Eagles Midseason Report Card: Offense Edition
We’re officially halfway through the 2022 NFL season and the Philadelphia Eagles have yet to lose a game. At 8-0, Philly sits atop the NFL in nearly every power ranking and is inching closer to being the clear cut Super Bowl favorite in the eyes of the oddsmakers.
From top to bottom, the Eagles have been excellent this year. You’d be hard pressed to find a legitimate weakness on either side of the ball. They’ve won five of their eight contests by double digits (including their past three wins) and boast a 5-3 record against the spread, tied for the third best ATS record in the league.
With the second half of the season upon us, let’s take a dive into how each player has fared thus far. We’ll cover the defensive side of the ball later this week, but for this round, we’re focusing on the Eagles offense.
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QB Jalen Hurts
What else is there to say about the Eagles QB1 that hasn’t already been said?
Coming into the year, the narrative on Hurts was pretty split. Some believed he would amount to nothing more than a glorified game manager, while others were steadfast in their faith for the Eagles signal caller. By almost all accounts, Hurts has exceeded expectations this season.
Through eight games, Hurts has compiled 18 total touchdowns (12 through the air and six with his legs) and has only committed three turnovers – less than Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Aaron Rodgers. Sure, Hurts hasn’t attempted as many passes as those quarterbacks, but given how much he takes off to gain extra yardage with his legs, he’s certainly had just as many opportunities as those gunslingers to commit costly turnovers.
From his decision making to his vastly improved accuracy with the football, Hurts is a far cry from what he put forth in 2021. Here’s a look at Hurts’ projection’s for this season in comparison to his season totals last year:
Hurts’ 2021 stats:
- 16 passing touchdowns
- 9 interceptions
- 61.3 completion percentage
- 3,144 passing yards
- 784 rushing yards
- 10 rushing touchdowns
Hurts’ 2022 stats projected over 17 starts:
- 26 passing touchdowns
- 4 interceptions
- 68.2 completion percentage
- 4,339 passing yards
- 693 rushing yards
- 13 rushing touchdowns
Even if Hurts doesn’t continue the MVP pace he’s on, he’ll still completely blow past his 2021 output in nearly every metric.
Here’s the bottom line on Hurts’ progression from ’21 to ’22 – the Eagles won in spite of Hurts last season, they’re winning because of him this year. That’s all that matters in my book.
RB Miles Sanders
Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Miles Sanders had a lot to prove in 2022. First and foremost, he needed to show that he could remain healthy for a full season. So far, so good on that front. And because he’s managed to stay off the injury report, Sanders is in the midst of a career year.
He’s totaled 656 yards on the ground while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He’s found the end zone six times on the ground, which is six more times than he reached paydirt last season and it’s tied for his career-high for a season. His 82 rushing yards per game is the best mark of his career by 10 yards. Sanders has become the clear RB1 in the Eagles backfield as well, something he failed to capture and hold onto for the majority of his career.
Sanders has run with authority this season, making decisive cuts upfield and using his strength to fight for extra yards on nearly every attempt. Gone are the days of Sanders constantly trying to bounce every run to the outside. He’s stuck to the fundamentals this season and has shown trust in his offensive line to open up holes for him.
The one area Sanders hasn’t really taken a step forward in is the receiving game. Through nine weeks, Sanders has caught just 11 passes for 42 yards (3.8 yards per reception). He’s done so well running the ball that it’s easy to overlook his lack luster production in the passing game. The Eagles offense has been so dynamic with their top trio of pass catchers that Sanders hasn’t really needed to provide much on the receiving end. Still, every top tier back in this league can bring something versatile to the passing game; unless your name is Derrick Henry.
Will that ultimately hold Sanders back from receiving a lucrative contract extension from the Eagles this offseason? The jury is still out on that one, but it certainly won’t do him any favors.
All in all, Sanders has done a very good job in his role this season and has proven his worth as an between-the-tackles runner. In this Eagles offense, that carries a lot of value.
