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Friday, August 24, 2012

NFL Preview Part 7 NFC Preview- Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles- Last year the Eagles finished the season with a disappointing 8-8 record. Failing, to make the playoffs. And disappointing their fan base, which had aspirations of winning their first Super Bowl title in franchise history. The expectations for the Eagles remain the same this season: Winning the Super Bowl.

This squad has the talent to accomplish their goal. They have the best defensive line in football, a solid secondary, a top five running back, two excellent wide receivers and an elite QB. And they will have a training camp this season. Which should afford coach, Andy Reid, the time to get his system installed and to get his players to gel as a team. I believe not having a training camp severely hindered the Eagles last season. They acquired a lot of talent last off-season. But they did not have the time to practice together before the season started.(Due to the lockout.)The the lack of familiarity with Reid's system, and each-other reared itself at times.Especially, on the defensive side of the ball.(Missed assignments and poor tackling.) And was definitely a reason they started out the season 4-8. 

There is not a team in the NFL with more talent than the Eagles. Philly can legitimately rotate eight players on their defensive line without skipping a beat. And because of their depth on the defensive line, they are usually fresh and able to get pressure on the QB. Philadelphia's running back, LeSean McCoy, is a definite star at his position. He might be the best all-around back in the NFL. Of course, their QB, Mike Vick is the most talented QB in the league. He can run and throw the ball with equal aplomb. Their wide receiver corps is led by the enigmatic DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Both of these guys are great wide receivers. And they complement each-other perfectly. Jackson is the ultra quick deep threat, while Maclin is more of a possession-type receiver.

The biggest question for this Philly team is, can quarterback Mike Vick stay healthy for 16 games and the playoffs? Vick, has played all 16 games in a season just once throughout his career. And he has already been hurt in two separate games this preseason. If Vick were to go down with an injury, the Eagles would be forced to go with rookie QB Nick Foles. And all dreams of winning a Super Bowl,  would be out the window.

Philadelphia plays in a tough division. And they have a relatively difficult schedule.  But they are the most talented team in said division. And if Vick can stay healthy,( a big if) this team should win the NFC East. I don't think there is any other team in the NFL whose success or failure rides solely on one player staying healthy. But the drop off from Vick to Foles on the depth chart is drastic.

Key Players: 
Mike Vick- He has to stay healthy for this team to achieve the lofty status they desire.
DeMeco Ryans-  He was the Eagles biggest off-season acquisition. And they hope he can shore up their middle linebacker spot. Which was a huge problem for Philly last season. If plays like he did for the Houston Texans, than the Eagles will have improved their defense exponentially.
Prediction: 10-6 NFC 1st place NFC East Division

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