It is almost officially football season in Philadelphia once again. The Philadelphia Eagles kickoff the regular season in less than a month, and coming off a season where they made the playoffs, there are intriguing storylines to follow this year. Here are three big questions to look out for this season that will be crucial to the Eagles’ success.
1. Can Jordan Davis be a savior for the defensive line?
Dating back to when they won the Super Bowl, the Eagles have featured a good defensive line on their team. However, that championship run was a while ago and the core members are starting to age. Fletcher Cox has been without a doubt the best player on the line, but he’s 31 now. Brandon Graham, another key player to the defense, is 34 and coming off a torn Achilles. That’s where the 13th overall pick, Jordan Davis, comes in. The 6’6”, 340-pound defensive tackle has created a lot of buzz at camp with his overwhelming size for his position. If he can be productive, especially alongside Cox and Pro Bowler Javon Hargrave, it would be a huge advantage for the Eagles run defense.
2. Will DeVonta Smith have a sophomore slump?
Smith had an excellent rookie season showing that he has the potential to be the receiver the Eagles have needed for years. With 916 receiving yards and five touchdown passes, he quickly became Jalen Hurts’s favorite receiver. However, the sophomore slump exists for a reason, and with a full season of tape on Smith, the question becomes whether he can repeat or boost his productivity. Fortunately for him, he won’t carry as much of the load with A.J. Brown joining the birds and the emergence of Quez Watkins last year.
3. Is Jalen Hurts the quarterback of the future?
Quarterback is the most important position in team sports. At the end of the day, you can have all the talent you want on a team, but if you don’t have the right guy leading the offense, the team won’t have success. Hurts earned the QB1 title after leading the Eagles to the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. There are questions around Hurts and his throwing accuracy, which needs to get better. However, we’ve seen glimpses at times where Hurts could be the Eagles franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. Year two as a full time starter will be his make or break season. If Hurts performs and the team wins, he’ll stick around, but if they lose and Hurts doesn’t play well, don’t be surprised to see Philly draft a quarterback high in next year’s draft.
The Eagles have been transitioning the last few years and this year is the year to see what that transition has brought. With young phenoms like Davis, Smith, and Hurts joining veterans like Brown, Darius Slay, and Cox, the new era of Philadelphia Eagles football could be here. Their season will kick off Sept. 11 against Jared Goff and the Lions at 1:00 in Detroit.