The Philadelphia Eagles came a long way in a short time. Here are some suggestions for the Birds as they continue to surge upwards.
Under first-time NFL head coach Nick Sirianni, the Philadelphia Eagles were one of three teams that finished last in their division a season ago and manage to reach the playoffs in 2021.
After dropping six of their first nine contests this year, the Birds rallied late behind the league’s top running game and an improved defense on the way to capturing a wild card berth via six wins in a seven-game stretch.
Philadelphia won more than twice as many games (9-8) as they did when they finished 4-11-1 in ’20. But the Eagles were no match for the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers last week at Tampa Bay, 31-15.
So what does this team need to work on if they are to win the NFC East for the first time since 2019 and conversely make a bigger impact in the postseason?
3. Philadelphia Eagles must address the issues on special teams
Second-year wide receiver Jalen Reagor led the team in both punt and kickoff return yardage this past season. But he and punter Arryn Siposs both had miserable afternoons in the playoff loss to the Bucs (via Josh Tolentino of the Philadelphia Inquirer). The former fumbled a pair of punts and lost one.
During the regular season, the Eagles ranked 26th in the league in punt return average (7.2) and 29th in kickoff return average (18.5). And when it came to the coverage units, the Birds were 24th in handling punts (9.4) while only four teams in the NFL allowed more kickoff yards per return (26.1)
On the positive side, kicker Jake Elliott did not miss a PAT (44-of-44) and was 30-of-33 on field goal attempts.