Reasons Quez Watkins could be a surprise secret weapon for Eagles versus Patriots in Week 1

Following an up-and-down affair last season, Quez Watkins could show and prove for the Eagles versus the Patriots in Week 1.
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Expect to see the Quez Watkins we saw in 2021 as opposed to the guy we saw last season.

Quez Watkins performed like a borderline second option at the wide receiver position and as a more than capable number-three during the 2021 season. He had a solid campaign for the Eagles, finishing with 647 yards on 43 receptions. He also scored a touchdown. He averaged 15 yards per reception. The hope was he'd build upon his solid year in 2022.

The former sixth-round draft choice regressed last season. Philly added A.J. Brown during the 2022 NFL Draft. We witnessed the further emergence of DeVonta Smith. It would have been nice to see Watkins improve, but instead, he did the opposite. Still, we're expecting a bounceback from him this season.

Watkins finished with only 354 yards receiving last season, a decrease of 293 yards from his 2021 total. He finished with 33 receptions, ten less than the previous year. His three touchdowns were a slight improvement from his 2021 total but he was not as productive overall in 2022.

When Watkins had chances last season, he didn't always make the most of them. His drop in Super Bowl LVII stands out. Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw a pass to the wideout that would have resulted in a significant conversion for the Eagles. That one would have given Philadelphia a red-zone opportunity, but the play resulted in an incompletion and was a missed opportunity for the Birds.

Watkins admitted to having a disappointing season a few days after Super Bowl LVII. He shared some of his thoughts during a conversation with a conversation with Shamus Clancy of The PhillyVoice:

"I know I took a step back from last year to this year, but it was a very humbling season and I'm looking forward to getting back to work. I didn't play my best football all year."

He gets it. Buckle up. A bounceback affair could be loading.