High school and college students take note: The Eagles are proof that acing your midterms is worthless if you flunk your final exams.

The Birds were on track to be voted the NFL’s valedictorian more than halfway through the season.  At 10-1, they owned the best record in the league, were atop every media outlet’s power rankings, and were seemingly shoo-ins to get back to the Super Bowl.

Then everything went awry faster than you can say Nick Sirianni.

Their offense and defense fell apart, as did their coaching staff. An embarrassing, 32-9 playoff loss at Tampa Bay capped a shocking slump that saw them endure six losses in their final seven games, including three straight defeats at the end of the season.

There will be major changes this offseason, both to the roster and coaching staff. Owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman will likely retain Sirianni for another year, but a major overhaul of his staff is expected.

The process has already started. Sirianni fired defensive Sean DeSai earlier in the week and defensive play-caller Matt Patricia is already exploring other opportunities. Offensive coordinator Brian Johnson could land a job elsewhere as a head coach.

Philly sports fans shouldn’t get too depressed, though. The Sixers are playing well and Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater on Feb. 14.



Jalen Hurts had moments where he looked like an elite quarterback, but there were other times when he struggled. A lingering knee injury no doubt affected his performance, but a lack of continuity was also problematic. He threw 15 interceptions compared to six last season. He countered with 23 TD passes and also set an NFL record with 15 rushing TDs. But he tailed off at the end. GRADE: B-minus.

Running back

When given the chance, D’Andre Swift showed he is among the NFL’s top running backs. He finished fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,049 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. The problem was the Eagles refused to commit to the running game often enough. Kenneth Gainwell added 364 yards and 30 receptions in a part-time role. Boston Scott was invisible down the stretch. Rashaad Penny was invisible the entire season. GRADE: B

Offensive line

They are still considered among the best offensive lines in the league, though they weren’t as dominant as in past seasons. Center Jason Kelce is still at the top of his game at age 36, but is expected to retire. If he does, Pro Bowl left guard Landon Dickerson could replace him. Right tackle Lane Johnson is elite. Left tackle Jordan Mailata was impressive. Injuries affected the rotation at right guard. GRADE: A

Wide receiver/tight end

This unit experienced a dropoff down the stretch, save for wide receiver Devonta Smith. A.J. Brown became the first Eagles wide receiver with at least 100 receptions in a season (106) and set an NFL record with six straight games with at least 125 receiving yards. But he had just 25 receptions for 292 yards in the last five games and one TD in the last eight before missing the playoff game with a knee injury. Smith had a great year with 81 catches for 1,066 yards and seven TDs. Tight end Dallas Goedert was limited with a fractured forearm.  GRADE: B.

Defensive line

This unit was a disappointment. The front four recorded 18.5 of the team’s 43 total sacks - down from a franchise-record 70 in 2022 – and that includes 11 from edge rusher Haason Reddick. Reddick might have had more sacks had he not be required to drop back into pass coverage. End Josh Sweat recorded all 6.5 of his sacks in the first 10 games, though he did add one in the playoffs against Tampa. Veteran end Brandon Graham had just three regular-season sacks after recording 11 in 2022. The interior line  - tackles Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis – hit a wall in the second half of the year. GRADE: D


Roseman continues to de-emphasize linebackers and continues to get burned. They team clearly missed T.J. Edwards (Bears) and Kyzir White (Cardinals), who left in free agency. Nicholas Morrow, Zach Cunningham were not good. They couldn’t tackle and couldn’t cover. Nakobe Dean was a non-factor due to injury. Rookie Nolan Smith was barely used. GRADE: F


The worst part of the defense. Opposing quarterbacks had their way with them. Cornerback Darius Slay was OK, but not great. James Bradberry was terrible. Avonte Maddox missed most of the season with an injury and struggled when he returned. Safeties Reed Blankenship and Kevin Byard were also ineffective for most of the year. Rookie Sydney Brown showed promise before suffering a knee injury. GRADE: F

Special teams

The most-improved unit under special teams coordinator Michael Clay. Place-kicker Jake Elliott was again superb. He made 30 of 32 field goals, including 7-for-8 from 50 yards and beyond. Britain Covey led the NFC in punt returns with a 14.4-yard average. Punter Braden Mann averaged 49.8 yards per punt. GRADE: A.


Everything that went right during the first half of the season went wrong when it mattered most. Sirianni was unable to fix various issues during the losing streak and the team played worse each game. Johnson lost his mojo. DeSai was demoted from play-calling duties for Patrica, who was worse. GRADE: F.


Offensive MVP: Kelce

Defensive MVP: Reddick

Special teams MVP: Elliott

Local NFL update

Packers wide receiver Bo Melton (Cedar Creek, Mays Landing) and Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (Vineland), both scored touchdowns in last week’s divisional-round playoff games.

Melton scored his first career playoff touchdown, catching a 19-yard TD pass from Packers quarterback Jordan Love in Green Bay’s 24-21 loss to the 49ers. It came one play after Melton drew a 41-yard pass interference penalty.

Pacheco was one of the stars in the Chiefs’ 27-24 win at Buffalo that sent them to the AFC Championship game at Baltimore. His 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter proved to be the winning play. For the game, Pacheco ran for a game-high 97 yards on 15 carries.

Melton and Pacheco, who has three career playoff TDs, are among three local players who have reached the end zone in the postseason. Running back William Green (Holy Spirit, Atlantic City) scored in a 2002 playoff game for the Browns.

Top 10 Things To Do This Off-Season in Cape May, NJ Area

Anyone who has lived in Cape May County knows that even though half the businesses close during the winter, the locals still love living in this area for many reasons. As someone who has lived in Cape May County for over 20 years, here are some of my favorite activities to do in the offseason:

Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media

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