning of the season. However, none quite contend with the oddities in 2022 at the most important position in sports: the quarterback.

Quarterback play is, far and away, one of the most difficult levels of success to quantify. Some use advanced stats, carefully calculated metrics which mean nothing without context, while others use “the eye test”, rummaging their way through hours of film in hopes of validating their takes. Both are certainly valuable, but neither can explain the trends we have seen this year.

To put it bluntly, 2022 has been one of the weirdest, and statistically worst, years of quarterback play we have seen in quite some time. The mainstays of years’ past have been inconsistent and, in some cases, outright disappointing, thinning out the upper echelon of signal callers.

Unless, that is, you look at the top of any of the league’s advanced stat categories, in which you will find many new faces. However, these aren’t the anomalies of years’ past, such as Mahomes in 2018 or Herbert in 2020. No athletic freak getting his first true chance with a high powered offense. Rather, a collection of veterans and castaways whose offenses have seen astronomical jumps through the first month.

The most astounding example thus far? None other than Geno Smith.

No Russ, No Problem

When Seattle shipped off Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for a king’s ransom, it was widely anticipated that the Seahawks would not only be inheriting a downgrade in quarterback play, but a substantial one at that. However, Geno Smith has been, by almost all accounts, phenomenal for Seattle through the first five games.

Smith is currently first in passer rating, completion rate over expected, completion rate, and a higher average intended air yards, per NextGenStats, than Patrick Mahomes (8.8 to 7.7).

Smith had largely been written off by the league after his tenure with the New York Jets. He was viewed as a career backup and, despite his nine year career, only has two more starts than Justin Herbert. However, being called to start the season for only the third time in his career, he has outplayed his predecessor in future Hall-of-Famer Russell Wilson.

A Healthy Balance

However, this isn’t the statistical anomaly we typically see from advanced stats. Smith’s success has transferred over to the tape as well. His ability to make tight-window throws along with making big plays under pressure, in particular, have been the catalysts to his success.

Geno Smith throws with timing and anticipation to the end zone.

What has distinguished him from the ‘efficiency darlings’ of the past has been the carry over of efficiency to aggressive throws. Typically, many stats favor the conservative and those quick to take the check down. Geno Smith has once again been the outlier, combining getting the ball out quickly with a knack for hitting his occasional shots downfield.

Geno Smith has been efficient on his aggressive throws.

Smith has found ways through the first month to maximize his talent in ways that Wilson had struggled with. Without their former Super Bowl champion, many expected Seattle to be in the running for the number one pick. However, they’re still in the thick of a difficult NFC West with Geno at the helm. If these quarterback trends continue throughout 2022 for Smith, it’s feasible to see Seattle sneaking into a Wild Card spot.

Rocky Mountain Disaster

It is the other side of the trade involving Seattle and Denver that, for multiple reasons, has been a struggle thus far. Wilson’s had a rough go of it to start his career in Denver. While it isn’t all on him, he certainly bears some of the blame.

Wilson has long garnered the reputation as a playmaker. He has been regarded as somebody who can not only deliver in the pocket, but also when the pocket becomes murky. This year, Wilson has tried many of the same plays, putting a supreme level of trust in his weaponry. However, he’s been slower to reads, unwilling to let a play die, and all around worse as a passer.

As someone who has disregarded throwing over the middle of the field, Wilson made his money on his “moon ball”- the deep throws down the sideline to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were the center of his game. However, when defenses are taking away the deep game, Wilson has been just as aggressive, albeit in risky situations.

Per NextGenStats, Wilson ranks top ten in both average intended air yards and aggressiveness percentage. However, this has resulted in a completion percentage 6.3 percentage points below expectation, among the likes of Joe Flacco and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Late Night Woes

All of this was on full display on primetime against the Indianapolis Colts. More specifically, on the throw shown below. Wilson feels pressure early, in large part due to the Broncos line, which hasn’t helped him much. However, the game situation would clearly dictate throwing the ball away.

