NFL

Are the Philadelphia Eagles primed to take back the NFC East?

KIEL LEGGERE/PHILADELPHIAEAGLES.COM

The NFC East is always a wild ride. Even when there are no real contenders in the division, there is always excitement and division drama to be had a year in and year out. But this time around, the NFC East isn’t lacking contenders. The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a 12-win season, and the Eagles put up a solid nine-win season which they’ll surely build from in 2022.

Can the Eagles take back the NFC East from the Cowboys in 2022? Let’s have a look and find out.

Jalen Hurts has played well. Over his first 19 starts in the league, his numbers are comparable to Kyler Murray’s. And if you have been watching the news around that young man, the Cardinals just gave him a five-year extension worth $230 million.

This should bode well for Hurts’ confidence in garnering a big new extension. He’s entering the final year of his three-year rookie contract, so if he plays well, he’s likely to see a significant pay raise from the Eagles. His 2021 season significantly improved over his rookie year, completing 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns on just nine interceptions. His passer rating jumped from 77.6 to 87.2.

I believe Hurts will really find his groove in his third season and up his game even more. Not only does he have more experience to work with, but he may just have the best offensive line in the league protecting him in 2022.

There are two future Hall of Famers in Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. On top of that, Isaac Seumalo, Jordan Mailata, and Landon Dickerson are all Pro Bowl-level athletes. There is also a lot of depth on the offensive line. The bottom line is that Hurts should find the time that he needs to place the ball accurately and gaps to explode through when he needs to scramble or rush on designed running plays. The same goes for Miles Sanders; he should find plenty of running room with this All-Star cast of big uglies up front.

Eagles Receiving More Action to Win the Division Than Cowboys

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 02: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts during a game against the New Orleans Saints at the the Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Cowboys are the odds-on favorites to win the NFC East this season. But the Eagles’ odds are not far behind those of ‘America’s Team’.

NFC East Odds

  1. Dallas Cowboys (+115)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (+185)
  3. Washington Commanders (+500)
  4. New York Giants (+800)

A fun fact to remember about the NFC East is the last time a team won the division in back-to-back seasons was nearly 20 years ago when the Eagles did it in 2004. Still, the fact that the betting public is almost entirely ignoring Dallas on the division futures boards is a bit surprising considering that the Cowboys didn’t lose a single division game last season. But bettors aren’t backing the Cowboys, and the Eagles look like the live dogs to make a run at the division. So if you want to get in on the action, no matter who you like to win, you can get some NFL betting promo codes at PennStakes.

Football Power Index

According to the Football Power Index at ESPN, the Eagles are the definition of average this offseason. Their FPI rating is -0.01. On the flip side of the coin, the Cowboys are rated 7.2. This means that if they were to play on a neutral field, the Cowboys should win by a touchdown. If they were to play in Philly, the Eagles should only be around 5.5-point underdogs.

Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Washington Commanders’ FPI is -1.5 and the New York Giants are at a lowly -4.1. It should be noted that the Giants have some of the longest Super Bowl odds and conference odds in the league.

Season Wins Totals in the NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys regular season wins line is set at OVER/UNDER 10.5. The Eagles are lined out similarly to last season with an OVER/UNDER of 8.5 wins. Washington is a game worse at 7.5, expected to go UNDER .500 in 2022. And of course, the NY Giants’ 4-win season was dismal last year, but they somehow share the same season wins line as the Commanders at 7.5 games.

Conclusion

I believe the Eagles will get more than nine wins this year, and perhaps even push into double-digits. The Cowboys could repeat as NFC East champs. Still, that title usually changes every year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some serious division madness and the Eagles end up edging the Cowboys out, snagging the guaranteed playoff berth in 2022.

All in all, we have an exciting season ahead of us in 2022, and the Eagles should play even better than last year.

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