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September 07, 2023

The top 15 plays from the 2022 Eagles season

What were the top plays from the Eagles' Super Bowl-bound 2022 season? We rank the 15 best ones.

Eagles NFL
DeVonta-Smith-Washington-Commanders-Eagles Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports

Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith mosses two Washington Commanders during the 2022 NFL season. Can he do it again?

As the 2023 NFL season gets under way, let's look back at 2022 one more time. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history and delivered moments of euphoria for Eagles fans.

Before the revenge tour begins on Sunday afternoon in Foxboro, here are the top 15 plays from the Eagles' 2022 NFC Champion season. Is this something I would've made fun of a Vikings fan for doing after the Miracle in Minneapolis given that the Birds didn't win the whole thing on this run? Perhaps, but this list will lead to 49ers and Giants fans whining, so that's a win.

Let's get after it...

15. Week 17 vs. Saints: A.J. Brown's 78-yard touchdown

Five A.J. Brown touchdowns grace this list, more than anyone else on the team. Brown's first year in Philly lived up to the billing and then some of his arrival being the 2022 equivalent of Terrell Owens' in 2004. Against New Orleans (in a loss) with Gardner Minshew filling in for an injured Jalen Hurts, Brown showcased some killer route-running and ball-tracking for this 78-yard score:

Hot take: Brown is going to rack up a lot of TDs again in 2023.

14. Week 16 vs. Cowboys: Josh Sweat's pick-6

Down in Texas, Josh Sweat nabbed one of Dak Prescott's league-leading interceptions that he took back to the house, complete with a stiff arm on the Cowboys' quarterback:

If this was a win, Sweat's touchdown had the potential to be a part of Eagles-Cowboys lore. The fact that it came in a loss and ruined people's Christmas Eve plans hurts it in these rankings. It was a blown double-digit lead, too (not the final time that happened last season...). 

13. Week 13 vs. Titans: A.J. Brown's revenge TD

Could a single play get an NFL general manager fired? Probably not, but Brown's departure from Tennessee and dominance in Philly should haunt the Titans. After the Eagles acquired him during the 2022 NFL Draft, Brown went on to score a TD against his old squad in a 35-10 thrashing. That includes this easy-as-anything 41-yard touchdown:

While the play itself wasn't an acrobatic, overly difficult move, Brown was strong off the line and it's symbolic of how the Eagles turned into a well-oiled offensive machine in 2022. 

Brown got some trash talk in on the score as well:

Oh, yeah, by the way... the Titans' GM was fired the day after that loss. Whoops. 

12. Week 5 vs. Cardinals: Cameron Dicker's game-winning kick

A guy who wasn't even on the Eagles' Super Bowl roster cracks the list? "Dicker the Kicker" might not go down with "BDN" when it comes to all-time nicknames, but Cameron Dicker came through when the Birds needed him the most. In a frustrating outing against the Cardinals in Arizona, the Eagles gutted their way to a 20-17 win. With Jake Elliott sidelined, Dicker was signed and then proceeded to hit a game-winning kick with under two minutes remaining:

A chip-shot at 23 yards? Sure, but to do that in his NFL debut playing for an undefeated team with a whole lot of hype around it deserves props. It kept the Eagles on their path to the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

11. Week 1 vs. Lions: James Bradberry's pick-6

The Eagles had not yet turned into the juggernauts they'd become in last year's season-opener in Detroit. In a tied game, the newly acquired James Bradberry gave the Birds a first-half lead with a pick-6 that helped catapult the Eagles to their first win of many on the year:

With a fierce pass rush from defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu on Jared Goff and an assist on the deflection from linebacker Kyzir White, Bradberry began his Eagles tenure with a bang.

10. Week 8 vs. Steelers: A.J. Brown's touchdown through traffic

The Eagles acquired Brown to help Hurts' development as a pro passer. You get a player like A.J. Brown so you can throw the ball up to him whenever you want a 50-50 ball that turns into a 70-30 ball. 

As you'll see farther down this list as well, Brown made life hell for the Steelers' secondary this afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. On one of Brown's three touchdowns on the day, Hurts lofted a ball to the end zone with just the right amount of arc that allowed Brown to use his physicality to go up and snag the pass for a TD:

Brown is a constant highlight reel. 

9. Week 11 vs. Colts: Jalen Hurts' game-winning touchdown

The Eagles relied on Hurts' capabilities in the run game to grind out a road win against the Colts. Getting the ball with under five minutes remaining and trailing 16-10, a mix of runs from Hurts, Miles Sanders and Boston Scott drained the clock. On third and goal from the Colts' seven-yard line, Hurts pulled off a Michael Vick-esque QB draw for the go-ahead TD:

There was a lot of nonsense discourse on Twitter after this that the Eagles didn't trust Hurts to win the game with his arm. Maybe they relied on Hurts' elite traits, displayed smart clock management and locked in on an Indianapolis defense! I guess they didn't watch the rest of the Eagles' season. 