It’s third down in the fourth quarter of a low scoring game. Living to play another down would likely mean the end of the game. Denver would be up by six, and Indianapolis had instilled no confidence in scoring a touchdown.

Despite this, Wilson decides to live and die by the big play, forcing the ball down the field and vastly overthrowing his target. Thus, Indianapolis is able to stay within a field goal and get the game to overtime.

It was in this overtime period, specifically the last play of the game, where Wilson and Hackett showed their pitfalls once again.

Denver has the ball on the five yard line on fourth and one. It’s do-or-die. If they fail to convert, Indianapolis wins the game. All Denver needs is a yard to keep the drive alive. Considering Denver’s rushing success on this drive, running the ball would likely be the solution. But Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson had other plans.

Uncharacteristic Mistakes

Hackett comes out in a light gun look, making it clear that he wants the end zone, and draws up a good play for Wilson. A simple pick to his right opens up KJ Hamler coming over the middle for what should be an easy touchdown.

However, Wilson, with all day to throw it, continues to stare down Courtland Sutton to the left. Keep in mind that Sutton is guarded by Stephon Gilmore, who already has a pick in this game.

Stephon Gilmore ends the game for Indianapolis.

Wilson continues to stare, forces the ball to his first read, and never sees Hamler. Gilmore is able to knock the ball down and win the game, on what looked like a rookie mistake from Wilson. It’s not often that we see a ten-year veteran stare down his first read this badly, much less force it into coverage.

The Broncos were widely expected to be a Super Bowl contender this year with Wilson and Hackett. However, both clearly have issues that must be ironed out, and are suffering because of them early on.

Super Bowl Hangover?

The Denver Broncos and Russell Wilson aren’t alone in their struggles, as the Super Bowl runners up have had their fair share as well. In the Cincinnati Bengals’ case, it’s also due to a combination of factors.

Last year, the Bengals’ deep attack was one of the best the league has ever seen. Jamar Chase and Tee Higgins excelled in one-on-one situations down the sideline, and Joe Burrow was hitting them at an all-time clip. It was the perfect storm of high-level deep accuracy and elite deep threats. Through this, they were able to annihilate defenses, and specifically single-high shells.

That being the primary feature of their offense was enough to get them a spot in the Super Bowl. In their championship bout, Cincinnati largely competed with the Los Angeles Rams. However, it was then that we began to see a counter form against their high-powered offense.

Simply put, teams began to move into more two-high defenses, preventing the deep passes the Bengals thrived upon. Along with this, Cincy faced more zone defenses, leading to fewer one-on-one situations for Chase and Higgins.

Not Enough Help

The typical counter to this would be to run the ball, and the numbers are simple. Coming out in two-high takes a player out of the box, and often gives a numbers advantage to the offense. The Bengals, on the other hand, haven’t been efficient enough in the run game to force teams back down. This is, in large part, due to their offensive line play.

It was well documented that Cincinnati’s fatal flaw last season was their offensive line. Joe Burrow was sacked more than any other quarterback, and the run blocking wasn’t much better.

Thus, the Bengals spent significant capital this offseason on revamping the line. Signing La’el Collins, Ted Karras, and Alex Cappa, they hoped the veteran presence up front would solidify a contender. However, it’s clear that they haven’t gelled yet as a unit, and their individual play hasn’t been up to par either.

Despite these struggles, Cincinnati has largely been in close games, which is where more struggles — specifically Zac Taylor’s and Joe Burrow’s — have begun to show. The former’s play calling has been predictable and inefficient. Resorting to trick plays in the red zone and poorly managing short yardage situations have stood out among Taylor’s woes.

Law of Averages

Some of the blame, as stated before, does fall on Burrow’s shoulders. Unlike last year, the expectation wasn’t to hit on a historic percentage of difficult passes. However, this year has certainly been a fall from grace.

Along with the successful one-on-one shots being few and far between, Burrow has tried to overcompensate elsewhere. This was on full display in Week 1, where he threw four interceptions. What stood out on these plays was how much Burrow forced the ball into tight windows. Rather than taking what was in front of him, he tried too hard to be a playmaker and wrote checks that his arm — along with a majority of NFL arms, for that matter — couldn’t cash.

