The 2021 season went better than anticipated for the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished the year with a 9-8 record, a second-place finish in the NFC East and a Wild Card playoff game against the defending Super Bowl champions.

After a 4-11-1 campaign, there were plenty of bright spots this year to highlight.

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Offensive MVP: Offensive Line

It might be unusual to give the MVP award to an entire offensive unit, but the 2022 Eagles' offense was defined by their ability to run the ball, without a 1,000 yard rusher to lean on. Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson each had one of his best seasons ever, while Jordan Mailata and Landon Dickerson formed a tremendous tandem on the left side. Despite losing starters, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo, the line continued to play well regardless of who stepped in to play.

Defensive MVP: Darius Slay

Slay was the clear selection here, ending the year with his highest overall coverage grade of his nine year career. He was the true shut-down corner the team thought they were getting in 2020 when they brought him to Philadelphia from Detroit. Pro Football Focus graded Slay -- who had 52 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass defenses and three touchdowns -- as the league's fourth best cover corner this season.

Best Newcomer: WR DeVonta Smith

The Eagles rookie set a new franchise record with 916 receiving yards and led the team with 104 targets and scored five touchdowns, He displayed tremendous route running, the ability to catch and run-after-the-catch ability and should only improve in his second season in the Eagles offense and with hopefully more help in 2022.

Best Rookie, Offense: Landon Dickerson

Dickerson was a beast up front, earning the third highest run blocking grade among rookie Guards this season and all guards in the playoffs. Having Dickerson and Mailata together on the left side of the line together, gives the Eagles one of the best combos in football for a long time.

 

Best Rookie, Defense: Milton Williams

The No. 73 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Williams showed flashes of becoming an impactful player in the Eagles defense. He found a nice role behind Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave this season, but expect whoever is in charge of the Eagles defense in 2022 to find more snaps for Williams. Williams had 30 tackles, six for loss and two sacks in limited snaps.

Unsung Hero: T.J. Edwards

After watching from the sidelines for most of the first few weeks of the season, Edwards entered the lineup full-time and gave stability to a much maligned position. Edwards finished with 127 tackles, five for loss and added a sack and interception. There were a few other options here, like Avonte Maddox, who had a tremendous year in the slot, Boston Scott and Jordan Howard who stepped in for Miles Sanders and Jake Elliott who connected on 30-of-33 field goal attempts, going 3-3 from over 50 yards, with a long of 58.

Best Play Offense: Jalen Hurts Fakes Out Saints Defense.

Best Defensive Play: Rodney McLeod seals win against Washington

McLeod made the key play in the Eagles Week 17 win over Washington, which helped to clinch a playoff berth for the birds. Darius Slay had a few big plays that could be considered, but that impact of McLeod's play earns this spot.

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