8. Week 14 vs. Giants: DeVonta Smith's fourth-down touchdown

Facing a fourth and seven, Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen dialed up a deep ball to DeVonta Smith. Hurts connected with him and, as a Giants safety slowed down while wary of a personal penalty, Smith's body control left him in a perfect spot to jog into the end zone:

The Eagles traded up for Smith in the 2021 NFL Draft, leapfrogging the Giants. New York was salty about it then and will continue to be for the next half-dozen years. 

7. Week 8 vs. Steelers: A.J. Brown's "finger-point" touchdown

The blatant disrespect Brown had here for the Steelers' secondary electrified the Linc:

They weren't good enough to stop him. Brown knew it. Everyone in the crowd knew it. Pittsburgh learned it the hard way. Brown's combination of size and speed is a recipe for disaster for defensive backs.

6. Week 2 vs. Vikings: Jalen Hurts' truck-stick touchdown 

The videos of Hurts squatting 600 pounds in college have become memes for Eagles fans. No regular season play from Hurts showcased that pure strength more than this 26-yard run under the bright lights of Monday Night Football:

Just when you think he's going to get down, he keeps going and that repeats itself until Hurts was celebrating in the end zone.

Hurts racked up 13 TDs on the ground last year, the second most ever by a QB in a single season. Expect a double-digit count for the third straight year.

5. Week 3 vs. Commanders: DeVonta Smith "mosses" two DBs


Smith isn't known as a jump-ball threat, but he's ultimately a playmaker. During a trip to Maryland to face the Commanders, the Eagles were looking to boost their three-score first-half lead. Hurts launched a pass down the field and Smith "mossed" two Washington defenders with a wild grab:

That catch was right in front of the press box at FedEx Field. A collection of gasps broke out after Smith hauled it in. Incredible.

Smith followed it up with a fourth-and-goal TD catch shortly, naturally, to give the Eagles a 24-0 lead they would never relinquish. 

Ready for another Smith play?

4. NFC Championship Game: DeVonta Smith's one-handed, fourth-down catch 

Wow factor? ✅

Difficulty? ✅

Led to a scoring drive in a playoff win? ✅

Fourth-down guts? ✅

In a game devoid of great theater because of how thoroughly the Eagles stomped the 49ers, this was likely the lone breath-holding spot of the game for Birds fans:

Smith's 29-yard catch put the Eagles in position to pick up a 7-0 lead on their way to a 31-7 victory.

3. NFC Championship Game: Haason Reddick's strip sack on Brock Purdy

It's the moment when the complexion of the NFC Championship Game changed. Haason Reddick, after a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber season, sacked 49ers QB Brock Purdy, forcing a fumble that Linval Joseph recovered:

Purdy was knocked out of the game with an elbow injury after. 

49ers fans, media members, and even players alike have embarrassed themselves all offseason saying that San Francisco would've won if Purdy didn't get hurt. "If only we didn't need to turn to our emergency quarterback!" Maybe you should've tried to block the Eagles' elite pass rush! They couldn't and, as New Radicals once said, you get what you give. 

2. Super Bowl: A.J. Brown's touchdown catch

On a list of bonkers Brown touchdown catches, here's the best of them all:

The competition certainly isn't stiff, but I've never seen an Eagle with deep ball-tracking at the level of Brown's. Brown balled out on the biggest stage of his career, going off for 6-96-1 in the Super Bowl, including this 45-yard score. As is the case with all the plays on this list, however, that Super Bowl loss still burns in Philly. It's what prevents these plays from being truly immortal no matter how spectacular they were to witness in real time. 

Still, what a catch. 

1. Super Bowl: Jalen Hurts' game-tying two-point conversion run

It could've gone down as one of the best Super Bowl plays ever. Now it's relegated to a footnote in Kansas City's championship tale or, as Eagles fans will hope, a part of Hurts' 2023 revenge tale. 

After blowing a 10-point halftime lead, the Eagles were fighting back against Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. A fourth-quarter TD rush from Hurts cut the score to 35-33 on a textbook "Tush Push." The Eagles would rely on Hurts' bruising ability to tie things up in the biggest moment of the season. He did just that:

Yes, the Eagles lost the Super Bowl and that will sting in Philadelphia until the day the city sees Hurts himself lift the Lombardi Trophy. In the moment after that play, however, I thought that Hurts was not merely The Guy in Philly. It was as if the legend of a future Hall of Famer was brewing.

Let's see what 2023 holds...

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