Minkah Fitzpatrick takes a Joe Burrow pass back for a pick-six.

This over-aggressiveness, along with the lack of help from his offensive line and coaching staff, has led to struggles for Burrow. While potentially predictable, it’s certainly uncharacteristic for what we’ve seen to this point in his career. Burrow has looked better recently, in particular against a depleted Dolphins secondary.

He will almost definitely improve down the stretch, but his quarterback play has been an interesting trend thus far in 2022, to say the least.

Other Interesting Trends in 2022 Quarterback Play

While Smith, Wilson, and Burrow have been the most interesting three, they aren’t the only quarterbacks to play outside of their expectations so far in 2022. Matthew Stafford and the Rams have struggled on offense, largely due to their offensive line play. Going into Week 5, they ranked 19th in pass-block win rate. When coupled with Stafford’s elbow injury concerns and the loss of Odell Bekcham Jr., regression has been rough.

On the flip side of the 2022 quarterback trends, we have also seen the development of several young quarterbacks. Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts rank third and ninth in passer rating, up drastically from last season. Each with new and improved weapons and circumstances, they have taken advantage of a great opportunity. Both were in their “prove-it year”, and they have shown out to this point.

No article about the quarterback trends of 2022 would be complete without mention of Cooper Rush in Dallas. Now 5-0 in his career as a starter, Rush has kept the Cowboys afloat in relief of Dak Prescott.

However, it’s clear their offense misses their 40 million dollar quarterback and will start him when he returns. That isn’t to discount Rush, though, who has shown he belongs and made the most of his opportunity.

The Cowboys are certainly a better offense with Dak Prescott in the lineup.

The year is clearly still very early for quarterbacks. We may very well see the high risers fall back to Earth, or positive regression for the struggling veterans. However, it certainly has been a different year to say the least.

The NFL always has something new to offer, and their most important position has been no different. It will be exciting to see how these quarterback trends progress and change as the 2022 season moves on.

NFC East Preview: Off-season Recap and Predictions

NFC East preview

The NFC East is the most successful division in NFL history, and all four teams are looking to add to that success. One team has a new regime in charge, one has a new name, another added major talent, and the last lost some talent. This sets up for an interesting race for the title of NFC East champion. Let’s take a look at all the changes, and how that impacts their seasons in this NFC East preview.

NFC East Preview

4. New York Giants

Key losses – CB James Bradberry, S Logan Ryan, TE Kyle Rudolph, S Jabrill Peppers, RB Davontae Booker, OG Will Hernandez, TE Evan Engram, OLB Lorenzo Carter

Key additions – HC Brian Daboll, OL Jon Feliciano, QB Tyrod Taylor, OG Mark Glowinski, TE Jordan Akins, RB Matt Brieda, P Jamie Gillan, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux, RT Evan Neal, WR Wan’Dale Robinson, OG Joshua Ezeudu

It was an abysmal season for the New York Giants last season, as they finished 4-13, last in the NFC East. It was Joe Judge’s last season in the Big Apple, as the Giants decided to move on from him. Brian Daboll was brought in to help change the culture and bring a winning team back to New York. However, it’s going to be another rebuild year — but hopefully with some bright spots.

Last year’s Giants offense was a train wreck. They finished 31st in total offense, as they couldn’t do anything right. This means this is most likely Daniel Jones’ last chance as the Giants long-term option at quarterback. His supporting cast won’t help much either. The Kenny Golladay signing is proving to be a mistake and Saquon is still trying to get back to form.  

However, there are two weapons that will be interesting to watch: Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson. The two young wideouts are looking to prove their worth in Daboll’s new offense. With two young tackles, the offensive line will look to improve, but the rest of the offensive line is weak. It’ll be another tough year for Giants fans watching this offense. They will look to see if Daboll can bring a spark to this offense.

