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A victory against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football wasn’t pretty. Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles struggled to find their rhythm in the passing game. A patchwork secondary had trouble containing Justin Jefferson.

A victory in Week 1 didn’t look incredibly impressive either. The Eagles are experiencing some bumps in the road in their quest to get back to the Super Bowl. They don’t look like a conference champion just yet.

How do the Eagles get back to the form that helped them to a 14-3 record and a +55 point differential in two playoff games in an excellent season that is hard to replicate? Believe it or not, their path hasn’t been much different. 

The most passionate fan base in professional sports will naturally scrutinize two imperfect victories in 2023. Criticize Nick Sirianni and the Eagles for the areas of their game that need improvement, but don’t act like the 2022 season was flawless in contrast to the 2-0 start in 2023.

2022 Eagles Weren’t Perfect

A big part of the discussion during the preseason in Philadelphia was about how hard it would be to replicate such a smooth path to the Super Bowl two years in a row. A tougher schedule, the unlikelihood of repeated fortunate injury luck, and the factor of natural regression needed acknowledgment.

975TheFanatic on Twitter: ""It is hard to play at the level that he played at last year on a consistent basis, game to game, and year to year."- @AdamSchefter on Jalen Hurts' performance week 1 / Twitter"

"It is hard to play at the level that he played at last year on a consistent basis, game to game, and year to year."- @AdamSchefter on Jalen Hurts' performance week 1

The Eagles have proven that in two uninspiring victories. However, many of their victories in 2022, especially on the road, followed a similar script. The 2022 Eagles defeated the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals by three points each on the road early in the season.

They needed a comeback in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts to sneak away with a 17-16 victory. The Colts finished 4-12-1. Philadelphia also handed away two easily winnable division games.

All 22 starters were healthy for the Super Bowl in February. However, that doesn’t mean they never dealt with injuries. Hurts, Avonte Maddox, Lane Johnson, and Dallas Goedert all missed time.

Hurts didn’t lead a high-octane passing attack in every single game. He threw for 148 yards and 121 yards, respectively, in two playoff wins. He took what the game gave him without trying to take over, just like he did against the Vikings on Thursday night.

Brian Johnson isn’t the only offensive coordinator to depend on the ground game. The offense under Shane Steichen also pivoted to an emphasis on the rushing attack in multiple regular-season victories last season.

Eagles Outlook in 2023

The Eagles are 2-0 for only the seventh time since Jeffrey Lurie bought the team in 1994.

“They’ve scored 29.5 points on average through two games. That would’ve been number one in the NFL last year. Number one, better than the Bills, Chiefs, and Eagles who were 1, 2, and 3 last year.” -John Kincade

The running game torched the Vikings for 259 yards on the ground. Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter have generated a great push from the interior of the defensive line. Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams have teamed up with the two former Georgia Bulldogs for an overwhelming group of defensive tackles.

Two sacks in each of the first two games won’t put them on pace to finish with 70 sacks for the second year in a row. However, Josh Sweat has played like a legitimate gamewrecker who will command attention moving forward. The defensive front is still a force to be reckoned with.

Sirianni, Sean Desai, and Brian Johnson must make adjustments during a mini bye week. They face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football with nine full rest days in between games.

However, Jalen Hurts offered the 1000-foot view in his postgame comments.

“I think we set the precedent for how things are supposed to look, and that’s the funny thing that makes me chuckle. We set the precedent for how things are supposed to look, and you see all these beautiful balls down the field, but we rushed for 255 yards. That’s a testament to the offensive line, the way D’Andre (Swift) was running the ball and the other guys when they ran ball given their opportunities. Winning is the only thing that matters.” –Jalen Hurts

The Eagles are in great shape. They’re one of the most talented teams in the NFL, and the lack of style points after Week 2 doesn’t change the fact they’re the favorites in the NFC.

Watch The John Kincade Show live on the 97.5 The Fanatic YouTube page on weekday mornings from 6am-10am.

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