The Philadelphia Eagles?
The Eagles are a very interesting team to watch and speculate about for the season ahead. While you can say they are undergoing a rebuild, they made the playoffs last year, and after a very solid offseason, they could be poised to return. But they may be wanting more, and this time, they got history by their side.
What Do You Mean By History?
Well, history means a few things in this scenario. First off, we look at the coaching situation and what exactly is going on there. Nick Sirianni did a very good job as a rookie head coach, taking his unit to the playoffs. But this would be his second year, so how does this correlate to Superbowl?
Well, we must look back at former head coach, Doug Pederson. Now, while Doug Pederson is of course the head coach in Duval, he did something pretty interesting in his second year of being a head coach. Of course, he is very unlikely to upset Tom Brady and the Patriots with Nick Foles in Superbowl 52. But this isn’t the only interesting example that could mean this.
There are Players To This Too?
One of the most interesting things that relate to this, is in fact the acquisitions the season before. One of the main things that drove the 2017 Eagles team to the Superbowl was the good season that Alshon Jeffery had that led to something far more important. Jeffery that season had nearly 800 yards with nine touchdowns and 52 catches as the top-tier receiver in the offense. While those numbers don’t necessarily pop off the page, they lead to the development of a certain quarterback. That being Carson Wentz.
Carson Wentz was spectacular that season as in just 13 games he had nearly 3300 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. Wentz seemed almost like a lock to win the MVP award until he had the heartbreaking tear to his ACL that would end his season and leave the entire team in uncertainty. Jeffery especially helped given the young status of Wentz’s career, having a safety blanket and someone who he could form a dynamic duo relationship with. But one component I’ve left out so far is the defensive unit.
See, in 2017 the Eagles boasted one of the best units we have seen in recent memory at all. Ranking top five in almost every defensive category such as points allowed yards allowed, interceptions, and having the number one rushing defense in all of the NFL. While the defense this year for the Eagles may not be as good, they have an incredibly high ceiling as they have an amazing mix of strong veterans mixed with younger high-ceiling defenders. Including All-pro cornerback Darius Slay and Fletcher Cox, then the giant himself in Jordan Davis.
How Does This Work For The Offense?
As I previously mentioned, going into a high-stakes season for a young quarterback they have to decide about, they went out and traded for Alshon Jeffrey to form a connection with. This year, during the draft they sent a first-round pick to Tennessee in exchange for AJ Brown. This is huge because, this is almost identical to the move made by the Eagles in 2017 except, Brown has a way higher ceiling and is already better than Jeffery ever was. But this also helps incredible amounts for a certain quarterback named Jalen Hurts.
Jalen Hurts has been one of the most harshly criticized quarterbacks in all of the NFL over the past two seasons. Truthfully, I don’t understand why. He has had has issues, but they have never been that bad to force him into a space like this. The sad fact is he didn’t work with Doug Pederson. but once he was gone and Sirianni came in, they were able to have the number one rushing offense according to PFF. They were incredibly efficient on the ground as a unit because that’s the best way to utilize him. But now, with AJ Brown? They can be lethal in the air too.
Is It Really Possible, Especially In The NFC West?
Well, that’s up to you. I believe that because of how around the league history repeats itself, it is certainly possible that we could see it happen. Especially with the growing players, they have on their roster, and the off-season acquisitions, they are a dark horse to win the NFC let alone the Superbowl. But please remember this, if you think I’m biased, I’m a Giants fan. So purely perspective thinking here. I haven’t even mentioned the exceptional leadership they have in guys like Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce.
(Idea Credit: Tyson Leach)