WR AJ Brown
AJ Brown has been everything Eagles fans have hoped for and more. He’s the most physically imposing wideout in Philly since Terrell Owens and at the ripe age of 25, there’s legitimate reasons to believe he could go down as the best wide receiver in the Eagles history.
Getting a little ahead of myself? Maybe. Do I care? No, not at all.
One could argue Brown has been the best receiver in football this season. His 89.2 Pro Football Focus offensive grade ranks third among 114 qualifying wideouts and his 89.9 receiving grade ranks fourth. He’s on pace to have the best statistical season of his career, by a landslide.
Brown’s stats projected over 17 starts:
- 92 receptions
- 1,527 receiving yards
- 12 touchdowns
Those are all career marks for Brown if he keeps up this pace, and it would likely make him a first-team All-Pro.
Aside from Hurts, Brown has been the clear focal point of the Eagles offensive attack. His ability to make contested catches, get open against any corner, and simply run past defenders has made him a nightmare for opposing defenses. Brown has opened up this offense, making every skill player around him better in the process.
Without Brown, who knows what this offense would look like. We may not be talking about Hurts being a legit MVP candidate, Nick Sirianni as a potential Coach of the Year candidate, and the Eagles more than likely would not be 8-0.
WR DeVonta Smith
DeVonta Smith isn’t seeing the amount of targets he garnered as a rookie, for obvious reasons. But, he’s been a great complement to Brown and could serve as the WR1 for several teams around the league.
Getting open is the name of the game for Smith and that hasn’t dissipated in year two. There’s just one ball to go around, so Smith’s production in a vacuum feels off. On the year, Smith has tallied 40 receptions for 442 yards and two touchdowns. Even with Brown and Dallas Goedert dominating the target share, Smith is still on pace to have a very good statistical campaign.
Smith’s stats projected over 17 starts:
- 85 receptions
- 940 receiving yards
- 4 touchdowns
If he manages to boost his TD output a bit, those are Pro Bowl level numbers.
While Smith doesn’t get the same level as recognition as Brown, he’s more than capable of hurting a defense if they focus squarely on slowing No. 11 down. That’s the beauty of the Eagles offense. Throw assets at Brown, Smith will be right on the other side of the field dicing up the secondary.
He doesn’t have the type of highlight plays as Brown and doesn’t affect the game on the same level as Brown, but Smith is still a great wide receiver and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
TE Dallas Goedert
In his first full season as the unquestioned TE in Philly’s offense, Dallas Goedert has looked the part.
Through eight games, Goedert has accumulated 40 receptions on 50 targets (80 percent catch rate) for 521 yards and two touchdowns. Per PFF, he’s the fourth-highest graded TE in the game, boasting a 79.8 offensive grade. Goedert’s 84.6 receiving grade ranks third among 43 qualifying tight ends.
What really separates Goedert from other tight ends around the league is his ability to stretch a defense vertically. He’s averaged 13 yards per reception this season, which ranks third among starting tight ends.
Goedert has been the most consistent pass catcher on the team not named AJ Brown. As a vertical TE who can bring down contested catches in the middle of the field, Goedert has helped Hurts in his development, specifically in Hurts’ confidence to let it rip between the hashes.
Every top tier quarterback needs their safety blanket and Goedert has been that for Hurts this season, and hopefully he’ll continue to be that for years to come.
LT Jordan Mailata
If there’s one starter who’s underperformed at all this season along the Eagles offense, it’s been Jordan Mailata. This isn’t to say he’s been a liability; Mailata is still a very good left tackle. He just hasn’t lived up to the standard he set for himself in 2021.
Mailata has earned a 65.5 PFF offensive grade this season, good for 45th out of 78 qualifying tackles. If that mark stands, it will be the worst offensive grade he’s posted in his career.
He’s been a solid run blocker thus far, but he’s really struggled in pass protection. Through eight games, Mailata has surrendered four sacks (more than he allowed all of last season) along with 13 hurries and 17 pressures. Mailata is on pace to allow eight sacks, 26 hurries, and 34 pressures this season. All of which would be career-worst marks for the former rugby star.