As bad as the offense was, the defense was a little better. However, it still ranked 21st in total defense. They added rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux to create an up-and-coming pass rush. The interior of the defensive line will be looking for the young edge rushers to make the unit a major threat.

After recently releasing linebacker Blake Martinez, the linebacker corps is one of the worst in the league. Once you get past the defensive line, teams could have a field day running the ball. In the secondary, they have Adoree’ Jackson to lead. Even though the secondary had a solid season last year, losing James Bradberry will hurt. The youth in this secondary will be tested a lot this season. I expect this defense to have another year towards the bottom of the league.


After a season with only four wins, I expect the Giants to have another rough season. I have them going 3-14 and 2-4 against the NFC East. Rebuilding doesn’t happen overnight, so Giants fans will need to be patient.

3. Washington Commanders

Key loses – DL Matt Ioannidis, DT Tim Settle, S Landon Collins, OG Brandon Scherff, OG Ereck Flowers, WR Deandre Carter

Key additions – QB Carson Wentz, OG Andrew Norwell, OG Trai Turner, DE Efe Obada

Re-signed – WR Cam Sims (1-year), K Joey Slye (1-year), RB J.D. McKissic (2-years), S Bobby McCain (2-years), S Troy Apke (1-year)

Extensions – WR Terry McLaurin (3-years, $71 million)

The 2021-22 Washington Football Team didn’t get a lot of attention last year around the NFL, but it wasn’t a horrible season. They went 7-10, finishing 3rd in the NFC East. With five one-score losses, this team could’ve had a chance at the playoffs. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin had another fantastic season, and now he has an upgrade at quarterback. This will be a big year for head coach Ron Rivera, as he tries to lead them back to the playoffs.

Last season’s offense ranked 21st in total offense with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback, creating higher expectations now with Carson Wentz. They have a great duo at receiver with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. This should open the field up for tight end Logan Thomas as he looks to show his worth again coming off of a season, where he played just six games.

The running back room looks solid as well, with Antonio Gibson leading the way. Horrible news broke that rookie running back Brian Robinson had been shot in an armed robbery. We’ll have to wait and see if he plays this season at all. The group protecting Wentz is borderline top ten line with two new acquisitions, Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell, as the guards. This offense will look to improve, and I believe it will finish in the middle of the league this season.

The defense ranked one spot worse than the offense, which ended up being 22nd. They lost some key defensive linemen in Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis, but this defensive line is still a threat. Chase Young and Montez Sweat on the edge will bring the pressure with Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen plugging up the middle. It is easily a top five defensive line.

Cole Holcomb and Jamin Davis need to improve, or it could be a long year for the linebacker group. The secondary should improve this year with William Jackson III in his second year with the Commanders, as well as Kendall Fuller being an underrated cornerback in this league. I am looking to see this defense get back to being a top 10 force, but the lack of offense could keep them on the field a lot this season.


While I believe this team has some good talent, I am not a huge fan of Ron Rivera. That causes them to lose more games than they should and go 5-12, and 2-4 against the division.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

Key loses – WR Jalen Reagor, CB Steven Nelson, DT Hassan Ridgeway, LB Alex Singleton, FS Rodney McLeod

Key additions – WR A.J. Brown, DE Hassan Reddick, CB James Bradberry, DT Jordan Davis, FS C.J. Gardner-Johnson, LB Nakobe Dean, C Cam Jurgens, LB Kyzir White, WR Zach Pascal

Re-signed – DT Fletcher Cox (1-year), RB Boston Scott (1-year), DE Derek Barnett (3-years)

Extensions – WR AJ Brown (4-years, $100 million)

The Eagles snuck into the playoffs last season at 9-8, before losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are looking to do better this year, as they might’ve added the most talent out of any team this offseason. They finished last season winning four out of their last five games, so they’re hoping to keep that momentum going into this season. It should be a new look for the Eagles in 2022-23.

