Bright future for the Philadelphia Eagles as the 2021 season begins

Overview of Lincoln Financial Field hours before kickoff

Adam Holland

With Week 1 around the corner, a new head coach and a plethora of new talent, the Philadelphia Eagles look to start strong as they head to Atlanta to face off against the Atlanta Falcons, on September 12.

Luckily, the Eagles’ schedule plays in their favor for the 2021-22 season. With a young core of talent and an unproven coach, the Eagles will benefit greatly from playing against the lesser talented, Atlanta Falcons and injury-riddled San Francisco 49ers, before hosting the Super Bowl favorites, Kansas City Chiefs.

As the depth charts become finalized, all eyes look to their new franchise quarterback, second-year, Jalen Hurts. Newly appointed captain and fan favorite, Hurts looks to improve in all aspects of his game while leading the team to the playoffs.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts throws on the run

Philadelphia beat writer Luke Stansfield raved about the young quarterback when asked if Hurts will be up for the challenge.

“He is going to be very good. Mobile QB’s have more success than pocket passers, and he’s mobile, very decisive and has a high IQ.” He later went on to state, “Last three times Eagles finished a year with 6 or less wins, the following year they made the playoffs with 10+ wins. They tend to never have back to back bad years.”

The Eagles have strengthened their offense and defense to match up with the other powerhouses in the league, such as the Chiefs, Buccaneers and Cardinals. Running back Miles Sanders looks to have a breakout year , as second-year Jalen Reagor expects to build on an overlooked rookie season. First round pick and Heisman trophy winner, Devonta Smith, is ready to showcase his talents and bring a much needed spark to the Eagles wide receiver core.

The defense shapes up well with the majority of the menacing defensive line returning, which includes Fletcher Cox, Derek Barnett, Javon Hargrave and Josh Sweat. Cornerbacks Darius Slay and Steven Nelson control the secondary with new defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon adding his experience following his departure from the Indianapolis Colts.

Coach Ted Williams on the sidelines

Former running backs and tight end coach, Ted Williams saw the highs and lows of the Eagles success during his coaching career that spanned 20 years. Roughly five years removed, following his retirement prior to their Super Bowl victory, Williams expressed his excitement and outlook on how this young team will compete amongst the league.

He stated, “This team has the DNA of that special 2004 team. Not saying this team is physically or mentally on par, but the pieces they have added with Nick’s [Sirianni] gameplan, they could be special.”

With the pandemic looming, the NFL has imposed a strict Covid policy paired with vaccination requirements that are met with consequences. A year removed from the “Covid-year”, the league is cracking down on owners and coaches to have their players vaccinated.

The league released an official NFL protocol and policy to all 32 teams that if not followed, penalties will be issued to the team. Being the 2nd most vaccinated team in the league, Covid should not be an issue for the Eagles.

There’s a sense of optimism among Eagles fans and with the “Linc” being opened to the public, fans are excited to return to the stadium. Eagles’ fanatic, Kyle Taylor, shared: “Last year was the first year in his family’s history that my family did not attend an Eagles game. Needless to say, I can’t wait to get back.”

Like the rest of the league’s fans, everyone is ready to get back to cheering on their teams and chanting their mantras. The NFL season marks the start of 32 teams’ journey to reach their quest of hoisting the Lombardi trophy. For the Eagles, the quest started in training camp and they come face-to-face with their first test: the Atlanta Falcons.

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