6 Eagles who must play better after the bye week

The Philadelphia Eagles hit their bye in Week 7, almost seven-week earlier than in 2021 when the team didn’t get an official rest period until Week 14.

Philadelphia is 6-0, and although we haven’t quite reached the halfway point of the regular season, the Eagles are firmly entrenched as a potential No. 1 seed that would allow for home-field advantage.

With Philadelphia looking ahead towards a week eight matchup against the Steelers, here are six players that have to play better down the stretch.

1. Jalen Hurts

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Hurts has been outstanding so far this season, but he’ll need to be better in the second half of the season.

Through six games, Hurts is 123-184 (66.8%), passing for 1,514 yards, six touchdowns, and just two interceptions. Hurts has 77 carries for 293 yards and six rushing touchdowns as a runner.

Hurts makes the list because teams will start forcing him to win from the pocket, and any dropoff in his play could prove costly for a Philadelphia team trying to hold off Dallas, San Francisco, and Minnesota for home-field advantage.

2. Quez Watkins

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Nfl Eagles At Cardinals

The 104th-highest-graded wide receiver in the NFL, Watkins has six catches on nine targets for 88 yards and a touchdown in six games.

Watkins obviously can’t throw the ball to himself, but the NFL is a results-based business and Philadelphia will need to get their top deep threat involved going forward.

3. Jordan Mailata

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Mailata is the only Eagles starter on the offensive line not ranked in the top-20 highest-graded players at his position per PFF.

A shoulder injury and other ailments have slowed Mailata’s progress from his tremendous 2021 season, and he’ll need to shore up his pass blocking moving forward.

4. Fletcher Cox

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The 61st highest-graded defensive tackle in the NFL, Cox could benefit from playing fewer snaps, while Jordan Davis to continue his ascension.

Cox has registered three sacks this season, and he’s drastically better than he was in 2021, but he’ll need to up his level of play even more.

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5. C.J. Gardner-Johnson

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Gardner-Johnson makes the list because the Eagles need him to be special down the stretch at the safety position.

The brash defensive back has blended well after arriving in Philadelphia 12 days before the team traveled to Detroit for the season opener.

Gardner-Johnson’s three interceptions are tied for 3rd-most in the NFL, and he became the first Eagles safety with two interceptions in a game since Malcolm Jenkins vs. the Giants in 2016.

6. Arryn Siposs

(AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Siposs ranks 26th in the league in net yards per punt and 23rd in raw yards per punt.

He is tied for the second-highest total of touchbacks with three.

Story originally appeared on Eagles Wire