The offense was majorly run heavy, as they led the league in rushing yards per game. The passing side was not ideal, as they ranked 25th in the league. With Jalen Hurts having a new weapon in AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith going into his sophomore season, the passing game will come down to the decision making of Hurts. Tight end Dallas Goedert will also be key, coming off of a season where he took over for former Eagle Zach Ertz.

The run game looks to be amazing again, as they paired Hurts’ legs with running backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell. Pair them with arguably the best offensive line in football, and they should be on their way to leading the league in rushing again. After finishing 14th in total yards last season, the Eagles could be a top ten offense.

The Eagles defense last season finished 10th in total defense and got a lot stronger. The front four added rookie Jordan Davis in the first round of the NFL draft, and Hassan Reddick as they look to be dominant up front.

The linebacker corps is going to come down to the impact rookie Nakobe Dean will have, alongside Kyzir White and T.J. Edwards. Their lives will be made easier with improvements in the secondary. Adding James Bradberry creates one of the best cornerback duos in the league. Add in Avonte Maddox in the slot and this could be the best cornerback trio in the league. They didn’t stop there, as they added safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, a huge pick-up that helps the Eagles become one of the scariest defenses in the league.


While the Eagles improved a lot, I need to see more from Jalen Hurts this season. He’s the x-factor that will make or break the Eagles success. I have the Eagles finishing 9-8 and going 4-2 against the NFC East.

1. Dallas Cowboys

Key loses – OT La’el Collins, OLB Randy Gregory, WR Cedrick Wilson, C Connor Williams, K Greg Zuerlein, SS Keanu Neal, WR Amari Cooper

Key additions – DE Dante Fowler Jr., OLB Anthony Barr, WR James Washington, OT Tyler Smith, Edge Sam Williams, WR Jalen Tolbert

Re-signed –  DE Dorance Armstrong (2-years), S Jayron Kearse (2-years), P Bryan Anger (3-years), LB Leighton Vander Esch (1-year), TE Dalton Schultz (Franchise Tag)

Extensions – WR Michael Gallup (5-years, $62.5 million)

The winners of the NFC East last season, the Cowboys are coming off a 12-5 record. After losing in the first round to the 49ers, quarterback Dak Prescott is now 1-3 in the playoffs. He is looking to improve that postseason record as well as make a case for a contract extension this season. Head coach Mike McCarthy is also trying to stay off the hot seat with a strong season in 2022-23.

Dallas ranked #1 in the NFL in total yards last season behind almost a 4,500-yard season from Dak Prescott. Now without wide receiver Amari Cooper (traded to Cleveland), and two of their top offensive linemen, this offense has a new challenge.

Prescott still has wideout Ceedee Lamb and will eventually get back Michael Gallup for a solid receiving duo. They have one of the top eight tight ends in the league in Dalton Schultz, so the passing attack should be just as dangerous. The running game could take a small dip from being ranked 9th in the NFL. The duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard has proven to be reliable, and should still be ranked in the top half of the league in yards.

The defense had a tough season last year, ranking 19th in total defense. Losing Randy Gregory will hurt, especially when they didn’t add a great replacement. The defensive line is below average, but has help from Micah Parsons, who is an elite pass rusher as a linebacker. Parsons leads the Cowboys on defense and creates a top ten linebacker corps in the league.

While the Cowboys led the league in interceptions last year, they still have an average secondary. Corner Trevon Diggs is back, and while he looks to replicate his interceptions, he needs to cut down on yards given up. It is unlikely that we see the same turnover efficiency this season, so I expect a just below average defense from Dallas this season.


While Dallas got worse this offseason, they have a favorable schedule. I predict they will go 11-6 and 4-2 against the NFC East. It will come down to coaching, as Mike McCarthy could see his last season as a head coach if he doesn’t get the job done.

Nine of the alternate helmets for the NFL season

Ranking All 13 NFL Alternate Helmets

This season, the NFL has allowed teams to have more than one colored helmet to wear. The rule change saw 13 NFL franchises introduce new helmets for their alternate uniforms.

