Skip to content
  1. US Sports
  2. NFL

NFL Championship 2023: Philadelphia Eagles' road to Arizona

The Philadelphia Eagles entered the season with the tag of NFL Championship dark horses after a positive but not spectacular 2021 campaign, but it quickly became apparent they would be far better than anyone had anticipated once play got underway in 2022.

A 9-8 regular season followed by a meek loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs last year gave few clues as to what was to come, even if the franchise clearly believed in itself after trading a first-round draft pick to the Tennessee Titans for wide receiver AJ Brown.

Brown proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle on offence that had previously failed to convince under quarterback Jalen Hurts, while the addition of Haason Reddick turned the defensive line into a wrecking crew that went from 29 sacks the previous year to over 70 in 2022.

The two big free-agent signings, a strong draft class and a relatively soft schedule set the stage for the Eagles to make a world title run, and here's how they got to the NFL showpiece, which they are 10/13 on the Money Line.

What:Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Championship 2023
Where:State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
When:23:30, Sunday 12th February, 2023
How to watch:ITV1 and Sky Sports NFL
Odds (Money Line):KC Chiefs 11/10, PHI Eagles 10/13

Flying start from Philly

The Eagles rattled off eight straight wins to start the year with Hurts looking to have taken a step forward during the off-season.

The 24-year-old was still hurting teams with his legs - he would go on to set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (15) - but was to prove far more accurate with his arm than the previous season.

Philly struck on a winning game-script which saw Hurts throw the ball early on as the Eagles built a lead, before turning to a rushing attack that proved effective against everyone to close matches out.

It was a formula that saw them record dominant victories over the Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys - all playoff teams - during their excellent start.

Related NFL News

NFL Championship 2023: Introducing the Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Championship 2023: Introducing the Philadelphia Eagles

Washington end winning run as Hurts gets hurt

The Eagles' perfect start would come to an end with a mistake-riddled Monday Night Football display against NFC East divisional rivals Washington, who exposed Philadelphia's weakness against the run.

The Commanders also recorded four turnovers, but the Eagles would respond well to the loss, winning their next five, a run which included a drubbing of rivals the New York Giants in New York.

Sitting pretty at 13-1, a playoff spot was in the bag and the NFC East title was within touching distance. But a shoulder injury to Hurts, which is still troubling him, threatened to knock Philly off course.

Without Hurts, the Eagles were well beaten by the Cowboys on Christmas Eve with Gardner Minshew at quarterback before a shock home loss to the lowly New Orleans Saints on New Year's Day.

That left the Eagles needing to beat the New York Giants in Week 18 to clinch the number one seed in the NFC with a 14-3 record and though they duly obliged against a second-string Big Blue outfit, they didn't look the same team that had crushed their opponents earlier on in the season.

Peaking for the playoffs

After a week off thanks to the bye, Nick Sirianni's men dispelled any doubts by throttling the Giants 38-7. The Philly defence shut down New York's attack at Lincoln Financial Field, while Hurts looked far more comfortable after some extra time off to allow his shoulder to heal.

The NFC Championship game with the San Francisco 49ers was expected to be far more of a test but an Eagles defensive line that lead the NFL in sacks made a telling contribution that swung the game decisively in Philly's favour.

On the 49ers' first possession of the game, Reddick hit Niners quarterback Brock Purdy, damaging the rookie's elbow and ultimately handcuffing San Francisco's offence. The Eagles were able to roll to a 31-7 success thereafter to book passage to a fourth world title game on the back of a very impressive season on both sides of the ball.

The Eagles offence and defence both rank amongst the top five in the league, contributing to them outsourcing teams by 133 points in the regular season and 55 points in the playoffs. Now, they will look to finish the job by clinching only their second NFL Championship title in Arizona.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy