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Philadelphia Eagles: 3 Bold Predictions for 2022 Season

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The Philadelphia Eagles are entering their second season under head coach Nick Sirianni. A second season under the same offensive scheme for Jalen Hurts also means he must take important steps forward.

1. Jalen Hurts will lead the Eagles to the playoffs and a Pro Bowl appearance.

Jalen Hurts will lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a playoff appearance, and a Pro Bowl appearance and will have his breakout year. In other words, the Philadelphia Eagles will have an extremely successful year with Jalen Hurts entering his second full year as a starting quarterback.

Coach Nick Sirianni has said all of the right things about Hurt’s development;

“I’m noticing a big difference,” he told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. “What I see is a crisper ball. The accuracy I’ve been very pleased with. You can just see him taking strides every single day with his accuracy because of the fundamentals he has with his feet and his upper body.”

https://www.espn.com/blog/philadelphia-eagles/post/_/id/32913/eagles-coach-nick-sirianni-on-jalen-hurts-im-noticing-a-big-difference

With his accuracy and some other skills improving, one flaw that has come up over and over is Hurt’s ability, or inability, to read the entire field. One example is below where Hurts’ failure to read the linebacker resulted in an interception on a possible fourth-down conversion.

Additionally, it sounds like his accuracy downfield improved. This is one of the most important parts of his game that must improve with weapons like wide receivers DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown. It seemed like, in 2021, Hurts would regularly underthrow his receivers on passes 20+ yards downfield. Some statistics support this theory such as Hurts having a 2:5 TD:INT on passes longer than 20 yards.

We will also see how Jalen Hurts faces adversity with the possibility of offensive linemen Jason Kelcer (elbow) and Jordan Mailatia (concussion) missing extended time. Hurts, at the very least, will not have them in the preseason opener. How will he respond?

The addition of AJ Brown and the development of Devonta Smith will assist in opening the field for Hurts, making it a bit easier to read. Entering his second season as a full-time starter, the game should also slow down leading to quicker decisions from Jalen Hurts.

2. Wide Receiver Quez Watkins Also Has A Breakout Year

The Philadelphia Eagles organization is rooting for wide receiver Quez Watkins and giving him every chance available to develop. In the Eagles first preseason game of the year against the New York Jets, Watkins played 33% of snaps, staying in the game even after the starters left. Watkins is slated to be the WR3 for the Eagles after compiling 43 catches and 647 yards on 62 targets. The 6′ speedster averaged 15 yards per catch in his second professional season. Of those 62 targets, Watkins only had one drop per Pro Football Focus.

Since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2020 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Watkins has shown enough development to earn him more and more playing time. In his first full season, Watkins only appeared in six games with no starts. Last year, Watkins appeared in every game even starting 12 games for the Eagles.

With more playing time on the horizon and defenses focusing on weapons such as DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown, Watkins is poised for a breakout season in Year 3.

3. Miles Sanders Drops On The Depth Chart Throughout The Year

The former second round pick of the 2019 draft has had an up and down career, with very high ups and low-lows. The fourth year running back’s inability to play a full season has proven difficult for the Eagles to maintain a proper cadence in their backfield. After appearing in 16 games in 2019, Sanders has yet to finish a full season. In 2020 and 2021, Sanders appeared in 12 games due to injuries.

Last year, Sanders failed to find the end zone and that big play burst fans were once expecting. Sanders failed to break the 100-yard rushing game mark until Week 13. Part of that is on the shoulders of the play calling and heavily relying on the pass early in the season. Part of that responsibility, however, is on Sanders because he is notorious for slow starts during games.

Through the first four games of 2021, Miles Sanders only average 4.46 yards per carry on 48 rushing attempts. That is 12 rushes per game. Over the next seven games before suffering an injury, Sanders did much better and averaged 6.07 yards per rush attempt on 89 total attempts. Again, Sanders averaged just a tick below 13 rushes per game. But, something switched in the second half for Sanders and if it does not stick in the first half of the 2022 season, Sanders could see his playing time dwindle at an accelerated rate.

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