Fletcher Cox thinks the 2017 Eagles team would beat the 2022 team.
What do you think? pic.twitter.com/OKiAT4UvVQ
— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) February 3, 2023
It feels sacrilegious to even compare two of the greatest teams in Eagles history, but my gut is telling me that the 2022 team is just slightly better.
Good exercise here, so we can go down the list and make comparisons:
I think it’s a wash. Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts were both MVP candidates in their respective years. Nick Foles came in and played some of the best Eagles football we’ve ever seen. I’d take any one of those three at the top of their game.
Slight edge goes to 2017 team. Miles Sanders had a career year, but if you’re giving me the combo of LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi vs. the trio of Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell, the former is where I’m going.
Clear advantage for the 2022 team. As good as Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor were that season, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are better. I think Quez Watkins vs. Torrey Smith is a wash and Zach Pascal is better than Mack Hollins.
It’s a wash. Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson are the holdovers, so you’re basically comparing Landon Dickerson, Isaac Seumalo, and Jordan Mailata to Jason Peters/Big V, Steph Wisniewski, and Brandon Brooks. Both lines are chock full of Pro Bowlers and Pro Bowl alternates. You really can’t go wrong with either unit.
I’m giving the advantage to 2017. I’d go Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, and Brent Celek over Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, and Grant Calcaterra.
2022 is better. Cox is the only remaining starter, with Brandon Graham now part of a rotation, so he’s kind of in a weird/negligible position for this exercise. But after the years Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, and Haason Reddick had, plus the addition of Linval Joseph, Jordan Davis, and Ndamukong Suh, I just can’t take them over the group of Timmy Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, and Beau Allen.
Jordan Hicks didn’t play in the Super Bowl, but that group of him, Nigel Bradham, and Mychal Kendricks (injured later) was pretty damn good. T.J. Edwards has been fantastic this year, and Kyzir White has played mostly well, but because the Eagles play so much nickel, Nakobe Dean and Christian Elliss really don’t get a lot of playing time. I’d give the edge to 2017.
2017. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod were better than Marcus Epps and Reed Blankenship and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, with the caveat of CJGJ playing some slot towards the end of the year. I still don’t even look at him as a true “safety.”
2022 by a large margin. Darius Slay and James Bradberry are ahead of Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills. Avonte Maddox and Patrick Robinson are both damn good though. I’d probably take Rasul Douglas ahead of Josiah Scott or Zech McPhearson, but overall the corners this season get the nod.
Rick Lovato and Jake Elliott are 2022 holdovers, but Donnie Jones was the more consistent punter. I also think with guys like Chris Maragos and Bryan Braman on special teams, that that unit in 2017 was slightly better.
Overall, it’s pretty damn close, isn’t it? The 2017 team was GOOD. So good they won the Super Bowl. I have this feeling that if these two teams played each other ten times on a neutral field, that 2022 would win six of those and 2017 would win four. But they’d be really tight.