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Are the Philadelphia Eagles a Top-5 Defense Heading Into 2023?

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The Philadelphia Eagles were oh, so close to becoming Super Bowl champions for the second time over the past decade in 2022, and it’s because of the balance of power they possessed between offense and defense. The Eagles had the most efficient and dominating run game in the NFL, with the league’s best passing defense in both EPA and DVOA metrics.

But with so much turnover on the defensive side of the ball, can the Eagles’ defense push to be a top-five unit again in 2023, or are they destined for some defensive regression?

Philadelphia Eagles Defense Sees Several Changes

The changes made are what matters. Monetarily speaking, it was always going to be difficult for Howie Roseman to retain the level of talent he accumulated on the defensive side of the ball a season ago. Philadelphia loaded up, yet they also lost several key pieces from last season.

But that was likely the plan the whole time. Jonathan Gannon was not long for Philadelphia. Whether Eagles’ fans believe he’s a good defensive coach or not is of little consequence because the league adored the defensive coordinator, and he moved on to Arizona to be a head coach.

Sean Desai began his coaching career in Philadelphia, and now he’s back in the city that started it all for him.

“The honest truth is this is an emotional kind of homecoming for me to come back to Philadelphia,” Desai said. “There’s a lot of pride that we take in this city. My wife went to school here (at Temple). I went to school here. I started my coaching career here … down the road, and we helped turn that program around there.”

MORE: Best Cornerbacks in the NFL 2023

Seeing personnel turnover when the coordinator and overall philosophy change is not inherently bad. But let’s take a look at some of the key departures and arrivals amongst the Eagles’ defense.

  • Eagles Departures
    • S C.J. Gardner-Johnson
    • DT Javon Hargrave
    • LB T.J. Edwards
    • LB Kyzir White
    • S Marcus Epps
  • Eagles Additions
    • S Terrell Edmunds
    • LB Nicholas Morrow
    • CB Greedy Williams
    • DE Kentavius Street

That certainly doesn’t look like an even trade.

Edmunds undoubtedly improved late in his career with the Steelers and could be a nice stop-gap until someone else is ready to take over for him on the back end. Street is a larger defensive end who can play anywhere from the 3-technique out to the 5, but he obviously doesn’t hold a candle to Hargrave’s ability. Williams, meanwhile, does provide depth on the outside and might be a viable starting option in future seasons.

But losing five starters along the defensive interior between both starting linebackers, safeties, and a Pro-Bowl defensive tackle certainly isn’t easy to make up for. Yet, Desai should make Philadelphia a more schematically-sound unit, and the Georgia Eagles’ defensive front seven is nearly complete at this point.

With the offensive depth chart practically set before the draft, it was easy for the Eagles to go defense with four of their first five selections. It’s also no coincidence that three of the four played at Georgia.

Sean Desai Brings Vic Fangio-Style Defense

Kirby Smart’s defense differs from the Vic Fangio-style defense that will be played in Philly, but there are more than enough characteristics that match between the two to make Bulldogs fit right in.

Jalen Carter may very well be the best player from the 2023 NFL Draft class, and he goes to a situation with a ton of familiar faces. Nolan Smith is an outstanding fit to play the 7- and 9-techniques in Desai’s defense, where he’ll be asked to rush the passer and defend the flat, something his athletic ability allowed him to do at a functional level at Georgia.

MORE: How Do Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, and Sydney Brown Fit Sean Desai’s Defensive Philosophy?

Kelee Ringo is in the perfect situation. He won’t have to play immediately and will get to sponge off Darius Slay and James Bradberry, two outstanding veteran presences. There were some awful inconsistencies in Ringo’s tape, but if the Eagles’ staff can focus on the young man and allow him to grow slowly, he could be a great player in the future.

“We felt like this was a 20-year-old kid who was a good kid, tremendous physical tools, and we really had an opportunity to develop him,” Roseman said after the draft. “He doesn’t have to come in here and be a superhero. He can learn.”

philadelphia eagles
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

But maybe the 6-foot-2, 210-pound DB never ends up playing cornerback at all. He has the build of a safety, and his best tape came when he was able to play with his belly button to the ball.

Ringo’s also an obviously intelligent defender from a match-based zone coverage perspective, but he needs to remain focused throughout reps. He’s more than physical enough to be an active participant in run fits, which was the team’s only real sore spot in 2022 (23rd in rushing EPA). And just look at the safety depth chart.

But that’s just a theory.

Sydney Brown should also help the Eagles’ run defense as a slot/safety hybrid player. His fit and role are a tad more difficult to nail down because he’s coming from a man-heavy defense at Illinois that had him playing in the box quite a bit, but he’s a talented player who should eventually find his way.

Can the Philadelphia Eagles Be a Top-5 Defense in 2023?

When PFN NFL Analyst Arif Hasan looked at the league’s defenses, he projected Philadelphia to have the eighth-best defense in the NFL heading into 2023.

Yet, the Eagles’ schedule certainly won’t make things easy for them. Including their two games against Dallas, Philadelphia plays seven games against teams Hasan believes are top-10 offensive units heading into 2023.

MORE: 2023 Post-Schedule Release NFL Power Rankings — Eagles Still Elite

If the Eagles want to boast a top-five defense, they’ll have to get some big leaps from Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and at least one of their safeties. The middle of an NFL defense is becoming more important by the minute, and good safeties play a critical role in running this scheme successfully.