Is Mailata’s subpar performance this year an indication of what he truly is as a player? I wouldn’t say that, but it’s hard to just overlook it. The Eagles have Mailata under contract through 2025, they’re going to give him time to correct these issues. They also have the best offensive line coach in the game with Jeff Stoutland, so there’s no doubt Mailata is in good hands.
But if we’re being fair with our grades here, we can’t give Mailata glowing reviews. He’s been too inconsistent on the pass protection front for my liking. For most tackles around the league, this type of output would be acceptable. Malata isn’t just another random, no-name tackle, though. He was heralded as perhaps the best left tackle in football entering this season and he hasn’t lived up to those expectations by any stretch of the imagination.
LG Landon Dickerson
Landon Dickerson is the tone-setter for this Eagles offensive line. He’s a nasty, mean bully to opposing defensive lineman every time you put on the tape.
He’s progressed nicely in his second season with the Eagles, improving in all facets of being an offensive lineman. His 69.5 PFF offensive grade ranks 17th among 81 qualifying guards while his 73.7 pass blocking mark ranks 14th. The second-year guard hasn’t surrendered a single sack this year while giving up just six pressures.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Dickerson other than he’s been very good and looks to have a bright future in this league.
C Jason Kelce
When’s the last time Jason Kelce has had a down season? At 35 years old, in his 12th NFL season, Kelce remains one of the best centers in football.
There are very few centers that are as valuable to their respective offenses as Kelce is here in Philly. He’s the lifeblood that the offensive line runs on and his dominance hasn’t decreased in the slightest. Per PFF, Kelce is the third-best center in the league this season, earning a 79.4 offensive grade thus far. His 77.2 pass blocking grade ranks second among centers, while his 77.4 run blocking grade ranks fifth.
Like Dickerson, Kelce hasn’t given up a single sack this season and has surrendered just five pressures.
He’s one of the best players to ever wear an Eagles uniform and he’ll be inducted into Canton shortly after he retires.
RG Isaac Seumalo
Isaac Seumalo is often the forgotten man along the Eagles All-Star cast of offensive lineman. Even though he’s been a consistent presence every step of the way this season.
His 67.7 offensive grade ranks 24th among guards, while his 67.0 pass blocking and 65.3 run blocking grades rank 29th and 26th respectively. Seumalo has given up just one sack this year while surrendering 14 total pressures on the quarterback.
Simply put, Seumalo has been a good, not great guard for the Eagles this season. Dickerson is the superior guard by almost every metric, but Seumalo more than holds his own and is far from a liability. He never reaches crazy highs with his play, but he also avoids the lows that come with playing along offensive line.
Seumalo is a consistent, steady player for the Eagles and should continue being that for the remainder of the season.
RT Lane Johnson
Lane Johnson is not only one of the best right tackles in the game today, he’s one of the best overall players in the entire league. He completely stifles every edge rusher he faces and hasn’t given up a sack since 2020. Almost two whole seasons without giving up a single sack. Unbelievable.
As it stands, Johnson boats a 80.4 offensive grade, good for seventh-best among 78 qualifying tackles. His 85.1 pass blocking grade ranks fourth among tackles.
For some reason or another, Johnson rarely gets the kind of national recognition he deserves. He’s only made three Pro Bowls in his career and has been named first-team All-Pro once (2017). Despite surrendering zero sacks since 2020, Johnson hasn’t even earned a Pro Bowl nod during that time. Pretty ridiculous.
This year has been no different for the future Hall of Fame tackle. Johnson continues to dominate opposing defensive ends and makes Jalen Hurts’ job easier.
Grade Sheet for the Eagles offense:
- QB Jalen Hurts: A
- RB Miles Sanders: B+
- WR AJ Brown: A+
- WR DeVonta Smith: B
- TE Dallas Goedert: A
- LT Jordan Mailata: C
- LG Landon Dickerson: B+
- C Jason Kelce: A
- RG Isaac Seumalo: B
- RT Lane Johnson: A
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Mandatory Credit: The New York Times