Before I begin, I want to clarify what I ranked these helmets based on. There were three factors that went into my ranking: 1. Does the helmet itself look good? 2. Does the helmet fit with the rest of the uniform? 3. Could the team have done more with the helmet? With that in mind, here is my ranking for these new helmets.

The New NFL Alternate Helmets: 13-6

Chicago Bears alternate helmet for the 2022 NFL season
Photo Credit: Jacob Funk/Chicago Bears

13. Chicago Bears

I attend a school that wears orange helmets with its orange uniforms. It doesn’t work too well. Same thing goes for the Bears. The traditional navy helmet works so much better with any of Chicago’s jerseys, especially its orange one. This alternate helmet is a miss for one of the NFL’s most iconic teams.

12. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals messed up big time with their new helmets. Arizona plans to wear these with its color rush uniforms. The red pops out with the black real well with those, so why not do the same with the helmets? If these had a red face mask, this could’ve been one of the better helmets. But instead, they go with a bland, black design.

11. Washington Commanders

I’m glad that Washington didn’t leave the “numbers on the helmet” look behind when it rebranded. However, the execution this time around feels poor. The “W” in the front doesn’t sit well. Maybe a stripe, like the Commanders’ primary helmets, would’ve been better. This helmet isn’t bad by any means, but ten other teams did a better job than Washington.

10. Carolina Panthers

This one might have to grow on me a bit. I like the all black concept the Panthers created, but this helmet feels almost too dark. From the photos, it’s difficult to see the Panthers logo. The colors mesh well together, but nothing pops out to the eye.

9. Houston Texans

The helmet itself is one of the best that have been introduced. What’s upsetting is the Texans plan to wear these with their red uniforms, according to gridiron-uniforms.com. These would look significantly better with their blue-with-red-lettering color rush jerseys. The all-red look Houston plans to wear doesn’t sit with me well.

8. New Orleans Saints

The Saints introduced a new look this offseason, and it’s not bad. The fleur-de-lis down the middle helps this helmet represents New Orleans well, and black and gold go together like bread and butter. However, nothing about this helmet stands out; it’s a bit bland. Maybe a gold face mask would help?

7. New York Jets

Now we’re getting to the helmets I really like. The Jets’ nailed this one. New York’s black uniforms look even better with this helmet. The green on the logo and face mask (take note, Cardinals) pop out and give the uniform more vibrance.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles kept their helmet change simple, and I’m all for it. They switched from an already-fresh midnight green and black look to a more fitting all black uniform. A slight change for the better.

NFL Alternate Helmets: The Top 5

Dallas Cowboys bring back the alternate uniforms and helmets for 2022
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5. Dallas Cowboys

The Thanksgiving uniforms worn in the late 2000s and early 2010s are iconic. Dallas finally gets the chance to bring them back this year. The simplicity of the helmet gives the Cowboys an old school look, something that somewhat resembles a cowboy. The white pops out with the rest of the uniform, and I love it.

4. New York Giants

The Giants’ white throwback uniform has been a staple amongst fans for a few years now. It’s about time they brought the blue back. The darker shade of blue on the helmet gives the uniform a more classic look. On top of that, the “GIANTS” along the side is significantly better than the block “NY”. A perfect helmet for a classic uniform.

3. New England Patriots

The Pat Patriot look is back! The red, white, and blue look has long been one of the best looks in football. The white stands out with the red jersey really well, giving New England a patriotic look. As someone who watched many Patriots games growing up, I’m so happy to see these back in action.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

Finally. Ever since the Bengals introduced their all-white uniforms, fans have been screaming for the Bengals to wear while helmets. Everyone’s wish came true, and this looks so clean. The new helmets put these uniforms in the conversation for the best in the NFL.

1. Atlanta Falcons

When the Falcons got new uniforms in 2020, I was disappointed they went with black helmets instead of red. Now you see why. The red and black look with a sliver of gold bring back ’80s nostalgia, a more authentic throwback, and one of the cleanest looks in the NFL. It’s about time Atlanta brought these back. These are, without a doubt, the best of the NFL alternate helmets