But that pass rush will remain dominant. The Eagles may not scare the sack record again in 2023, but they have a very decent chance of sacking opposing QBs more than anybody this upcoming season. Slay and Bradberry make for an outstanding duo on the outside, and the team should see better run defense with the new pieces they’ve put in place.

Philadephia may fall outside of the top five, but they’ll likely remain one of the best 10 defenses in the NFL. Paired with what could be a top-three offense, that’s more than enough to dominate in the NFC.



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Taylor Swift Is Shown Chugging a Beer on the Jumbotron at Super Bowl 58

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Global superstar Taylor Swift made it to the big game to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce. In the second quarter, it was evident that she was having a good time at the Super Bowl after taking a 12-hour flight from Tokyo the night prior.

Taylor Swift Seen Chugging Beer at Super Bowl

Swift’s attendance has been highly anticipated, as many fans questioned whether she would be able to make it to the big game since she had been in Japan until Saturday for her Eras Tour.

Sure enough, she made it to the Super Bowl and was seen making a grand entrance alongside Blake Lively and Ice Spice.

Swift made it back to the States with plenty of time to make it to Allegiant Stadium to support Kelce. After a leg of her Eras Tour, where she performed several nights in Japan, the singer appeared to let loose.

In a box full of friends, Swift was shown chugging a beer with Ashley Avignone. She was shown on the jumbotron and slammed her cup down after she finished her beer.

There was a mix of cheers and boos as Swift was shown on the big screen, and a long pass to Mecole Hardman was the only highlight of the first half for Swift and her friends. The 49ers led the Chiefs, 10-0, late in the second quarter.

On social media, Swift garnered plenty of support from NFL fans.

If you’re hating on her you can kick rocks man she’s the best,” one user posted on X

“The one thing I learned this season is that she is actually fun,” another said. 

“Booing Taylor Swift chugging a beer is so soft. She’s just one of us now and I respect it ,” another posted. 

At the time of the beer chugging, Kelce, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, has had one catch for a single yard. It came on the first possession, which ended up being a three-and-out. The Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t done much otherwise.

They did have a deep pass play to Hardman, which put them in the red zone, but Isiah Pacheco fumbled on the very next play — one that Kelce was surprisingly on the sideline for.

Swift and Kelce have garnered much media attention as their romance has taken off throughout this NFL season.

Swift was able to support her boyfriend at many of his games throughout the final stretch of the season, as her Eras Tour was on a break. But starting on Feb. 7, she went back on the road.

MORE: NFL World Reacts to Unbelievable Super Bowl Trick Play

Despite performing in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, she was able to make it in time to support her boyfriend due to the time difference and is having a good time doing so.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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What Happened to the 49ers Linebacker?

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The San Francisco 49ers sustained a massive blow during the second quarter of Super Bowl 58, as linebacker Dre Greenlaw left the game on a medical cart.

CBS Sports confirmed that the veteran Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear, ruling him out for the rest of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Happened to Dre Greenlaw?

The outside linebacker, who had already been battling past injuries to his hamstrings and calves, left with what appeared to be a leg injury.

And somehow, his left leg looked like it buckled as he tried to trot onto the field with the Niners’ defense.

Greenlaw clutched his left leg in agony before being helped off the field.

CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported that the outside linebacker left with what was ruled as a lower leg injury. He was later determined to sustain an Achilles injury.

Greenlaw was declared out for the rest of the game.

Greenlaw Carted Off in Passenger Seat

Even more noticeable was where Greenlaw sat on the cart.

He ended up leaving not in the back of the medical vehicle but ended up riding shotgun with his leg injury.

One would think that with an injury like an Achilles ailment, medical officials would try to make the player as comfortable as possible before they leave. It wasn’t the case here.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

Regardless, Greenlaw was replaced by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles for the rest of the first half. Greenlaw became the most significant injury of the game.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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NFL World Reacts to Epic Super Bowl Intro From CBS

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Super Bowl 58 is here and it’s going to be exciting. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the final game of 2023.

CBS is broadcasting the game and the opening was nothing short of amazing. How is the NFL world reacting to the electric Super Bowl-opening video?

Epic CBS Super Bowl Intro Garners Reaction From NFL World

The video, which spanned four minutes and 19 seconds, featured players from both teams talking about the big game and what it means to them. It also featured their families talking about their journeys to this point.

“Amazing intro! Reminds me of my dad! Bravo on the intro!,” one NFL fan said on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Additionally, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background, giving it a near-movie feel. “This was incredible.,” another person said on X. “And so, the @49ers and @Chiefs face that final curtain,” CBS Sports said.

The 49ers finished the regular season as the top seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record. After their first-round bye, they defeated both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to earn their trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. Both of their victories came in comeback fashion, including an NFC Championship-record 17-point comeback.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a more uphill battle. Entering the playoffs as the AFC’s third seed, they finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens to punch their ticket.

Super Bowl 58 is a re-match of Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-24. The win was the first in Patrick Mahomes career, as he also won Super Bowl MVP. Four years later, the Chiefs have made three more and won another. For the 49ers, this is their first trip back to the big game since.

The game kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the 49ers receiving the opening kick. In addition to being broadcast on CBS, the game is also being streamed on Paramount+.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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